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1. Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th
2. The Victors: The Men ofWWII
3. Undaunted Courage : Meriwether
4. D Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic
5. The Wild Blue : The Men and Boys
6. Pegasus Bridge: June 6, 1944
7. Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel
8. Citizen Soldiers: The U. S. Army
9. Nothing Like It In the World:
10. To America: Personal Reflections
11. The VICTORS : Eisenhower and His
12. Currahee!: A Screaming Eagle at
13. The Supreme Commander: The War
14. Duty, Honor, Country: A History
15. Ike’s Spies: Eisenhower and
16. Nixon: Ruin and Recovery, 1973-1990
17. Lewis & Clark: Voyage of Discovery
18. Nixon, Vol. 2: The Triumph of
19. Rise to Globalism
20. Americans at War

1. Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Paperback: 336 Pages (2001-09-06)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$0.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 074322454X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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As good a rifle company as any in the world, Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, U.S. Army, kept getting the tough assignments -- responsible for everything from parachuting into France early D-Day morning to the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. In Band of Brothers, Ambrose tells of the men in this brave unit who fought, went hungry, froze, and died, a company that took 150 percent casualties and considered the Purple Heart a badge of office. Drawing on hours of interviews with survivors as well as the soldiers' journals and letters, Stephen Ambrose recounts the stories, often in the men's own words, of these American heroes.Amazon.com Review
The men of E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne,volunteered for this elite fighting force because they wanted to bethe best in the army--and avoid fighting alongside unmotivated,out-of-shape draftees. The price they paid for that desire was long,arduous, and sometimes sadistic training, followed by some of the mosthorrific battles of World War II. Actor Cotter Smith--a veteran ofnumerous TV movies and Broadway plays--spins Stephen Ambrose's talewith almost laconic ease. Anecdote by anecdote, he lets the power ofthe story build. By the time the company has gotten through D-day andseized Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Bavaria, we feel we know as much aboutthe men and their missions as we do about our own brothers. (Runningtime: 5 hours, 4 cassettes) --Lou Schuler ... Read more

Customer Reviews (476)

5-0 out of 5 stars Band of Brothers
101st Airborne; World War II; Stephen Ambrose...What else can you say?The book was fantastic!Enough said.

5-0 out of 5 stars Makes you care so much for the 101st Airborne boys
Could not put this book down.Riviting.You become so invested in each and every man you'll read about. I read the book before I saw the mini-series and loved both of them very much.Glad that we have this written material to remind us of what has taken place in history.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Book That Started It All
Here it is!The book that started it all!It launched the wildly popular HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers" and the dozen or so spin-off books that followed the TV show.It made household names out of previously unknown soldiers and brought their deeds and sacrifices out of the recesses of history into the light of day.

Ambrose's gift was that he was able to empathize with the common GI because he loved them all!He related to them extremely well, understood them even better and told their stories as well as they could be told.It says a lot about the man when his subjects refer to their interviewer and semi-biographer as a "friend".

The chronicle of Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment starts out a year before the regiment joined the 101st Airborne Division.As an experiment, the regiment was destined to take its basic, weapons and parachute training together as a single unit.They remained together for 2 years before going into combat.This elongated training regimen served to bond the men together far more tightly than other units.It also served to infuse a spirit of camaraderie and brotherhood that was exceptional and unique even among elite units.They called themselves "Toccoa Men" after the camp they trained in and "Currahee" was their motto after the mountain they ran six miles up and down on a regular basis.

From its inception with an insidious and demanding commanding officer through four major campaigns through the end of the war, Ambrose weaves a compelling and absorbing account of many of the major players of Easy Company.Through their nightmares and recollections, he recreates history as seen and felt through these men.Fully indexed, well written and fast moving, it should be read both before and after viewing the HBO miniseries.It's an outstanding book, one of the very few that I have read four times!

John E. Nevola
Author ofThe Last Jump: A Novel of World War II

5-0 out of 5 stars Great gift!
I've purchased this book for multiple people. Mostly men who are huge history buffs. There is so much more information provided for the reader that is not in the TV series. Though the TV series is genious too. I would buy it along with The Pacific for the perfect gift.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book better mini series
This is ok but I would skip this book and watch the mini series instead.If you want to read about this there are better books. ... Read more

2. The Victors: The Men ofWWII
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Paperback: 400 Pages (2005-04-04)
list price: US$18.60 -- used & new: US$5.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743492420
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From Utah bridge to The Bulge and on to Hitler's Eagle's nest in Germany, Ambrose describes the momentous events of the war until the final days when the Allied soldiers pushed the German troops out of France, chased them across Germany, and destroyed the Nazi regime, making this the definitive history of the Second World War. At the centre of this epic drama are the citizen soldiers, the boys who became men as they fought and rose to the occasion, proving eventually unbeatable. THE VICTORS displays Ambrose's scholarship and authority, his readability, and the powerful love and admiration for these young men that make his books on war so moving and popular. ... Read more

3. Undaunted Courage : Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
by Stephen Ambrose
Paperback: 521 Pages (1997-06-02)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$3.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684826976
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In this sweeping adventure story, Stephen E. Ambrose, the bestselling author od D-Day, presents the definitive account of one of the most momentous journeys in American history. Ambrose follows the Lewis and Clark Expedition from Thomas Jefferson's hope of finding a waterway to the Pacific, through the heart-stopping moments of the actual trip, to Lewis's lonely demise on the Natchez Trace. Along the way, Ambrose shows us the American West as Lewis saw it -- wild, awsome, and pristinely beautiful. Undaunted Courage is a stunningly told action tale that will delight readers for generations.Amazon.com Review
A biography of Meriwether Lewis that relies heavily on the journalsof both Lewis and Clark, this book is also backed up by the author's personaltravels along Lewis and Clark's route to the Pacific. Ambrose is notcontent to simply chronicle the events of the "Corps of Discovery" as theexplorers called their ventures. He often pauses to assess the militaryleadership of Lewis and Clark, how they negotiated with various nativepeoples and what they reported to Jefferson. Though the expedition failed tofind Jefferson's hoped for water route to the Pacific, it fired interestamong fur traders and other Americans, changing the face of the West forever. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (388)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book...I learned so much
This book is a must read for anyone interested in American history.The prose is well thought out and flows like a river.The book is fully referenced and footnoted in a reader friendly way.I am giving it to all my friends.

4-0 out of 5 stars Undaunted Courage
What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage.
The Cowardly Lion

A thin line separates genius and madness, recklessness and courage. For many great individuals, the very thing that drives their success is also instrumental in their downfall. At the youthful age of twenty-nine, Meriwether Lewis seemed an unlikely choice to lead one of the most important voyages of discovery since Columbus. Lewis's skill at military leadership on the frontier and intense intellectual curiosity was matched by his lack of political savoir faire and propensity for depression. Stephen Ambrose's Undaunted Courage is as much about human tragedy as it is courage.

Ambrose's meticulously researched and crafted tale takes us through the entire journey of Lewis and Clark. Much more than a simple travelogue, the reader feels the extreme physical exertion, bitter cold, extreme heat, and debilitating sickness of their trip. One also gets a good look into the psyche of Lewis. His heroic strengths and tragic weaknesses are on full display.

It has become fashionable to parade the faults and foibles of our heroes before a frothing public. As quickly as we place individuals on pedestals, we seek ways to tear them down. However, Undaunted Courage does not fall into this trap. Rather, it provides an insightful view into the life of a talented, courageous man who overcame his youthful inexperience and psychological maladies to spark the opening of the American West. Like any well-written tragedy, this story is marked by pathos. It does not end with the hero living happily ever after, but in a gruesome suicide in rural Tennessee. For additional reading check out [...]

4-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous account of the Lewis and Clark expedition
This is a well-researched and highly readable overview of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Ambrose deserves credit for taking such a daunting historical event and condensing it into a single volume. While the first part of the book perhaps goes a little overboard in describing the preparations and the role that Jefferson played, once the voyage sets off there's no looking back. The encounters with the Indians are fascinating. The reader really feels like he's along for the ride as the expedition makes its way towards the Pacific Ocean. With our roads and skies now filled with countless vehicles and airplanes, it's easy to forget just how massive the continent appeared to its occupants in the early 19th century. Ambrose does a good job of presenting the enormity of the task that these early explorers took on. Lewis and Clark tackled the continent's unknown dangers with gusto, and Ambrose has given us the opportunity to come along for the ride. Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ambrose on the Lewis and Clark expedition
There is countless material available on Lewis and Clark and the "Voyage of Discovery". I have enjoyed the read and consider it a very good introduction to the subject and the material available.For those who want to do more, the Moulton edition of the Journals is essential. Also worthwhile is Bernard DeVoto, "The Journals of Lewis and Clark". The Ambrose book works for book discussion groups as there is plenty to keep the conversation rolling as our group discovered.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book
This is a very enlighting book. It is educational, but is like reading a novel. You will discover a lot about an important time in the history of the United States and what a visionary and genius we had in our thrid president,
Thomas Jefferson. This book started me on a quest for more knowledge about Mr. Jefferson that has not ended.

... Read more

4. D Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Paperback: 656 Pages (1995-06-01)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$3.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 068480137X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Stephen E. Ambrose draws from more than 1,400 interviews with American, British, Canadian, French, and German veterans to create the preeminent chronicle of the most important day in the twentieth century. Ambrose reveals how the original plans for the invasion were abandoned, and how ordinary soldiers and officers acted on their own initiative.

D-Day is above all the epic story of men at the most demanding moment of their existence, when the horrors, complexities, and triumphs of life are laid bare. Ambrose portrays the faces of courage and heroism, fear and determination -- what Eisenhower called "the fury of an aroused democracy" -- that shaped the victory of the citizen soldiers whom Hitler had disparaged.Amazon.com Review
Published to mark the 50th anniversary of the invasion ofNormandy, Stephen E. Ambrose's D-Day: June 6, 1944 relies onover 1,400 interviews with veterans, as well as prodigious research inmilitary archives on both sides of the Atlantic. He provides acomprehensive history of the invasion which also eloquently testifiesas to how common soldiers performed extraordinary feats. A major themeof the book, upon which Ambrose would later expand in Citizen Soldiers,is how the soldiers from the democratic Allied nations rose to theoccasion and outperformed German troops thought to be invincible. Themany small stories that Ambrose collected from paratroopers, sailors,infantrymen, and civilians make the excitement, confusion, and sheerterror of D-day come alive on the page. --Robert McNamara ... Read more

Customer Reviews (324)

4-0 out of 5 stars Typical Ambrose Contribution
I'm not sure what people expect when they delve into an Ambrose work.He's not Hemingway and he never pretended to be.What he is is a darned good interviewer and recorder of history.

He has spoken to thousands of World War II veterans who were at one time in their lives reluctant to speak to anyone about their experiences.Ambrose has chronicled those memories in a series of books that represent an irreplacable history of that most crucial conflict in our history!"D-Day June 6, 1944 The Climactic Battle of World War II" takes it righful place among his other efforts.

It is inconsequential that he uses primary sources in more than one of his books.If the book's organization stalls or suffers a bit from time to time is also less important than the plethora of maps and pictures provided to give the reader a better sense of the landscape and battles.The book is fully indexed with a huge bibliography and copious notes and attributions along with a military glossary.

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in learning more about our greatest generation.Thank you, Stephen Ambrose for gathering these accounts and recollections before these stories were lost to history forever as these aging warriors passed on!

John E. Nevola
Author of The Last Jump: A Novel of World War II

4-0 out of 5 stars Star - Spangled D-Day!
This is a very patriotic account of D-Day.If one were to believe Ambrose the US forces could have done D-Day on their own.No Problem!The issue this presents is that the contributions of other allied forces tends to be marginalized.In a sense Ambrose represents the tendency for the US to take over the history and call it our own.No wonder others can get annoyed with this approach at times.

While I would call this a good read on D-Day I wouldn't venture to say its a definitive work on the subject.A far more readable and enjoyable classic is Cornelius Ryan's LONGEST DAY which far surpasses Ambrose in literary style.Ambrose attempts to be more technical, and folksy at the same time.He also plays down certain famous events in Ryan's book in order to emphasize others in his own.

Ambrose is unabashedly pro-American.The Germans were past their prime and no match for those magnificent GIs who stormed ashore.The British and Canadians had better outward appearance but were slackards.Always wanting to brew a tea before moving on to the next position!This is petty, and certainly not accurate.Again, the author reveals his own prejudice by making such remarks.

Since Ambrose credits the US with virtually winning D-Day, it comes as no surprise that most of the book centers on the Actions of US forces.About six chapters alone are dedicated to the events on Omaha.While this certainly was the crisis beach, the amount of detail related seems redundant after a while.This could have been reduced to two large chapters and been no loss to the overall work.In contrast the British and Canadians each get a slim chapter for their respective beaches.One gets the impression that Ambrose would have preferred just combining them all into one moderate sized chapter in order to get on with the American side of the story.The Germans get a few mentions here and there almost as an after-thought.

