Enemy at The Gate Book Review

Essay by tmurgioUniversity, Master'sA+, April 2004

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Enemy at the Gates

William Craig's book Enemy at the Gates Tells the gripping tale of one of the bloodiest battles every waged and a pivotal point in the Second World War. Being somewhat of a war buff I was intrigued to read this book, I had little or no knowledge of the battle of Stalingrad or the events that took place there during the 900 day siege. I am happy that William Craig took over five years in researching this insightful and provocative narrative.

As you begin to read this book you are struck by the number of different styles of writing. At times the work reads as if it is merely a text book recounting events as they happened in a sterile and listless manner, but at other points the book dives into personal accounts of the events of the battle and the human experience of living through such events.

This form of narrative I found both frustrating and confusing at times, but at other time interesting and emotional. However this led me to feel as if I was listening to a person with Attention Deficit Disorder tell a story, that keeps going on little side tangents every few minutes. Ironically enough it is the side stories that are more compelling then the majority of the text. It is in these side stories that we get the truest accounts and better sense of what it was really like to be in Stalingrad during the siege. One such example of this is the story about young Natasha Kornilov and her mother. As their house is invaded and their possessions taken away from them right in front of their faces you are able to feel the fear that these people must have been going through. Later after they put the...