Books That Inspire 2004

A Bridge Too Far
Cornelius Ryan

I remember when I read this book – I was on vacation in 1971, in the mountains of northern New Mexico. With all this cool scenery everywhere, I still had my face plunged into the best book on World War II that I have ever read, and in fact, the best non-fiction book I have ever read.

A Bridge Too Far details Operation Market-Garden (September 1944), the largest airborne offensive of World War II. The operation is not as famous as say, the Battle of the Bulge, for example, because it was a defeat (for the Allies) that likely prolonged the war for months and secondly, American forces did not suffer a majority of the casualties.

There’s a quote on Amazon that nails this book: “…it is a story about ordinary men doing extraordinary things.” This book set the standard (to this day) for how I picture war and courage – it’s a finely detailed and an absolutely spellbinding read.
Steve T. Rice
Public Affairs Director and Editor, Sooner Lawyer
College of Law