Coming out on the 50th anniversary of the D-Day events this book no doubt was considered an important contribution to the general history of the topic at that time.Ambrose was a popular historian and he was catering to a general reading public and to many US veterans who were still around.The book has merit, but falls far short of being comprehensive.For American readers this will have far more appeal than for other nationalities who may feel somewhat slighted! A better title for this work might have been D-DAY: THE US EXPERIENCE.To balance this work read Keegan's SIX ARMIES IN NORMANDY and of course Ryan's classic LONGEST DAY.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stephen Ambrose "D-Day: June 6, 1944"
This is the best account of the Normandy landing and battle for Europe that I've read.Ambrose is a great historian.His research is thorough and his writing is excellent.He makes the events leading up to the Normandy landing and the invasion of occupied Europe come alive through the use of oral histories and historical documentaries. This is a must read for anyone interested in World War II and the military history of the western world.

1-0 out of 5 stars Putting the Record Straight
Ambrose described an alleged incident on Omaha Beach in which a Captain Zappacosta threatened the British coxswain of his landing craft with a pistol in order to make him move closer inshore. Private Robert Sales, the only survivor of that landing craft has since stated that this was a complete invention. It never happened. Sales, who was angered by the allegation, challenged Ambrose in person and asked him to correct it but the writer just brushed it off. There is much more in this vein - Ambrose rarely missed an opportunity to disparage America's Allies. If this is representative of the standard of his research, then this book should be treated with extreme caution. His sections on the Anglo-Canadian contribution to D-Day are in any case lamentably brief. This is just bad history. There are many excellent works about D-Day, but this isn't one of them.

4-0 out of 5 stars An interesting book
Stephen E. Ambrose is an acclaimed author of numerous books. The book is written to inform people of what went into the battle of Normandy, France during World War II. The book is very helpful to someone that wants to know all about the battle and how the battle turned out. Ambrose goes into detail about how the different beaches were taken. The book includes accounts of different men that took part in the invasion. The book's copyright was in 1994 and the information is accurate mainly because it has first hand accounts of the men that were there. The author covers the subject matter by starting it off with talking about some of the people that he wants to thank for taking part in his book and some of the people that helped him. Ambrose lets the readers understand some of the terms that the military uses so that the reader will be able to understand what is going on. The book is very interesting and it is a read that most people will enjoy although it is not meant for children because of some of the language of the men that were there. ... Read more

5. The Wild Blue : The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944-45
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Paperback: 299 Pages (2002-05-07)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$4.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743223098
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Stephen Ambrose is the acknowledged dean of the historians of World War II in Europe. In three highly acclaimed, bestselling volumes, he has told the story of the bravery, steadfastness, and ingenuity of the ordinary young men, the citizen soldiers, who fought the enemy to a standstill -- the band of brothers who endured together.

The very young men who flew the B-24s over Germany in World War II against terrible odds were yet another exceptional band of brothers, and, in The Wild Blue, Ambrose recounts their extraordinary brand of heroism, skill, daring, and comradeship with the same vivid detail and affection. With his remarkable gift for bringing alive the action and tension of combat, Ambrose carries us along in the crowded, uncomfortable, and dangerous B-24s as their crews fought to the death through thick black smoke and deadly flak to reach their targets and destroy the German war machine.Amazon.com Review
Long before he entered politics, when he was just in his early 20s, South Dakotan George McGovern flew 35 bomber missions over Nazi-occupied Europe, earning a Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery under fire. Stephen Ambrose, the industrious historian, focuses on McGovern and the young crew of his B-24 bomber, volunteers all, in this vivid study of the air war in Europe.

Manufactured by a consortium of companies that included Ford Motor and Douglas Aircraft, the B-24 bomber, dubbed the Liberator, was designed to drop high explosives on enemy positions well behind the front lines--and especially on the German capital, Berlin. Unheated, drafty, and only lightly armored, the planes were dangerous places to be, and indeed, only 50 percent of their crews survived to the war's end. Dangerous or not, they did their job, delivering thousand-pound bombs to targets deep within Germany and Austria.

In his fast-paced narrative, Ambrose follows many other flyers (including the Tuskegee Airmen, the African American pilots who gave the B-24s essential fighter support on some of their most dangerous missions) as they brave the long odds against them, facing moments of glory and terror alike. "It would be an exaggeration to say that the B-24 won the war for the Allies," Ambrose writes. "But don't ask how they could have won the war without it." --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (168)

3-0 out of 5 stars some good chapters, some not so much
I read the first 104 of the 263 pages of the book and thought it was really a poor book.In the acknowledgments, page 9, it says "more than a few folks have asked me how I could get it written so quickly."Well, it reads like a book that was thrown together quickly.In the first three chapters, 78 pages, there must be 100 people who are briefly introduced - no way for the reader to keep track of all of them.I am glad I continued reading because the rest of the book is good (not great).

I have to admit that since I was in the Air Force for 24 years, I am more critical of the technical aspects of the writing.On page 61, he defines "dead reckoning" as "assuming position from the readings of the aircraft instruments."That is just totally inadequate and somewhat misleading.

The book makes some good points.The Army Air Force did an amazing job of growing from a small size in 1941 to very large in 1945.Partly because of this rapid growth, there were many, many fatal accidents in the training programs in the United States.35,946 airmen died in accidents (page 100).Apparently this figure includes both stateside and overseas accidental deaths, but it doesn't say.

On page 105 it says "Aerial warfare was enormously destructive but it was also absolutely decisive."There is actually a lot of debate about how decisive bombing was in World War II.Obviously, the atomic bomb was decisive in ending the war with Japan, but that is not what this statement is about.Bombing (not counting atomic bombs) did not live up to Douhet's theory until "smart bombs" were developed.As Ambrose says on page 109, "The Germans could repair damage almost as fast as Civil War troops could repair railroad tracks torn up by the enemy, and they could - and did - decentralize their industry."Later on in the book, page 246-251, there are many facts and quotes to support the claim that aerial warfare was decisive.

Starting with Chapter Six, page 153, there are many interesting anecdotes about George McGovern's crew in Italy, both in the air and on the ground.On one flight, the main landing gear on one side broke on takeoff, and McGovern made an excellent landing.Another time, the brakes lines were destroyed during the bomb run, and McGovern made a poor landing without brakes, but the crew survived.There was no way to land safely with bombs still on board the aircraft, so sometimes they jettisoned the bombs at sea.Once a bomb failed to drop, and the crew struggled on the return flight to make it fall out.Finally it fell out, and destroyed a farm house in Austria.

I recommend the book for anyone interested in the strategic bombing campaign over Europe in World War II.You will get a new appreciation for the bravery of these aviators.

3-0 out of 5 stars Looking for more
This book is a good contribution to the Second World War and the history of the B-24, but it does not fill sufficiently support the thesis the way Ambrose has with previous books he has written.I would say it is well researched, but it is common knowledge that Ambrose plagiarized this work.Despite this flaw, I believe the book has educational benefits and is worth reading but not as a stand alone on Liberators or the 8th Air Force.

2-0 out of 5 stars The George McGovern Story
I will start out by saying that I've always despised George McGovern and his liberal politics but in all honesty I have a new respect for Mr. McGovern, I still don't like his politics, but as a man he obviously had many admirable traits.
As to the book itself, the correct title should have been "Flying with George McGovern and a few other guys".Stephen Ambrose is a better author than this book would lead you to believe.I've read several of his other works so I mistakenly assumed that this book would be of similar caliber but it wasn't even close.
If you want to learn more about George McGovern this would be a useful book.If, on the other hand, you want to learn about the B-24's part in WWII, skip it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book; slightly misleading title
A lot of the previous reviewers have been entirely too critical of the book simply because it does not address all B-24 crews and just focuses on one. Still a good book, and an excellent example of leadership. If you're interested in a good book about ONE (yes, I realize only ONE) B-24 crew, and can get past the fact that it is only about ONE crew (did I emphasize it enough?) this is still going to be an enjoyable read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Ok, not the best
The book is more about George McGovern not the boys/men that flew. It is more about his life written from more of a subjective point of view rather than facts. It was ok, not totally boring and interesting at times but I have read far better WWII books. ... Read more

6. Pegasus Bridge: June 6, 1944
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Paperback: 208 Pages (1988-11-15)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$3.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671671561
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, a small detachment of British airborne troops stormed the German defense forces and paved the way for the Allied invasion of Europe. Pegasus Bridge was the first engagement of D-Day, the turning point of World War II. This gripping account of it by acclaimed author Stephen Ambrose brings to life a daring mission so crucial that, had it been unsuccessful, the entire Normandy invasion might have failed. Ambrose traces each step of the preparations over many months to the minute-by-minute excitement of the hand-to-hand confrontations on the bridge. This is a story of heroism and cowardice, kindness and brutality -- the stuff of all great adventures. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book and story
Reading Stephen Ambrose's books are like having an old friend sitting beside you telling you what happened.He was the best storyteller and historian.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Just Cause
"At a maximum, failure at Pegasus Bridge might have meant failure for the invasion as a whole, with consequences for world history too staggering to contemplate." ~Stephen E. Ambrose

Pegasus Bridge is a lesser known book by Ambrose on a lesser known battle on D-Day. It is likely lesser known to me because the British are the heroes of this story. This book tells of the British airborne troops that landed in gliders in the early hours of D-Day. They were the first to arrive on this historical day. They took over this bridge as it was a key bridge for the Nazi army. The Brits' mission was to seize the bridge to protect the Allied flanks on the beaches. If the Nazis would have been able to cross that bridge with their tanks they could have just parked on the beaches and made life a lot worse for the Allied forces. It was also a key bridge to bring the Allied forces deeper into France so they had to take it without it being destroyed.

As usual, Ambrose's writing style is superb. His account reads like a story or even a movie script. The armies on both sides had been training for two years for this very day. The Nazis had the better guns and artillery and they had already deeply entrenched themselves ready for an attack. The Brits had two key advantages: the element of surprise and a just cause. I heartily recommend this book on heroism and true grit. I have read a handful of Ambrose books and none have disappointed. I plan to eventually read them all.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Beginning of the beginning of D-Day WW II

A outstanding book!
What a first hand account of these brave men who landed 6 hours before D-Day started,
by flying over the English channel in wooden Gliders. Pegasus Bridge is still remembered
every year as the key to the D-Day success. Excellent reading for WWII historians about
a little known subject "Gliders" True Heroes!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Well done book on a tiny but vital part of Overlord
This is a well researched and well written small book about one of the smallest yet most important parts of the invasion plan, Operation Overlord. From the author's point of view, the operation was almost too smooth, as things went almost exactly according to plan. Major John Howard and Glider Pilot Jim Wallworth pulled of one the most important feats of the invasion, capturing two vital bridges on the west side of the D-Day landing area. With these bridges in British hands, the German counterattack, particularly the armored counterattack, was forced to detour many, many miles around the city of Caen, which not only slowed the attack, but exposed the German to additional devastating Allied air attacks. The book not only covers the attack, but the struggle the British glider troopers and airborne reinforcements went through to hold the bridge until British armored units showed up to reinforce them.

Jim Wallworth deserves more credit, in my opinion, than he got. Not only did he land his glider in the exact right spot, in total darkness (they landed just after midnight),he actually managed to get the nose of the glider across a barrier of barbed wire that separated the landing zone from the bridges themselves. Howard, months before, had told Wallworth that was exactly where he wanted to end-up, and Wallworth, in what Air Chief Leigh-Mallory, commander of all allied air forces on D-Day, called the greatest flying feat of the entire war, literally put the glider with 1-2 feet of the exact spot Howard wanted. By comparison, most glider pilots used in the invasion were often off-target by many miles, yet Wallworth landed exactly where he was supposed to, within a few inches!

The book reads fast, despite the detail that Ambrose puts into it. Recommended.

In a fun aside, this attack is portrayed in the movie The Longest Day. In the movie, actor Richard Todd played Major Howard. Richard Todd was actually involved in Operation Overlord and was one of the first airborne reinforcements to reach Pegasus bridge, and played a vital role in helping to hold the bridge against German attacks!

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Ambrose best effort
A small book about a small but important WW2 episode. The people in the story are real heros not made up so that makes it well worth the reading but it is not one of this authors best outings. ... Read more

7. Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Paperback: 560 Pages (1996-05-01)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$9.08
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385479662
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A dual portrait of the leader of the Oglala Sioux and the general of the U.S. Seventh Cavalry in 1876 cites the battle of June 25 and chronicles the sometimes striking similarities in the lives of both men. Reprint. LJ. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (59)

5-0 out of 5 stars Crazy Horse and Custer
Arrived on time and book is in excellent condition.A truly informative and interesting version of life in their times.

