Rick Atkinson
Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author & Military Historian

Rick Atkinson is the author of the critically acclaimed Liberation Trilogy, a narrative history of the U.S. military’s role in the liberation of Europe in World War II. The first volume, An Army at Dawn, received the Pulitzer Prize and was acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal as “the best World War II battle narrative since Cornelius Ryan’s classics.” The second volume, The Day of Battle, drew praise from the New York Times as “a triumph of narrative history.” The final installment, The Guns at Last Light, was hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “a masterpiece of deep reporting and powerful storytelling.”


Atkinson’s other works include The Long Grey Line, Crusade, D-Day, and In the Company of Soldiers, which was chosen by Newsweek as one of the ten best books of 2004.


Atkinson’s many awards include the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for history; the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting; and the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for public service. He is winner of the 1989 George Polk Award for national reporting and the 2007 Gerald R. Ford Award for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense.


Serving as a reporter, foreign correspondent, and senior editor in his 25 years at the Washington Post, Atkinson has covered stories in Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, Somalia, and Bosnia, to name just a few.


Born in Munich, Germany, Atkinson is the son of a U.S. Army officer and grew up on military posts. He holds a Master of Arts degree in English literature from the University of Chicago. He and his wife, Dr. Jane C. Atkinson, a researcher and clinician at the National Institutes of Health, live in the District of Columbia. They have two grown children.

Download Bio
The Guns at Last Light
The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945
Henry Holt and Co.

The magnificent conclusion to Rick Atkinson’s acclaimed Liberation Trilogy about the Allied triumph in Europe during World War II It is the twentieth...

Trade Paperback
The Long Gray Line
The American Journey of West Point's Class of 1966
Holt Paperbacks

“Enormously rich in detail and written with a novelist’s brilliance . . . A very moving book.” —James Salter, The Washington Post Book World A classic of its...

Trade Paperback
The Day of Battle
The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944
Holt Paperbacks

“A triumph of narrative history, elegantly written, thick with unforgettable description and rooted in the sight and sounds of battle.”—The New York Times In...

D-DayThe Invasion of Normandy, 1944
Henry Holt and Co.

Adapted for young readers from the #1 New York Times–bestselling The Guns at Last Light, D-Day captures the events and the spirit of that day—June 6, 1944—the...

Trade Paperback
An Army at DawnThe War in North Africa, 1942-1943
Holt Paperbacks

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "A splendid book... The emphasis throughout is on the human drama of men at war."—The Washington...

Trade Paperback
In the Company of SoldiersA Chronicle of Combat
Holt Paperbacks

A beautifully written and memorable account of combat from the top down and bottom up as the 101st Airborne commanders and front-line grunts battle their way...

Square Fish

Whether history buffs or newcomers to the topic, young readers will appreciate the many fascinating facts, photographs, and statistics included in this book, and thrill in this real-life account of victory against all odds.

Following the Leaders: What Our Military History Teaches About Being in Charge, From Patton to Petraeus Atkinson looks at America's great military leaders, drawing on his own extensive experience reporting alongside General David Patraeus and other great soldiers, and what their strengths and lessons can teach us.
The Day of Battle: From North Africa to Berlin, the American Military in the Liberation of Europe in World War II Atkinson is one of the most celebrated historians of the Second World War, and his books on the subject have achieved both critical and popular success
Bringing Back the Dead: History, Memory, and Writing About War With, as always, a journalist's eye, Atkinson discusses the craft and art of writing in some of the most compelling, dangerous situations.

"The event went great, and his presentation was wonderful. There were about 500 happy people in Grand Rapids last night."
-Hauenstein Center at Grand Valley State University

“Atkinson paints on a vast canvas while stressing the details. He cites the experiences of soldiers — officers and grunts alike—caught up in a conflagration beyond their comprehension. He preserves the humanity of humans in an inhumane situation.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch

“Soon, if not already, Atkinson will show up on the list of giants, as later historians stand on his shoulders.”
The Dallas Morning News

“The master of narrative military history.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Rick Atkinson cements his place among America’s great popular historians, in the tradition of Bruce Catton and Stephen Ambrose.”
-The Washington Post