5-0 out of 5 stars Crazy Horse and custer
This was one of the best books by Ambrose that I have read, I really enjoyed it and could hardly put it down once I started reading it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Parallel Myth?
I believe this is one of the better books Ambrose has written.I have read and reread till the pages are falling out.Drawing comparisons to such larger than life characters as Custer and Crazy Horse is no mean feat, especially on the Crazy Horse side.

We have histories (oral traditions) of many Native Americans that have been confirmed by modern historians in many particulars.Not so Crazy Horse.During his lifetime he did not allow - as far as anyone knows - a single photograph of his likeness taken. He was not a bellicose man.He did not brag of his exploits.He left the courageous deeds of his life to be told by his contemporaries.Simply put Crazy Horse was a modest man nonetheless one of the most amazing personalities ever to inhabit the prairies of the West as was Custer.

Both men have become mythical figures and to separate the truth from the myth without degrading their spirit is a trick that Ambrose has pulled off brilliantly.

If you have an interest in Americans and American Indians of the mid to late 19th century you will undoubtedly enjoy this history and find it a special place in your library.

5-0 out of 5 stars CRAZY HORSE AND CUSTER
This excellent text truly "compares and contrasts" the worlds and lives of two very similar men.I've learned many things about the Oglala Sioux culture, ranging from their ways of child rearing to their methods of warfare.
In addition to the thorough telling of numerous steps, missteps, lucky outcomes and blunders one would expect in such a book, Stephen E. Ambrose weaves a masterful tapestry of the period studied and the men created by these times.

4-0 out of 5 stars dated but good
It was surprising to me that the author never referred to the Lakota tribe - instead it was always referred to as Sioux. I think everything else has already been touched on by other critiques. This is a must read book if you are ever planning on visiting the high plains area or want a better understanding of George Custer. ... Read more

8. Citizen Soldiers: The U. S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Paperback: 528 Pages (1998-09-24)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$5.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684848015
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In this riveting account, historian Stephen Ambrose continues where he left off in his #1 bestseller D-Day. Ambrose again follows the individual characters of this noble, brutal, and tragic war, from the high command down to the ordinary soldier, drawing on hundreds of interviews to re-create the war experience with startling clarity and immediacy. From the hedgerows of Normandy to the overrunning of Germany, Ambrose tells the real story of World War II from the perspective of the men and women who fought it.Amazon.com Review
Stephen E. Ambrose combines history and journalism to describehow American GIs battled their way to the Rhineland. He focuses on thecombat experiences of ordinary soldiers, as opposed to the generalswho led them, and offers a series of compelling vignettes that readlike an enterprising reporter's dispatches from the front lines. Thebook presents just enough contextual material to help readersunderstand the big picture, and includes memorable accounts of theBattle of the Bulge and other events as seen through the weary eyes ofthe men who fought in the foxholes. Highly recommended for fans ofAmbrose, as well as all readers interested in understanding the lifeof a 1940s army grunt. A sort of sequel to Ambrose's bestselling 1994book D-Day, CitizenSoldiers is more than capable of standing on its own. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (280)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazingly Addicting
Citizen Soldiers is amazing for its historical factitude and what I think is the closest perspective one could attain on World War Two without being on the front lines yourself. MUST READ!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Band of Brothers
A very readable account of the daily life and the obstacles encountered by GIs in Europe.It gave me a new understanding of the phase of the war involving the Maginot Line and Bastogne, and particularly of the attitudes that developed among the soldiers to want to just get the job done, and go home.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book by a great author
It seems that many people don't like this book, or Ambrose, for many reasons.This particular book gets attacked a bit for being "anti-British" or too "pro-American" or for not having enough real military history.I have also seen people say that Ambrose doesn't do any real research but rather compiles a bunch of stories in poor fashion.Not true.

First, the book is primarily about American Soldiers in WWII.It isn't meant to be about the allies.The words "Citizen Soldiers" are filled with meaning in the U.S.We are a country that was won by citizen soldiers, and still protected by them.THIS is what the book is about.As Ambrose states, the question in WWII was, can a country who's army grew up in the Boy Scouts defeat a country with an army that was trained from childhood in the Hitler Youth?Hitler certainly didn't think so, and that is the question this book answers in detail.

The concern that seems to anger many people is the apparant disdain for the British Commonwealth by Ambrose.Many seem to think Ambrose goes out of his way to attack them and paint them as incompetant.This is also untrue.It may be a matter of opinion that Operation Goodwood and Operation Market Garden where planned by Montgomery and were absolute disasters, but that would be hard to argue.On the contrary, almost every historical source I have seen has said they were absolute disasters.Pointing this out does not mean Ambrose hates the British.Keep in mind Ambrose has also pointed out the amazing feats accomplished by the British during the Battle of Britain, and futhermore points out the invasion of fortress Europe could have never happened had it not been for the British.

As for the historical facts and research done by Ambrose, I don't see how it could be much better.I suppose there could be more exact data within his books, but I don't care for it.It is hard to read a book that only contains dates and numbers.We want first hand accounts, which can actually be much harder to sort out to put into a book because they sometimes conflict.Ambrose has done a wonderful job of sorting through them (and Ambrose has done primary research, not just grabbing facts like a college student and writing an essay like one reveiwer said) and making sense of them.Ambrose not only uses first hand accounts but also official military history.He does an outstanding job of giving us the true story of American in Europe during WWII.For the units and dates, get a companion book and a WWII atlas and compare them with this book.That's what I do.Now you have the best of both worlds.

All in all, this is an amazing book.It does a great job of taking the war from start to finish from the perspective of the American forces.Likewise, D-Day is a similar book which discusses the preparation for and aftermath of D-Day in great detail.I enjoy the way Ambrose gets us familiar with command structures, supplies, leadership, strategies, and the general feeling during these times.I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ambrose near the top of his game
Ambrose has done several of this books and after awhile you see that he does repeat himself now and then but this is such a powerful account of the regular soldiers view of WW2 that is should be mandatory reading for all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
My son is very interested in WWII and loves Stephen Ambrose books. He loves it! ... Read more

9. Nothing Like It In the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Paperback: 432 Pages (2001-11-06)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743203178
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Nothing Like It in the World gives the account of an unprecedented feat of engineering, vision, and courage. It is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad -- the investors who risked their businesses and money; the enlightened politicians who understood its importance; the engineers and surveyors who risked, and sometimes lost, their lives; and the Irish and Chinese immigrants, the defeated Confederate soldiers, and the other laborers who did the backbreaking and dangerous work on the tracks.

The U.S. government pitted two companies -- the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads -- against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. Locomotives, rails, and spikes were shipped from the East through Panama or around South America to the West or lugged across the country to the Plains. In Ambrose's hands, this enterprise, with its huge expenditure of brainpower, muscle, and sweat, comes vibrantly to life.Amazon.com Review
Abraham Lincoln, who had worked as a riverboat pilot beforeturning to politics, knew a thing or two about the problems oftransporting goods and people from place to place. He was alsoconvinced that the United States would flourish only if its far-flungregions were linked, replacing sectional loyalties with an overarchingsense of national destiny.

Building a transcontinental railroad, writes the prolific historian StephenAmbrose, was second only to the abolition of slavery on Lincoln'spresidential agenda. Through an ambitious program of land grants andlow-interest government loans, he encouraged entrepreneurs such asCalifornia's "Big Four"--Charles Crocker, Collis Huntington, MarkHopkins, and Leland Stanford--to take on the task of stringing steelrails from ocean to ocean.The real work of doing so, of course, wason the shoulders of immigrant men and women, mostly Chinese andIrish. These often-overlooked actors and what a contemporary calledtheir "dreadful vitality" figure prominently in Ambrose's narrative,alongside the great financiers and surveyors who populate the standardtextbooks.

In the end, Ambrose writes, Lincoln's dream transformed the nation,marking "the first great triumph over time and space" and inauguratingwhat has come to be known as the American Century. DavidHaward Bain's Empire Express, whichcovers the same ground, is more substantial, but Ambrose provides aneminently readable study of a complex episode in Americanhistory. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (229)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nothing like it in the world
Excellent read. It gives a great appreciation for the railroads that we take for granted today. It tells a magnificent story of the complexity of building a railroad where there was nothing to work with or mountains to go over, through or around, and the people who believed in it and worked so hard to accomplish the task.I loved this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Train Book
Very satisfied with purchase.Fast shipping, and great condition of book.
Very educational and entertaining....

5-0 out of 5 stars Great review of history
This is a great review of history for a stretch and shows just how good engineers were in the 1800's.

4-0 out of 5 stars [...]
Nothing Like It in the World
Stephen E. Ambrose

"The men who built the transcontinental Railroad 1863 - 1869"

"Nothing Like It in the World" illustrates what an accomplishment the building of the transcontinental railroad was and what it actually symbolized.This is the story of the building of The Central Pacific and The Union Pacific Railroads and the joining of the East and West Coasts of the United States by rail.

The first major collaborative national project for the United States was the Civil War; the second was the building of The Central pacific and The Union Pacific Railroads.This project served as a model for the combining of government financing, private industry, lobbying, fraud, graft, and the accomplishment of huge endeavors by the United States.A real mix of what was a prelude to government and industry today.

Abraham Lincoln and General Grenville M. Dodge were two of the most influential figures in the beginning and building of the Union Pacific.Lincoln was a nationally renowned railroad lawyer (and, of course a future President) who believed strongly that the two coasts needed to be united by a railroad.Dodge was a future Civil War hero who spent much of the war building and repairing railroads for the Union Army.

Leland Stanford, Collis P. Huntington, Charles Crocker and Mark Hopkins were the "Big Four" from the West Coast who laid out their personal fortunes (and risked them) to get the Central Pacific built.

Dodge became Chief Engineer for the Union Pacific and applied military organization to the building of that railroad.He hired many Civil War veterans (officers and enlisted) and ran the company like an army.Military protocol, a huge supply of men available after the end of the Civil War and government backing were major reasons they were able to accomplish their mission.

The Central Pacific would have to blast 13 tunnels through granite before it was over and it all had to be done by hand.The largest tunnel near Donner Pass was 1,659 feet long.They worked in 20 man crews in eight hour shifts 24 hours a day.Three of the men would work at once, one holding the drill, and two swinging 18 pound sledge hammers until the hole was large enough to insert the powder and then ignite it.It was not a refined operation and resulted in many accidents and people being maimed.With this method they were able to penetrate the granite anywhere between six and 12 inches every 24 hours.

The brutal manual labor performed by these Chinese, Mormons, Irish, and ex-soldiers (both Union and Confederate) is described in great detail by Mr. Ambrose.

Before the joining of the two railroads, it took months and cost over [...] to travel from one coast to the other.Within one week of the final spike being driven at Promontory Summit in the Utah Territory folks were making the trip in seven days for as little as [...] for a first class ticket and [...] for third class.Also, remember that while the railroad was being built, telegraph lines were being installed for instant coast to coast communication for the first time.This not only sounded the death knell for the pony express, it opened communications, trade, family visitations, migration, and a host of other opportunities for much more of the population.

Also, what is noteworthy is that for all of the talk of the government bonds being a gift or bad deal, that is simply not true.The bonds were 30 year bonds and by 1899 the government had received [...] on an initial loan of [...].Not a bad deal.

There are many other notable precedents and major lasting effects of this project, but too many to mention in this venue.I would recommend that you read the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Informative, Readeable, Imperfect
Historian Stephen Ambrose provides a nicely readable look at one of the greatest engineering feats of all time - building the U.S. transcontinental railroad.Ambrose begins in the 1850's when the railroad was a dream of visionaries like Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln.Readers see that the nation was united in its desire to build a railroad to California, but bitterly divided over the locale of its eastern terminus (Chicago or New Orleans) and how it would effect the then-burning issue of slavery.Readers also see how the railroad was spurred onward by the Civil War, as Southern Congressional opposition vanished with secession.It also helped that after preserving the Union and abolition, President Lincoln's biggest goal was building a cross-country railroad.Ambrose shows how construction was financed by a combination of government funds, private investment, and shrewd California sharpies (Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington, etc.).We follow the path-finders as they dodge hostile Indians and other dangers to survey the best route through the Rockies.Ambrose doesn't forget the laborers, chiefly Irish and Chinese immigrants with a superb capacity for hard and often dangerous work. We come to know these rought-hewn workers, as they dig, hammer, and blast their way through obstacles, often laying several miles of track daily.We see them building through obstacles like the Sierra Nevada mountains with a combination of blasting powder, tunnels, and ceaseless labor.Then it's a dual race eastward and westward to Promontory Summit in Utah, where the last spike was driven in May of 1869 - spurring celebrations throughout the nation and even in Europe.

Historian Stephen Ambrose (1936-2002) was probably best known for his readable war histories that featured many gripping first-person accounts.This book is also worthy but not flawless.Ambrose is occasionally repetitive, he curtly dismisses the Plains Indians who saw the iron horse as a threat, and it seems incredible that the prose states before the Battle of Antietam General McClellan's orders were found by Lee's soldiers (it was the other way around).Also, the book could use more maps and some diagrams to compliment the descriptions.Still, this is an informative and exciting read.
... Read more

10. To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Paperback: 288 Pages (2003-10-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$3.43
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743252128
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Completed shortly before Ambrose's untimely death, To America is a very personal look at our nation's history through the eyes of one of the twentieth century's most influential historians.

Ambrose roams the country's history, praising the men and women who made it exceptional. He considers Jefferson and Washington, who were progressive thinkers (while living a contradiction as slaveholders), and celebrates Lincoln and Roosevelt. He recounts Andrew Jackson's stunning defeat of a superior British force in the battle of New Orleans with aragtag army in the War of 1812. He brings to life Lewis and Clark's grueling journey across the wilderness and the building of the railroad that joined the nation coast to coast. Taking swings at political correctness, as well as his own early biases, Ambrose grapples with the country's historic sins of racism; its ill treatment of Native Americans; and its tragic errors such as the war in Vietnam, which he ardently opposed. He contrasts the modern presidencies of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, and Johnson. He considers women's and civil rights, immigration, philanthropy, and nation building. Most powerfully, in this final volume, Ambrose offers an accolade to the historian's mighty calling.Amazon.com Review
"I am a storyteller by training and inclination," writes the late Stephen Ambrose in To America, his final book. And what a storyteller. One of the most respected and popular historians of his era, Ambrose had a passion for making the events of the past both relevant and entertaining. In these pages, he touches on many of the subjects that he devoted his career to, including presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, the journey of Lewis and Clark, the building of the transcontinental railroad, and the citizen soldiers of World War II. He also writes about his own personal story and his role as a historian. In detailing a family camping trip to Wounded Knee (an outing which directly led to his dual biography of Crazy Horse and George Armstrong Custer) or offering tips on vivid historical writing (keep your narration in chronological order; keep the reader guessing; and never use the passive voice), he shares what it is like to reflect upon the triumphs and mistakes of the past and why it is so important to pass those stories on to the next generation.

In this brief yet satisfying book, Ambrose moves seamlessly from one topic to the next with contagious enthusiasm and unapologetic optimism. Along the way he points out the inherent absurdity of political correctness, and even takes himself to task for past biases and for sometimes failing to consider his subjects within the context of their own times and not his own. He does not shy away from writing about America's sins, both past and present, but Ambrose's undying faith in his country and his fellow citizens is inspiring. --Shawn Carkonen ... Read more

Customer Reviews (64)

3-0 out of 5 stars Ambrose's last effort, should not be the first book you read from him.
To America", was Ambrose's very last effort, but it should not be the first book you read from him. My favorite American historian tossed me a little zinger from the grave (Master Steve... no disrespect intended!). I assumed, from his dust jacket, that this was a tribute collection of his favorite moments in history told in sequence. I've always had a pipe dream to do just that; line up all my favorite historical books (like little dominoes) and kick-off a chain reaction rolling forward through time. The first half of his book filled the bill and broke some new ground for me. For example, he went out of his way to dispel several false myths about our American heritage. However, by the second half of the book, sodden Steven, had dropped his veil and introduced some personal life history. To his credit, most of his family cameos ran in quasi context to the story line. Ambrose then ended his book (his very last) with a little, feisty rant... some GI Joe flag waving and an appeal to "Tear Down Those Dams!" Don't get me wrong, this book is a gift to the students of Ambrose, it offers a rare personal glimpse into a man revered for his tightfisted history. Reflecting on his life's work, it occurs to me, Ambrose loved what I love; Outdoor Adventure Stories, The Founding Fathers, WW2, America in the 30's and History in general. His books consistently exhibited a rare gift for clarity, brevity and beauty. In addition, his signature style always packed a little punch with a side of panache. His last effort, a loose romp across American history, might be the only book that ran astray. "To America," is a bittersweet send up from a master story teller and an old sly hat. I won't have to miss Ambrose, because he left behind his books. What a clever immortal man!

4-0 out of 5 stars A Peek Behind the Curtain
Before his untimely death from lung cancer in 2002, Stephen Ambrose had achieved a rare success ... that of a serious historian who also became popular to mainstream readers.This book, "To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian", was his final book, and serves as a capstone to his long and prolific career.As a historian, Mr. Ambrose took great care to be fair to his subjects and to let the facts speak for themselves rather than impose his own spin on history.For example, although he had been a staunch critic of Richard Nixon, he was persuaded to write Nixon's biography, which resulted in a massive 3-volume effort that many feel to be an extremely balanced and accurate assessment of this complex president.

In this book, Mr. Ambrose offers his own thoughts on significant American personalities and events, gives some behind-the-scenes information on his life and on most of his books, and expresses the view that political correctness has distorted how historical events are viewed and taught.

While the book is interesting and informative in its own regard, it's basically Mr. Ambrose's memoir, so it's best suited for people who have read his works and want to know more about his views and about the man himself.I highly recommend this book to that audience.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting...but too triumphalist in parts
I found this to be an interesting read, but it is the first S. Ambrose book i've consumed (I own 5 more of his still to read) and I have considerable trepidation about my being able to enjoy those unread works by Ambrose.

Ambrose states in TO AMERICA that American soldiers in WW2 were the only army which had a sense of "right and wrong".They fought to end the evil of Nazism in the European theatre.

Hmmm.....I have a problem with that.

WW2 in Europe began on 1 September 1939.Nazi aggression, attrocities and evil were in clear evidence from that date. Britain and its dominions (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India) fought Hitler from that date. The USA stood aside as the Luftwaffe bombed cities flat and sank hundreds of merchantmen in the Atlantic. Britain and its empire did the "right" thing. The USA wouldn't take sides: wouldn't fight evil ...until Germany declared war on America on 9 december 1941, 2 years and 3 months after the European war began.

The European war & Nazi evil didn't begin only on the day Hitler declared war on America. If Hitler hadn't declared war on America, then there is no doubt that America would never have been involved in the European war.So much for knowing right from wrong and being foremost in fighting evil.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Exclamation Point On A Wonderful Career
Context.Whether it be significant historical subjects or the evolution of his career, Ambrose understood it better than any other contemporary popular writer of history.The recent trend in academia has moved from highlighting the flaws of early American subjects to striking them from the curriculum altogether.Ambrose correctly points out that no human could survive such scrutiny, particularly when they are removed from the social and cultural norms of their times.

The passage with the University of Wisconsin history professor perfectly illustrated this mindset.She taught American Political Thought and had decided to eliminate the writings of Thomas Jefferson while presenting "God Is Red." The history club crowd cheered her decision.

I read Ambros's books out of chronological order.When I finally got around to Crazy Horse and Custer (one of his earlier works) there were several passages that I found curious - particularly his harsh criticism of several individuals involved while justifying the horrific acts of others.And then in "To America" he provided the explanation for the difference in tone...his personal evolution as a writer and historian.He became less judgmental and more attune to motivation, state of mind, and context.

It was this growth that allowed him to make history personal, meaningful. Relevant.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great Cliff Notes of American History- and the best explanation of Vietnam I have ever read
Stephen Ambrose is a great historian, and I have read "Nothing like it.."(panama canal), "Undaunted courage"(Lewis/clark) and the WWII Books.If you did not read them you would get the gist of them with this book.The chapter on Vietnam(20+ pages) covering Ho Chi Mihn's involvement in WWII(on our side), Diem bien Pheu(French), Eisenhower, Pleiku, Tonkin, Tet and all these other names that whirled around my head as a teenager(too young for Vietnam) put it all together in such a way that I now realize the importance and will try to honor the sacrifice more than maybe I have).Thanks for everything Mr. Ambrose ... Read more

11. The VICTORS : Eisenhower and His Boys: The Men of World War II
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Paperback: 400 Pages (1999-10-28)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$2.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0684856298
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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From America's preeminent military historian, Stephen E. Ambrose, comes a brilliant telling of World War II in Europe, from D-Day, June 6, 1944, to the end, eleven months later, on May 7, 1945. The author himself drew this authoritative narrative account from his five acclaimed books about that conflict, to yield what has been called "the best single-volume history of the war that most of us will ever read."Amazon.com Review
The Victors is like a compilation of StephenE. Ambrose's greatest hits, drawing heavily from his biography ofGeneral Dwight D. Eisenhower and several military histories thatrecount the events of the Allied push across the European continent in1944 and 1945 from the frontline trooper's perspective. The narrativeis vintage Ambrose, full of engaging yet workmanlike prose thatconveys the epic scope of its subject while paying careful attentionto the details of the often inglorious lives of the GIs. Eisenhowerlooms large over this book, but it's the ordinary soldiers and theirexperiences who give the story real life. Readers who have alreadydipped into the Ambrose library may find sections of TheVictors redundant, but for those who want an adept overview ofwhat Ike and his men accomplished, this is a great place to start.--John J. Miller ... Read more

Customer Reviews (54)

5-0 out of 5 stars A nice narrative summary of Stephen Ambrose's WWII books
Some reviewers gave this book only one star because it repeats much of the author's previous work.In the sources section at the back of the book, Professor Ambrose makes it clear that - "In this book I've woven a narrative of the war based on the books I have written ..." and "Where necessary and appropriate I've provided bridges between sections taken from other books." Thus, if you have read all of Professor Ambrose's other books on WWII you will find the same material, but presented in a single narrative of WWII.For those who have not read all of his WWII books, or want a narrative summary of them, I think that this is a 5 star book.I have read some of his books and it was 5-star for me.I enjoy his writing and now I want to read the WWII books of his that I have missed.

Professor Ambrose writes interview-based history, creating a history that treats WWII from the perspective of those who managed and fought it.At one extreme was Eisenhower and the pressures that he worked under, on the other was an allied soldier in a foxhole enduring hardships that are almost beyond belief.Professor Ambrose makes all of this come alive and in doing so gives a vivid picture of the allied ground soldier.(In spite of the title this is not about "Men of WWII", since it does not cover any of the fighting in the Pacific, in Russia or Eastern Europe, or any part of the Air or Naval War not immediately related to the ground fighting.)

I have read quite a bit about WWII, but I still found out many new facts of which I was unaware.For instance, Professor Ambrose makes it clear why Omaha beach had to be taken, in spite of the fact that it was an obvious landing zone and known to be well defended.He explains why US soldiers were so unprepared for the winter weather of 1944.Most of all, he puts the efforts of the allied soldier perspective and makes it very clear that it was not just a preponderance of material and manpower that resulted in the allied victory. In many instances (for instance at Omaha beach and in the initial phases of the Battle of the Bulge) it was Germany that had local superiority in both men and material, and yet the allied soldier held on and eventually prevailed.The brutal nature of WWII ground fighting in Europe is drawn in clear and vivid detail, and while this is not the most comprehensive view of the fighting in Western Europe, it is one of the most gut wrenching and inspiring.Ambrose makes one understand what it was like to be on the front lines and why a relative few allied soldiers bore the brunt of the fighting.He highlights the heroism of captains on down to the lower ranks, in contrast to some higher-ranking officers who tended to avoid the front lines.Being an official Eisenhower biographer he would be expected to paint a very flattering portrait of him, and while generally very favorable he does not shy away from pointing out Eisenhower's mistakes and deficiencies, as well as those of other American and British commanders.

This book serves as a very good narrative summary of many of Professor Ambrose's WWII books and I recommend it to those who want to know more about WWII in Western Europe and to those who like well-written and engrossing military histories.Even those who have read his previous books may find this summary worthwhile, but they are forwarded that it is not a "new" book, just an excellent collage of previous ones.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book! Very annotated/highly recommend/prompt shipping
A point of view seldom seen: the kids in the field who had to grow up very quickly. With a strong sense of duty and honor they lived up to their moniker, The Greatest Generation.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not the best, but a good read nonetheless
Unlike his other works, DDay, Band of Brothers and Citizen Soldiers, which cover specific elements of the European theater, The Victors tries to cover the period from DDay through the fall of Germany.As always, Ambrose demonstrated why he was one of the best story tellers.Unfortunately, as his preface pointed out, this was put together from the research he had done on his other books.

If you are familiar with the three books mentioned in above, you will find a lot of overlap.I am sure he did some more original research for this, but the overall premise is very similar.

The over-arching theme of the Victors is that the allied success was due to the flexibility of the US troops, in particular the LTs and other NCO's, and the regular soldiers.Their determination and ability to adapt to the changing situations on the ground, the antithesis of the Germans, was what helped carry the war in the favor of the allies.He also spends the beginning of the book on Eisenhower.Ike is the other piece of the puzzle that, despite some mistakes and flaws, he credits with putting together the largest military campaign in history - Operation Overlord.

The only real criticism I would have is that the story line was somewhat disjointed.Stories are told seemingly for the sake of telling them, rather than having a real purpose.But I can overlook that since there is a lot of first person accounts that give the war a very human touch.And the stories you read about, make it very worthwhile.

Aside from that, it was an entertaining read, just like all of his other books.His admiration for the courage of that generation is clear.And his talent for telling a story certainly shines through.If you are interested in more detail, I would recommend reading DDay, Citizen Soldiers and Band of Brothers first.If you are simply looking to pass the time on the train, as I was, you will find the time passing along much more quickly.

I purchased the book at the Newark Penn Station Bookstore.I recommend the bookstore and the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Victors
From the very beginning of the book I was enticed.I thought it was very well written and an enjoyable read.It includes stories and things I would have never expected.I thought the relationship between Marshall and Eisenhower was most interesting.I had not learned much about Marshall and Eisenhower's personalities.They were opposites yet worked very well together.Their relationship was based on trust. It is inspirational to hear of all that our soldiers went through during World War II.As someone looking back it helped me to better understand what went on and what the soldiers experienced first hand.I thought "The Victors" was a wonderful book and spanned over a good period of time.I would highly recommend it to others as a World War II informative book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fighting in the cold
This covers the European theater from D day to the end.
The futile battles of the Hurtgen forest are documented. A waste of men for nothing. We gave up our advantages of air power and tanks to fight in an impenatrable forest.
What struck me over and over, was what the men fighting endured.
The supply situation was what is was always in the military. Those in the rear get the gear. Those doing the fighting get the remains.
In the battle of the Hurtgen forest, during a visit by Ike, a company of Rangers complained to Ike about the lack of cold weather gear. He got the Rangers cold weather gear, but not the other thousands of men doing the fighting.
The same applied in the battle of the Bulge. The people in the rear out of the line of fire had waterproof, warm boots, and huge overcoats to keep warm. Those doing the fighting had summer uniforms, leather boots, and had to fight without benefit of fire to keep them warm, or get their food warm. The result was thousands of men with trench foot. The men went hungry a lot of the time due to impassible roads, so food supplies could not be brought up.
The men who endured this were heros.
Ike was the first to realize what Hitler was up to when the Battle of the Bulge started, and got Patton moving on a counterattack plan immediately, which succeeded.
Thanks to Steve Ambrose, the suffering of the men who did the fightingis documented. ... Read more

12. Currahee!: A Screaming Eagle at Normandy
by Donald R. Burgett
Mass Market Paperback: 202 Pages (2000-09-12)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440236304
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Seven days in hell

In June 1944, the Allies launched a massive amphibious invasion against Nazi-held France. But under the cover of darkness, a new breed of fighting man leapt from airplanes through a bullet-stitched, tracer-lit sky to go behind German lines. These were the Screaming Eagles of the newly formed 101st Airborne Division. Their job was to strike terror into the Nazi defenders, delay reinforcements, and kill any enemy soldiers they met. In the next seven days, the men of the 101st fought some of the most ferocious close-quarter combat in all of World War II.

Now Donald R. Burgett looks back at the nonstop, nightmarish fighting across body-strewn fields, over enemy-held hedgerows, through blown-out towns and devastated forests. This harrowing you-are-there chronicle captures a baptism by fire of a young Private Burgett, his comrades, and a new air-mobile fighting force that would become a legend of war.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (75)

5-0 out of 5 stars 101st Airborne - WW II
Excellent, excellent book on the 101st Airborne Division and their exploits during WWII.Brilliantly written and fantastically described by one who was actually there!

3-0 out of 5 stars Not too bad...
This book is written in common language and easy to read.Some parts seem a little far-fetched, though.Over all it is still a good read for WWII or paratrooper buffs.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
Donald R. Burgett has produced four excellent works concerning his experiences while a member of Col. Bob Sink's 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the fabled 101st Airborne Division. His details of his experiences of training and jumping into battle at Normandy put you right in the thick of his experiences. His graphic descriptions of what he saw, smelled, tasted and felt will bring you right into this environment like no other book I've read. The action comes fast and this is a book that you can't put down and will read from chapter to chapter and then be disappointed when you finish the book if you don't have his next work about Operation Market garden,The Road to Arnhem.

I recommend all of Burgett's books about his experiences and the humble man who wrote them. This is a must read for WWII history fans and 101st Airborne fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Favorite WWII book
The easiest 5 star review. Some books are high on the romance of WWII and others are notable for their maps and pictures and inspired text. The book is a treasure in how it describes the training and execution of the author's Normandy experience efficiently, accurately, and without pretense. You'll be amazed at the author's ability to be alternatively ruthless and humane, and the randomness and unpredictable nature of the fighting. There will be times reading this book you will be both amazed and horrified. But after you put it down and it all sinks in you will have a deep appreciation for the heroic efforts in Normandy.

Burgett doesn't attempt to resolve the outcome of every little thing he witnessed. He doesn't try and summarize overall war strategy. Instead, the book recounts the events as they transpired with only minimal additional observations. The effect for the reader is getting a real feeling for combat.

This book has also stood the test of time. It was "Band of Brothers" before Band of Brothers, but without the sentimentality. It is also very accurate historically, which is amazing for a first-person account in such confusing circumstances.

The only criticism I can muster is the title, "Curahee!" seems somehwat inapporpriate since Burgett did not actually train at Currahee.

I've read a fair number of books in this genre. This book is the best of its kind.

5-0 out of 5 stars Searing battle account!
I'd meant to skip this one, thinking that `Seven Roads' might stand as representative of all Burgett's books but then my mum found this for me at a church fete, so here it is after all. I'm glad too as this is a war account in every respect. A lot of men die and Burgett is very lucky to avoid death in training and in battle. I think of it like this. If you have a thousand men, split into groups of ten, each of whom draw straws to select a winner. Then you take all the winners, regroup them and put them through the same process and then put the new winners through again, you get a sense of how Burgett survived. Also as fantasy writer David Gemmell wrote, among all warriors there are princes (in terms of their skill/luck etc), and then amongst the princes there are kings. To me men like Burgett were a bit like this. Men who were lucky but who also made there own luck by being quicker and more deadly than their enemies. He himself is astonished at how he continued to survive when so many others died.

This is Burgett's first book and it covers his training as well as his fighting in Normandy. Maybe it's partly to do with the 1960s layout but at times this seemed more like a lurid fictional work than a memoir, something like a Commando comic or an episode of `Combat'. Again authenticity doesn't seem in question. Perhaps it's because this book was published in the 60s, it reflects the war writing styles of the day. I recall reading that Webster's book was knocked back by many publishers as they were seeking more sensational, fictional type war accounts. Perhaps these influenced Burgett. Perhaps it's also to do with the fact that Burgett simply killed a lot of Germans. He was in an especially target rich environment but no one else has written of so many specific instances. Indeed, taking into account an episode where he is temporary on a machine gun, I think he surpasses James Megallasin total `kills'- and that's just in this one battle! He doesn't reflect too much on this though. He really is a hard man in this respect. His training and hunting experience simply makes him a very deadly soldier indeed.

There are quite a few jaw-drop moments too. The one where he sought, though ultimately was dissuaded by intense machine gun fire, a unique and particularly ghoulish souvenir was almost unbelievable. There is another, where several dozen prisoners are forced to march up a road to discourage German machine gunners from firing is also very jarring. For several reasons, I'd almost be inclined not to believe it, except Burgett has seeming established his bona-fides. Aside from his ongoing naming of the others who were with him, several of his experiences have been quoted in other books on the battle, for instance, the one with the two Germans horribly injured by artillery fire. On this, there are several very graphic descriptions of battle injuries that are quite astonishing. These are the sort of things people want to forget but as Burgett himself writes - how could you? Burgett has an eye for such things and his descriptions are vivid and blunt and not for the faint hearted.

This is more war book than memoir if that makes any sense. Bizarrely, having been on the hunt for an account that really lets go in terms of killing, now I've found one, it's left me a bit squeamish. I have only praise for the author's candour however. In terms of explicit combat this book is on a par with Sledge's `With the Old Breed'. Very highly recommended.
... Read more

13. The Supreme Commander: The War Years of Dwight D. Eisenhower
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Paperback: 732 Pages (1999-11-01)
list price: US$28.00 -- used & new: US$8.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578062063
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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In North Africa, on the beaches at Normandy, and in the Battle of the Bulge, Dwight David Eisenhower proved himself as one of the world's greatest military leaders. Faced with conciliating or disagreeing with such stormy figures as Churchill, Roosevelt, and DeGaulle, and generals like Montgomery and Patton, General Eisenhower showed himself to be as skillful a diplomat as he was a strategist.

Stephen E. Ambrose, associate editor of the General's official papers, analyzes his subject's decisions in The Supreme Commander, which Doubleday first published in 1970. Throughout the book Ambrose traces the steady development of Eisenhower's generalcy--from its dramatic beginnings through his time at the top post of Allied command.

The New York Times Book Review said of The Supreme Commander, "It is Mr. Ambrose's special triumph that he has been able to fight through the memoranda, the directives, plans, reports, and official self-serving pieties of the World War II establishment to uncover the idiosyncratic people at its center. ... General Dwight Eisenhower comes remarkably alive. ...[Ambrose's] angle of sight is so fresh and lively that one reads as if one did not know what was coming next. It is better than that: One does know what's coming next--not only the winning of a war but the making of a general--but the interest is in seeing how."

This study of Eisenhower's role in the world's biggest war is absorbing as reading and invaluable as a reference.

Stephen E. Ambrose was Director Emeritus of the Eisenhower Center, Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans, and president of the National D- Day Museum. He was the author of many books, most recently The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation: From the Louisana Purchase to Today. His compilation of 1,400 oral histories from American veterans and authorship of over 20 books established him as one of the foremost historians of the Second World War in Europe. He died October 13, 2002, in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars More than expected
This was a hefty book I put off for a long time due to its size. I thought 670 pages had to be excessive as a biography of only one person over a period of only 4 years. It was. This was much more than merely a biography. This was an excellent birds-eye view of the entire course of American involvement in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Europe in WWII. It was a very good and often surprising account of the war.

Although I enjoy war books that include perspectives of the soldiers in the line, too narrow a focus leaves out the context. Likewise, leaving out the experience of the people doing the fighting, the killing, the bleeding and the dying gives a less-than-complete story. Of course, at the end of the day, no single book--no number of books no matter how large--will transmit the totality of the thing. Still, the very best, I feel, transition from command to front-line and back and achieve a balance. I think Rick Atkinson's Army at Dawn and Day of Battle are great examples. This book, though still excellent, did not address the soldiers' experiences (though Ambrose's "Citizen Soldiers" is one of my all time favorites and does very well at that.)

So this one did give a great view of the war, but it was very much, even sometimes disturbingly, separated and isolated from the horror and suffering of those giving their lives to execute the decisions made at AFHQ and SHAEF. It was often chilling but, I think, realistic, to see the depersonalized processes of directing war at high levels; the disconnect between that and the intimacy of the act of taking a man's life face-to-face was a real and unvarnished aspect of this account of war.

Ambrose was an advocate for Eisenhower throughout, but of course all biographers tend to err on the side of serving the subject as their "relationship" with their subject develops through their writing and research. Ambrose's bias is not bold or blind--he does acknowledge mistakes and counter-arguments--but it is at least visible enough that the reader does not have to wonder and guess at how the author's bias is entering his work. It's better that way sometimes, so that you can account for the bias rather than having to wonder.

All in all this was a very worthwhile read despite its length, and its length contributed to a very satisfying feeling at having finished it. I average about 3 to 7 days for a typical nonfiction war book 300-500 pages. This one took me 14 days exactly.

Overall, this was excellent, but not among the very very best, though Ambrose has certainly delivered many that make that cut.

5-0 out of 5 stars The gold standard
Some might say Ambrose is the poor man's William Manchester. Certainly American Caesar, Manchester on MacArthur in the Pacific, is perhaps a better book. Better perhaps because of its more fascinating subject. Or better because of its more personal tone. MacArthur was certainly a poseur and so the Pacific campaign was often just all about him. And that gets us to the crux of the matter - bizarre as it may seem, this is not really a book about Ike. Or perhaps it is, in that Ike was there, but he was not really there. Someone once wrote that all men have in them a wild red dog, that once let out they become dangerous, but also capable of true greatness, or true evil. What stops most or at least many from letting that dog out is ambition. What drives a proud capable man to write a carefully crafted flattering letter of apology to a superior? Ambition. What drives us to keep our mouth shut at a crucial time? Ditto. Ike was so ambitious that he didn't see the title of Supreme Commander, Allied Forces as the pinnacle of his career, and he was right. So, the prototype of the modern politician, Ike the General here is the master deal maker, compromise maker, a fairly pro-Anglo American general running the Anglo-American coalition. By the fact that he was willing to say or do almost anything to keep the coalition, and thus his own reputation and future prospects, alive - amd that he succeeded, handsomely at times - is testimony to how shut up that wild dog was.

Thus is a long read, and often, especially with the rather prosaic Ambrose style, quite dull. But don't let that put you off! Once you have slogged through the prologue and rather turgid Italian campaign - why were the allies in Italy? Answer: because they were in North Africa. Why were they in North Africa? Something about promising Stalin they would attack somewhere in 1943 - what a great reason! - you start to appreciate this long journey on into France with Patton, Bradley and Monty et al. Ambrose, Ike's official biographer, who met him personally near the end of his life, is about as pro his subject as it is possible to be. Perhaps Ike's steadiness rubbed off as Ambrose also manages to give most of the Allied commanders a fair shake (or benefit of the doubt, if you like). So, little intrigue, a long, complex campaign - if you aren't a huge fan of Ike, and I wasn't right off the bat, you will come away with a certain appreciation of his talents - perhaps he was indeed the right man for the job.

5-0 out of 5 stars The real IKE
Stephen Ambrose has written some of the best WW@ history ever and this is no exception. Here we see the REAL general Eisenhower, the doubts along with the confidence, the heartaches along with the triumph. For a rare glimpse of the higest levels of command in the most important moment in the twentieth century, this is it.

3-0 out of 5 stars I Like Ike
This is one of Stephen Ambrose's first efforts after working with Dwight Eisenhower on Eisenhower's personal papers (The Supreme Commander first published in 1970).It is obvious that he was still very much infatuated by Ike's persona at this point in time.As such The Supreme Commander can tell almost as much about Stephen Ambrose as it does Dwight Eisenhower.As other reviewers noted, the criticism of Eisenhower's Hurtgen Forest campaign, the army's replacement policy, and the segregated army of WWII that appears in Ambrose's later work, Citizen Soldier, is missing in The Supreme Commander.Thus one can track Ambrose's maturing as a historian with the passage of time.

Still, even this early offering by Ambrose has his unique narrative style and helps to much to explain how a newly minted brigadier general on December 7, 1941 bypasses many more senior general officers to become a five star general of the army, and the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces, Europe by June 6, 1944.There were many general officers that had a better grasp of tactics, e.g. Patton or perhaps strategy, Alexander or Bradley but none had the understanding and patience that Eisenhower had in building and maintaining coalition forces in a prolonged conflict.He gathered able officers from all nationalities and supported the combined effort not national ambitions.This often frustrated other American generals such as George Patton but it was the course to take. He often supported and backed his commanders even other were calling for the heads - again see Patton.Eisenhower knew who he needed for ultimate victory and insisted upon having their services.

Eisenhower wasn't perfect.He made mistakes such as the deployment of forces that led to the debacle at the Kasserine Pass in North Africa, and his over confidence in December 1944 that the Germans were through and could no longer launch a major offensive.However, he learned from his mistakes and attempted to profit from them.For example turning the early diaster of the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 into an opportunity in January 1945 to squash what remained of the German Wehrmacht in the West.

All in all, a good but not perfect early effort by Stephen Ambrose and an enlightening one as it shows how he develops into one America's favorite historians of 20th century events.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ike in WWII
Ambrose edited the Eisenhower Papers project for many years and finallyturned his talents on writing a military biography of Ike. The Ike opus isinfinitely superior to Ambrose's earlier biography on Henry Halleck and hisresearch and knowledge about his subject is obvious throughout.

The only"criticism" I have is that Ambrose is blatantly biased in Ike'sfavor and makes no bones about it. The first words in his introduction are,'Dwight Eisenhower was a great and a good man," which is undoubtedlytrue, but a biographer should take more pains to disguise their ownfeelings. There is very little criticism of Ike in Ambrose's work, whichborders on the hagiography. Perhaps a bit more of Harry Truman's invectivetowards Eisenhower could have infused these pages.

Still, Ambrose is awonderful writer and his works are always fun to read and informative. Thisis an excellent look at Eisenhower in World War II, even if it is acompletely uncritical examination. ... Read more

14. Duty, Honor, Country: A History of West Point
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Paperback: 400 Pages (1999-12-01)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$13.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0801862930
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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This new paperback edition of Stephen E. Ambrose's highly regarded history of the United States Military Academy features the original foreword by Dwight D. Eisenhower and a new afterword by former West Point superintendent Andrew J. Goodpaster.

"There have been many other histories of West Point, but this is the best... From this excellent book every American will find interest and take pride in this truly national institution that has played so great a part in the building of the country." -- Historical Times

"The title of this first-rate account of the United States Military Academy is drawn from the Academy's motto... [Ambrose] follows the long gray line through history, skillfully re-creating the administrations of West Point's outstanding superintendents (Sylvanus Thayer and Douglas MacArthur), telling some amusing anecdotes about cadets 'who simply refused to conform to the West Point mold' (James McNeill Whistler and Edgar Allan Poe)." -- New York Times Book Review

"The conception of West Point, as Ambrose makes clear in his short history of the Military Academy, was immaculately Jeffersonian. It was a school to train engineers -- that most liberal, nonaristocratic, and socially useful branch of the military service -- not in order to create a corps d'élite but to provide the reservoir of military expertise which was needed if the militia ideal were to become a practical reality... Ambrose has told this story clearly and well; he is at his best in tying it to the larger context of American politics, social attitudes, and higher education." -- Journal of American History

"A welcome addition to the growing literature on military education. Ambrose covers the whole history of West Point, from the first feeble beginnings under President Jefferson down to the present. He has carefully examined both the published and unpublished sources and has rounded out the basic data with numerous interviews." -- Journal of Higher Education

Amazon.com Review
Duty, Honor, Country: the motto of the United StatesMilitary Academy has resounded for more than 200 years. StephenAmbrose charts the history of West Point from its origins in theRevolutionary War--when students attached to engineering and artilleryregiments studied the rudiments of strategy, but mostly came and wentas they pleased--to the academy's time of crisis during the VietnamWar. Ambrose's narrative centers on West Point's superintendents, theArmy officers who emphasized both tradition and innovation over theyears--men such as Sylvanus Thayer, who commanded from 1817 to 1833and who introduced customs that are still observed today; and DouglasMacArthur, who joined personal flamboyance with a deep-seatedcommitment to martial, academic, and athletic excellence. (AmongMacArthur's other contributions was his codification of the "honorsystem," a set of self-policing regulations that distinguishes WestPoint from any other nation's military colleges.) Ambrose does notgloss over the academy's less exalted moments, especially thefrictions brought on by the Civil War, when many Northerners accusedWest Point as a whole of being proslavery. Writing in an afterwordthat brings the history of the academy to the present, formersuperintendent Andrew Goodpaster confronts such matters as the honorcode scandal of 1976 and the cultural changes brought on by theadmission of women to the academy in the same year. Yet this book is afitting celebration of an institution that has been of centralimportance to the American military. Originally published in 1966, atthe start of his career, Duty, Honor, Country shows StephenAmbrose's skills as researcher and popularizer, skills that he wouldgo on to develop in such later books as Undaunted Courage andCitizenSoldiers. --Gregory McNamee ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars West Point from the inside
An insightful look into the making of a "West Point" graduate, the back bone of our Army officer corp.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Ambrose complied a great deal of information into a concise, readable, text that will give the reader a deeper insight into the country's most important military institution.

1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, Considering The Reputation Of The Source
In my opinion, this book reads like a school book report. It is a disappointment, considering the reputation of the source -- Stephen Ambrose. Maybe I expected too much because the author is well known. On the other hand, I didn't expect too much from the not well known author Norman Thomas Remick and his book "West Point", and was most pleasantly surprised. But there you are, then. It's not what you do, it's who you know that counts.

4-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
After its initial publication in the mid sixties, this book was difficult to find so I for one was delighted when it was rereleased several years ago. West Point is always an interesting subject and books on its history are always interesting to read.My only complaint was that the whole book shouldhave been completely updated given the changes that occurred between the 1960s and 1990s. However, I do recommend this book as a good starting point for anyone interested in West Point and the US military.

4-0 out of 5 stars An easy-reading history of West Point
Ambrose's 1964 history of the Military Academy is an easy flowing and enjoyable insight into many of the core traditions of West Point. Some of the early history seems dry at times, but provides a seldom seen picture ofthe politics of the early nineteenth century. As a grad, I learned much ofWP's early history that I had never known of. It was delightful to see howmuch of the culture and tradition has remained relatively unchanged over150 years. On the other hand, it was interesting to see the stark contrastthat exists in many areas of cadet and army life from then tonow.

Ambrose has organized his work in a manner that defines thedevelopmental stages of the Academy, beginning with the concept of militaryacademies as first initiated in Europe. He does an excellent job of tellingof the internal, and uniquely American, concerns about putting too muchpower into the hands of an elite military authority versus being adequatelyprepared for the defense of the new nation. Ambrose describes the ratherweak beginnings of the Academy, and takes the reader through the itsgenerational evolution. Along the way he cites many examples of how WestPoint pioneered many of the educational changes in the early Americancollegiate environment, as well as describing the contributions made bymany of the Academy grads. He intertwines his historical narrative with alook at the cultures and traditions of West Point and how they contributeto the education of the officer corps.

I would love to see Ambrose bringthis work up to date, and provide his insight as an historian into the last35 years at the academy. The current edition has been updated by thepublisher to include an afterword by General Goodpastor. Unfortunately, Ifound the General's comments to be a rather self-serving view of thechanges that have transpired since the mid-sixties, and in particular hiscomments regarding the 1970's struck me as being weak, distorted, andinaccurate. As a superintendant of West Point, the General obviously hasclose ties to many of the recent changes and can hardly be considered as anobjective oberserver. The afterword really detracts from the value ofAmbrose's work. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend this work to anyoneinterested in the early history of our republic. ... Read more

15. Ike’s Spies: Eisenhower and the Espionage Establishment
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Paperback: 368 Pages (1999-11-01)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$8.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1578062071
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Dwight D. Eisenhower's public image was that of a wide-grinning Daddy Warbucks who preferred the golf course over the cabinet room. He was perceived as a military bureaucrat who never held a combat command. A Republican sandwiched between two Democratic administrations, he lacked the political vigor of his predecessor Harry S. Truman and the star quality of his successor JFK.

Yet behind the placid image he was a sly fox who ran the most efficient espionage establishment in the world. His goal was to keep the Free World free. To do so, he fostered the growth of the CIA, overthrew governments, flew spy flights, and hatched assassination plots. At the top of the intelligence pyramid, Ike shouldered some of the greatest coups in espionage history, as well as some of its most ignominious failures.

Among Ike's successes: The "Man Who Never Was" strategem, the ULTRA-guided ambush of the German counterattack at Mortain, which opened the Allies' way to the Rhine, the 1954 overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman's government of Guatemala, Operation AJAX, which toppled Iran's Mossadegh, and the U-2 flights over Russia. But Ike can be credited likewise for miscalculations: the failure to predict the German attack during the Battle of the Bulge, the Francis Gary Powers fiasco, and the tragic and irresponsible encouragement of freedom fighters in Hungary, Indonesia, and Cuba.

In writing this revealing probe into the 1950s spy world, Stephen E. Ambrose, the author of the most acclaimed full-scale biography of Eisenhower, interviewed the president and many of his agents and had access to much previously unpublished archival material. "The story he tells," said the New York Review of Books in 1981 when the book was first published, "is one of some very low deeds done in the name of high moral principles."

Stephen E. Ambrose was Director Emeritus of the Eisenhower Center, Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans, and president of the National D- Day Museum. He was the author of many books, most recently The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation: From the Louisana Purchase to Today. His compilation of 1,400 oral histories from American veterans and authorship of over 20 books established him as one of the foremost historians of the Second World War in Europe. He died October 13, 2002, in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Gift
This was a gift.The package came in a timely manner and the book with in excellent condition.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Companion volume to Eisenhower: The President
I enjoyed this book but it is not as well-referenced as Ambrose's Eisenhower: The President, volumes I and II.I feel it is better as a companion book to those titles.

Ambrose has done well to call out specific events during Eisenhower's military service and throughout his presidency; but without understanding a wider view of national and worldwide events, and where these events "fill the gaps" within Eisenhower's military and political timelines, it is difficult to put these events, and Ike's decision-making and influence into the correct and meaningful context.

I recommend this book for the interested reader/historian, but those looking for casual "spy stories" will not be satisfied.

5-0 out of 5 stars The essential read on the Subject
Ike has always been underestimated as an American President.Occurring as he did, during an era that to history has been seen as boring, and between essential administrations like Truman and JFK, Eisenhower has seemed to disappear to America.Here is a book that finally tells the whole story about Eisenhowers defense team and its use of espionage and covert ops to stop and roll back communism the world over.Ike was a confrontationalist, not a détente' man.This book, by the very esteemed popular Historian Mr. Ambrose, helps to convey the wide range of activities.From the planning of the Bay of Pigs to the overthrow of the Iranian and Guatemala governments Ike brought America to pinnacle of Cold War politics, daring to confront the communists in the same manner they confronted the third world, namely armed intervention.This is a wonderful account and the only one that can be found detailing Ike's covert career from WWII to 1960.
Seth J. Frantzman

3-0 out of 5 stars A Useful Account for Today's World
This book is very helpful in understanding the challenges of today's world.Intelligence is a vital requirement for three objectives:Knowing what your opponents are doing; deceiving your opponents about what you are doing; and using covert means to change or replace your opponents.

As Ambrose makes clear, Eisenhower was introduced to the world of intelligence by Winston Churchill and rapidly became fascinated with it.His chief intelligence officer Kenneth Strong, a British General, kept him remarkably informed throughout the Second World War.Ambrose argues, and he is almost certainly right, that only the combination of great intelligence about the Germans and the most successful deception plan in history made the invasion of France possible in 1944.He also notes that deception had also been brilliantly used in 1943 to convince the Germans that the allies were going to invade Sardinia or Greece rather than Sicily.The result was a reallocation of German forces to the wrong places, which weakened their forces in Sicily.

There are a lot of lessons in this book for our generation.Eisenhower valued technology and took risks to develop it.He knew how to undertake successful covert operations.For anyone who would understand the uses of intelligence in the modern world, this is a useful book. ... Read more

16. Nixon: Ruin and Recovery, 1973-1990
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Paperback: 672 Pages (1992-10)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$29.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671792083
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Watergate is a story of high drama and low skulduggery, of lies and bribes, of greed and lust for power. With access to the central characters, the public papers, and the trials transcripts, Ambrose explains how Nixon destroyed himself through a combination of arrogance and indecision, allowing a "third-rate burglary" to escalate into a scandal that overwhelmed his presidency. Within a decade and a half however, Nixon had become one of America's elder statesmen, respected internationally and at home even by those who had earlier clamoured loudest for his head. This is the story of Nixon's final fall from grace and astonishing recovery. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Title says it all.
Stephen Ambrose concludes his three volume work on Richard Nixon with a flourish.Watergate is an extremely complex and lengthy story which Ambrose details in fine detail.After the president's resignation, we are then treated to Nixon's final comback which is a sixteen year saga.

In terms of the three volume set, Ambrose does a brilliant job with this nine decade life.But let's give his subject some credit as well.Richard Nixon (love him or hate him) is one of the most fascinating individuals of the 20th century.A man of modest means who goes from U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and a two term Vice President through 1960.At that point, he is dealt with devastating defeats in a presidentail election and the 1962 Governor's race in California.Some men would be left for dead but you just can't get rid of this guy.Wins the presidency in 1968 and a crushing landslide in 1972.Serving two terms would seem to have been the crowning achievement except for a little break-in at a hotel interrupts the fairy tale ending.As mentioned in the first paragraph, he makes his final comeback to re-establish his reputation.He does all of this with a personality that would seem to be an antithesis of a politician (moody, no close friends, distrust of people, awkward in social situations.)

I read the entire three volume set (almost 2,000 pages) this summer and I am not sure if I will ever read about a subject so interesting done by such an outstanding writer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative
For a guy that didn't grow up during Watergate, I found the third volume in this series to be a real page turner. Ambrose does a good job of telling you what happened, why it happened, how the public saw it and all the ways Nixon tried to keep the public from seeing it all.

Ruin and Recovery is a great subtitle for this volume because Nixon truly did recover. There were a few things he never lost... his ability to guage the American people and how they felt about candidates and the ability to breakdown foreign affairs. It was good to see that in the final years of his life he was called on as an expert on both.

I'm going to say it..."I ADMIRE RICHARD NIXON." Obviously I don't admire his Presidency or his decision-making during Watergate... but... for the most part I feel he was an idealistic, patriotic person that took a bad path and ruined his place in history at least when it comes to his Presidency. He did many things that Americans should respect though and it's high time we did.

I am glad he has made a recovery in the minds of many Americans and as I read this final volume I think I saw Ambrose almost making a case for Nixon being a kinder, gentler person who should be slightly more respected in American history.

Everybody makes mistakes and true Nixon made a big one, but I think in this final volume Ambrose almost makes a personal peace with Nixon and in a way advises Americans who resented Nixon to do the same.

Really an enjoyable series of books that I would recommend to anyone willing to spend 1900 words delving into what made Nixon both good and bad as a person and politican.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stellar Work on Nixon and Watergate
To fully understand Nixon, I highly recommend first reading volumes 1 and 2 of Ambrose's work. If, however, you are more interested in the Watergate affair, this volume certainly stands on its own.

This is the final part of Ambrose's definitive three-volume biography of Nixon. The destructive tendencies wonderfully described by Ambrose in the first two volumes come to a head in Ruin & Recovery.Ambrose takes the reader through the unfolding of the mess that was Watergate.

Even though we all know the ultimate outcome will be resignation, the author manages to maintain enough tension and suspense to keep the reader engrossed.In the wake of resignation, Ambrose follows Nixon's remarkable comeback as an elder statesman.

If an affordable copy is not currently available, be patient.Because this book is out of print, it will be more expensive than you might expect, but you can find it for $20 to $30 if you look around.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well balanced with the focus on Watergate
This third volume of the Nixon series is dominated by the Watergate scandal, with Ambrose skilfully detailing how the great election victory in 1972 slowly unravelled, as the full weight of the media and Democrat-controlled Congress worked to expose the whole tawdry episode. During this era, there was also the bombing of Hanoi followed by the Vietnam ceasefire, and summits with the Soviet leadership, but Watergate overshadowed all.Ambrose makes it clear that Nixon reinvented the story over and over, and bears a large burden of blame for the predicament he found himself in.He also makes clear that this was the opportunity for Nixon's arch enemies in the media and Congress to go for blood.The descent into the nightmare of possible impeachment and eventual resignation reads like an inevitablity, that Nixon lasted till August 1974 said a lot about his tenacity and stubborness in the face of relentless adversity.

The recovery of Nixon was never fully realized, although he was an authoritative elder statesman in later years, and Ambrose shows that Nixon had regained a fair amount of respect in his later years.Since his death the left has continued to disparage and villify his legacy, but as hard as it is to defend Nixon at times, he was still a statesman to be reckoned with, and his foreign policy record, especially with his China trip, is one of distinction.The eastern establishment despised Nixon, but he did not cater to them, it was the silent majority that was his constituency.One finishes this book wondering where America would have gone had the Watergate scandal not occurred.

5-0 out of 5 stars Watergate happened in a democracy!
Stephen Ambroses third Nixon Volume : "Ruin And
Recovery" takes on into the heart and soul
of democracy.
Cynics accustomed to political scandal might
be bemused by Watergate. What was all the
hullabaloo really all about?

Ambrose puts it something like this in the book:
To the british, with their official Secrets Act, nothing
that Nixon had done seemed that out of the ordinary,
much less illegal. The Italians simply threw up their hands
at the crazy Americans. To the French. Watergate
confirmed their suspicions about the naive Americans.
In west Germany, the frequent comparison of Nixon
to Hitler by his enemies in America showed either
how little the Americans understood Hitler,
or how little they understood Nixon, or both.
Nixons friends in China, could not understand
why he just didn't shoot his critics.

But in a democracy you must play by the law,
and you must trust and have faith in the wisdom
of the election process.
Watergate was all about how these things were
violated and how american democracy proved strong
enough to recover.
Ruin and Recovery reads like a detective story,
absolutely undeniable brilliant stuff.Read more

17. Lewis & Clark: Voyage of Discovery
by Stephen E. Ambrose, Sam Abell
Hardcover: 256 Pages (2002-03)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$39.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000W6SYU
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Lewis and Clark’s Voyage of Discovery defined the American spirit like no other event of the 19th century. Now, in celebration of its bicentennial, Stephen E. Ambrose offers a refreshing look at the explorers and their legendary journey in this IMAX® bicentennial edition of Lewis & Clark: Voyage of Discovery. In a new illustrated introduction, Ambrose talks about the making of the film and its significance in commemorating and documenting the expedition, and the land it crossed, 200 years later. Voyage of Discovery is an exceptional work of history and photography that National Geographic is proud to feature in coordination with the National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council and their celebration of 2003-2006.

Changed by time but timeless in its inspiration, the Lewis and Clark Trail comes to life through Stephen E. Ambrose’s inspired narrative, rich commentary, personal selections from the explorers’s journals, and an accompaniment of stunning new photographs that exhibit the undying beauty of the American West. National Geographic photographer Sam Abell presents an array of compelling modern images from the Missouri to the Pacific Coast that offset rare historic photos, art, and maps—some sketched by Lewis and Clark themselves.

Amazon.com Review
In his preface, Stephen E. Ambrose describes the expedition ofLewis and Clark across the North American continent and back (from May1804 to December 1806) as "the greatest camping trip of all time, andthe greatest hunting trip. And one of the greatest scientificexpeditions ever."It's a trip that Ambrose and his family oftenemulate, camping in the same lands the expedition first encounterednearly two centuries before them. In 1997, he was accompanied byNational Geographic photographer Sam Abell. Some of thesestunning pictures lead off the account of the journey presented here,and then pepper the second half of the book, which is also filled withperiod illustrations and maps. Ambrose has told the story of Lewis andClark before, in the bestselling Undaunted Courage;the version he tells in Voyage of Discovery is shorter, but isalso filled with his own contemporary reflections upon the men and thelands they traveled. This coffee-table book will delight lovers ofhistory and nature alike, and may well inspire you to pack up yourgear and hit the trail. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars great book
Stephen Ambrose added a lot to the Lewis & Clark literature.
Undaunted Courage is a must read for L&C enthusiasts.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lewis and Clark: Voyage of Discovery
This was so interesting and beautifully filmed.I learned alot from it. Jeri Hartman

4-0 out of 5 stars A good overall Lewis & Clark Book
Good photos, although I would have liked to have seen more that were site-specific and tied directly to the text.Ambrose writes well, as usual.Very enjoyable read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Very good in some ways, very Stephen Ambrose in some ways
The historical account is great for the most part, but I have two complaints.

The first is that, as one other reviewer notes, Ambrose injects himself and his family too much into the narrative. Jumping from past to present is bad enough if not necessary, but doing so for "look at me" reasons is worse.

Then again, it is Stephen Ambrose, and it's not totally surprising.

The book does also have some degree of the "American triumphalism" view of history that's par from him.

And, the treatment of the various Indian tribes in the context of their times, while decent, was nothing fantastic.

The pictures are indeed great. Of course, you can find many of the same from other great photographers, or from other National Geographic books.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome man
This is like the Journey of Lewis and clark man. It is totally cool. The author tells about their journey as he himself moves along their path. There are totally cool pictures of western america, The book is totally awesome dude!! ... Read more

18. Nixon, Vol. 2: The Triumph of a Politician 1962-1972
by Stephen E. Ambrose
 Paperback: 736 Pages (1990-10-15)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$84.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671725068
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The author begins this volume on election day in 1962 when Richard Nixon, defeated in his bid for the California governorship, retired from political life. But staging one of the greatest political comebacks in American history, on November 6, 1968, Richard Nixon achieved the ultimate triumph and was elected president of the US. With the help of Henry Kissinger, Nixon opened relations with China, established detente with the USSR and withdrew troops from the bloody stalemate in Vietnam - yet in preparing for the 1972 election, he had begun sowing the seeds of his own destruction in the maelstrom the country would soon refer to as "Watergate". ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nixon at his height of power
Richard Nixon between the years of 1962 - 1972 is ten years worth of a trip to both ends of the success-failure spectrum.Beginning with his loss of the California's governor's race in 1962, he uses the next six years to strategize his presidential victory in 1968, his battles with the Vietnam issue, and then back to the top with an overwhelming victory in the 1972 race.All of this presented in 662 pages by Stephen Ambrose who does a wonderful job in putting down on paper and making it a great read.Personally, I do not have a huge interest in the details of the Vietnam War but Ambrose does a good job in keeping it clear and interesting.

5-0 out of 5 stars An easy to read and insightful biography of Nixon since 1962
Ambrose manages to be an historian who can accumulate many facts and make them clear and logical. He has an excellent style which makes it hard to put the book down. His description of Nixon'srelationship with Henry Kissinger is worth the price of the book. It shows his personality and that of Kissinger better than the dozens of newspaper aricles I have read over the years.

4-0 out of 5 stars The least interesting of the 3 part series
This is the weakest of the 3-part series... probably because Nixon wasn't that great of a President. He didn't achieve anything of note so there really isn't anything for Ambrose to tell up until Watergate. By far, the most interesting aspect of the second volume is Nixon's relationship with Kissinger and his mastery of foreign affairs.

I think Nixon had some good ideas, but didn't have the political clout to pull it off. Instead, he spent his political clout making himself look better than he actually was. That doesn't look good when viewed through the writings of an historian like Ambrose.

While this is the weakest of the three, it still is worthy of your time. I would suggest you check it out at the library though to save yourself about 50 bucks.

It is a good bridge to the third book which is nearly as good as the first volume of this series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hard to find, but a great read
If you are like me, you found Ambrose's first volume at a used book store or online for a reasonable price. Now you are looking for volume 2 and experiencing sticker shock.Don't worry, if you are patient, you can obtain a copy of this book at a reasonable price. Check Amazon and other online sites regularly and you'll eventually obtain a good reading copy for $30 - $50 dollars. And while the final volume is also hard to find, it's more abundant that the second.

Now to the book.Ambrose provides a fair look at Nixon. He points out both his great strengths and weaknesses.The seeds of Nixon's destruction are evident throughout this book. In fact, Watergate itself occurs in this volume.The scandal occurs in the final volume.

If you wish to learn about Nixon and politics in the post World War II era, you'll be hard pressed to find a better source than Ambrose's three volumes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good bio / bad man
The American political system at its worst! This view of Nixon reveals a despicable man, doing whatever he could do to discredit his opponents, manipulate whoever he could, lie, and cheat to get elected. Hard-working, brilliant, but disgusting. Nixon even tried to undermine peace attempts in Vietnam just before the 1968 election. All that said, the incumbent president wasn't much better, as those peace attempts were really lies propagated by the LBJ administration to influence the election in Humphrey's favor. The 1968 campaign was absolutely horrid and unforgivable. What was different between Nixon and LBJ is Nixon's paranoia and vindictiveness.

It's interesting how Ike never really endorses Nixon, even when his grandson married Nixon's daughter. Finally, from his hospital bed Ike endorses him before the 1968 election, but even then it was lukewarm. Ambrose - who wrote an Eisenhower biography as well - contrasted the two. He says Ike loved life and loved people, while Nixon was distrustful of people, and gave in to hate. Ike brought people together; Nixon tore people apart. Ambrose cites a diary entry from Ike's secretary during Ike's administration: "The Vice President [Nixon] seems more like someone acting like a nice man more than a nice man".

The author commented how much different the Nixon administration may have been had Nixon had his first choice - Bob Finch, a genuine nice person - as his running mate. As it was Nixon surrounded himself with clones, all vindictive and paranoid. All fed his paranoia and anger and goaded his wrath. Their daily orders - delivered via comments in the margins of Nixon's daily news summaries - were very telling (and extremely interesting).

Nixon's foreign policy accomplishments - the settlement with North Vietnam, the opening to China and détente with the Russians - were indeed exceptional. But could these events have happened sooner had Nixon not circumvented his own State department in order to increase the histrionics and guarantee the credit for himself? Also, regarding the China and Russian initiatives, the author poses an interesting rhetorical question - who could have done it but Nixon, since he did not have to deal with a Nixon critic!

This is the middle book of a Nixon trilogy, so you don't get the childhood and Congressional years, or "Nixon in winter", but you get to know the man, and it is depressing. ... Read more

19. Rise to Globalism
by Stephen Ambrose, Douglas Brinkley
Paperback: 480 Pages (1998-01-01)
list price: US$8.00 -- used & new: US$5.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140268316
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This is a classic survey of US foreign policy from 1938 to President Clinton's second term, now fully revised. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

3-0 out of 5 stars Too bad they updated it!
This is a solid book, for all the reasons given by other reviewers, but I really wish they hadn't brought in Douglas Brinkley to update it. I hope that Brinkley's work here is not indicative of his other work, because the last part of this book--the part, I'm assuming, he is most responsible for, is pretty sloppy. One gets the sense that it was written hastily and without much care. Here's a particularly egregious sentence: "Why a country as powerful as the United States did not take the lead in curbing the world's pollution was deemed by global environmentalists as unconscionable." Wow. You should be embarrassed, Mr. Brinkley.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good foreign policy overview
This is a good survey of American foreign policy since 1938. It can be dry at times since it is dealing with policy but I highly recommend it. Stephen E. Ambrose co-wrote it so you know it must be pretty good. I recommend this because many Americans now adays don't really know much about America's foreign policy and how we became a hegemonic power. If you are interested in American foreign policy since 1938, then this is the book for you.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good book up until the author switch
This book started out really well.Ambrose did a good job of laying out the history of America's global relations.Like a good historian he pointed out the facts of what happened.He gave credit where credit was due but also gave appropriate criticisms.Yes it is easy to look back and criticize but he did so evenhandedly so that students could learn.

Somewhere in the book the tone changed decidedly.Instead of pointing out what was good and what was bad about the presidents and their policies the book started taking on a definent slant.Where one would have at least expected some criticism of Carter you got only defense. At one point the author's only justification for Carter not being all that bad was that Nixon was bad too.This sounds like playground logic if I ever heard it.

I went through the book and found something out that I did not know when I purchased it.Rather than two authors collaborating on one piece the actually wrote separate parts of the book.Originally written by Ambrose the book was later revised by Brinkley who obviously is nowhere near the historian that Ambrose was.A good historian can turn their personal feelings aside and look at things objectively, Brinkley is not one of them.

The book was five stars up to the Nixon years when Ambrose was clearly writing.0 stars are attributed to the op-ed portion that marks Brinkley's contribution.

3-0 out of 5 stars history lite
mr. ambrose has always been an easy target.he's overextended they say.well, after reading this pile of words, i'd reduce ambrose to a decent intro to the topic.if you'd like an overview of events during america's rise to superpower status, flip through these pages and consider his editorials lightly.the events are indisputable and his spin is helpful.ambrose is like water on a paper towel.give this book to young students who express interest in american foreign policy during the 20th century.if they indicate an interest, start pursuing other tomes, written by legitimate historians well-versed in their subjects.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't Put It Down!
Ambrose's writing is so fluid and exciting that the book reads more like a novel than a history book.A great read. ... Read more

20. Americans at War
by Stephen E. Ambrose
Paperback: 272 Pages (1998-10-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$3.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0425165108
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Stephen E. Ambrose, one of the foremost historians of the European theater of World War II, shares his vast knowledge of that conflict as well as the Civil War, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War in this compelling narrative about the American way of war. From Vicksburg to My Lai, Ambrose recounts the history of these wars with extensive coverage of the battlefields and believable portrayals of those involved, creating the perspective that the country's conflicts both reflect and shape American democratic society.

"Compelling." (The Indianapolis Star)

"Ambrose has the great gift of making history come alive." (The Anniston Star)

"Fascinating...insightful." (The Houston Chronicle) ... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

2-0 out of 5 stars mostly sloppy and uniformed with a few good bits
Ambrose writes in a mostly accessible style which is not a bad thing, but this book is a mish mash of different magazine pieces that have virtually nothing in common and are quite uneven in quality.Further, some of his work is just pure opinion based on almost no real scholarship, (his arguments about the bombing of japan or the cold war come to mind).For armchair historians who think they "know" alot about history, Ambrose is the man, unfortunately his unfaultering US boosterism which results in obvious, moth-worn and erroneous conclusions will not really appeal to anyone else.

4-0 out of 5 stars An American Journey Across Mars' Stage
"Americans At War" is another of Stephen Ambrose's works in which he focuses on topics and heroes which have formed the bases of prior books.Through them he tells the story saga of the American scenes on Mars' stage.Although he occassionally gets down to the common soldier, sailor and airman, this book deals largely with the leaders, consistent with Ambrose's belief that nothing is inevitable.Things happen because people make them happen.

This book begins with the siege of Vicksburg, focusing largely on Ulysses S Grant.It continues with a very unflattering consideration of George Armstrong Custer.The sections on Dwight Eisenhower's relationship with George Patton and his role in the establishment of NATO make interesting reading.Ike is depicted as playing an indispensable role in laying a firm foundation for NATO, a role which I had not previously appreciated.The story of Douglas MacArthur also holds the readers interest.

I found the section on atrocities to be particularly interesting.Ambrose skillfully contrasts those, such as Lt. Calley, who broke under pressure, with others, such as Meriwether Lewis, who did not break.

The political leadership of FDR is examined for its failure to prepare America for World War II, before recovering in preparation for D-Day.Nixon's Christmas 1972bombing of Hanoi is presented as being more directed at our reluctant South Vietnamese allies than our North Vietnamese enemies.

From individuals, Ambrose broadens the perspective to consider changes which World War II brought to Main Street America.His assessment of the Cold War, how it was fought, whether it was necessary, who won what and whether it was worth the cost lead the reader to make his own analysis.The conclusion on wars of the Twenty-First Century contain stimulating speculations, even though some of which were proven right and others wrong in the early phases War on Terrorism.

Throughout this fairly short book, Ambrose educates the readers and invites us to draw our own conclusions, without hesitating to share his conclusions with us.It is certainly a worthwhile read.

While this may not be some of Ambrose's best work, it is never-the-less very good stuff.As one reviewer pointed out, Ambrose is not only a pretty good historian, but he is an excellent teller of stories.That is a good combination.Ambrose writes popular historical books.This is good.With this collection of writings, and the many others of which he is responsible for, he has brought history to the general public, in a readable form, and not just let it molder in academic land.This is a collection of Ambrose's writings.It is not his more popular fist person interviews.This is not a collection of essays, rather, it is little bits of this and that, addressing America's fighting men and women throughout the years.He has done well here.Recommend this one highly.

2-0 out of 5 stars Mediocre and very uneven collection of military articles
This isn't really a book, or even an essay collection. Instead, thepublisher decided to put this out when Stephen Ambrose was at the height of his popularity. It's a collection of magazine articles and essays that Ambrose wrote over the course of about 30 years. Some are long and detailed (the first piece, on the Vicksburg campaign, is about 40 pages long, and 30+ years old) while others are much shorter, and some are very new. One (the piece on The Christmas bombing in Viet Nam) is a reprint from MHQ, the article there in turn excerpted from Ambrose's bio of Nixon.

For those who aren't familiar with my opinions (which is probably most of you) Ambrose isn't my favorite historian by any stretch of the imagination. He started out a conventional narrative historian and biographer, but tended to run with whichever trend or fad the historical community thought was cool that year. Crazy Horse and Custer, for instance, spends some time comparing the toilet training practices of the societies the two men grew up in, with of course the expected inferiority of white society highlighted when compared with that of Native Americans. A few years later, oral history became the watchword, and Ambrose essentially hitched his horse to that wagon for the rest of his career, writing five or six books that relied on this medium most or all of the time.

Unfortunately, here we don't even get much oral history. These writings are mostly from the pre-oral history era of Ambrose's scholarship, and the newer pieces focus on historical pieces as opposed to oral history ones. As a result, we get opinions on such topics as George Custer (whom Ambrose despises; anyone who read Crazy Horse and Custer already knows that), MacArthur, Grant, Eisenhower (of course), and various other figures and topics from American military history. Some of the pieces are now essentially useless: one titled "The Cold War in Perspective" is so out of date now as to be a waste of one's time to read.

That leaves us with some Ambrose opinions (many of them uninformed, at best) and a few pieces of good writing that cover topics you could probably find other material on. I wouldn't recommend this book to much of anyone, though there are a few pieces in it that someone might find worthwhile.

5-0 out of 5 stars well-written history is always a pleasure.
Ambrose was a prolific military historian and this book is a re-print of 15 articles he had published in various magazines over the years. Most are short and full of insight. The only one that I found tedious was the first one, concerning the Battle of Vicksburg in the Civil War - an irony for me considering that I love to study the Civil War.

The articles about Eisenhower were particularly of interest to me - prior to this book I had a pretty low opinion of the man (a grandpa president who played golf throughout his 8 years of presidency) but Ambrose portrayed him in a different light and now I want to read more about him.

Very readable, very informative book. Well-written history is always a pleasure. ... Read more

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