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Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest (Thorndike American History) Hardcover – Large Print, Sep 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 524 pages
  • Publisher: G. K. Hall & Company; Lrg edition (Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0783891520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0783891521
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.3 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,574,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Stephen Ambrose was a renowned historian and acclaimed author of more than 30 books. Among his New York Times best-sellers are: Nothing Like It in the World, Citizen Soldiers, Band of Brothers, D-Day - June 6, 1944, and Undaunted Courage.He was not only a great author, but also a captivating speaker, with the unique ability to provide insight into the future by employing his profound knowledge of the past. His stories demonstrate how leaders use trust, friendship and shared experiences to work together and thrive during conflict and change. His philosophy about keeping an audience engaged is put best in his own words: "As I sit at my computer, or stand at the podium, I think of myself as sitting around the campfire after a day on the trail, telling stories that I hope will have the members of the audience, or the readers, leaning forward just a bit, wanting to know what happens next." Dr. Ambrose was a retired Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans. He was the Director Emeritus of the Eisenhower Center in New Orleans, and the founder of the National D-Day Museum. He was also a contributing editor for the Quarterly Journal of Military History, a member of the board of directors for American Rivers, and a member of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council Board. His talents have not gone unnoticed by the film industry. Dr. Ambrose was the historical consultant for Steven Spielberg's movie Saving Private Ryan. Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks purchased the film rights to his books Citizen Soldiers and Band of Brothers to make the 13-hour HBO mini-series Band of Brothers. He has also participated in numerous national television programs, including ones for the History Channel and National Geographic.

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Amazon Review

As grippingly as any novelist, preeminent World War II historian Stephen Ambrose uses Band of Brothers to tell the horrifying, hallucinatory saga of Easy Company, whose 147 members he calls the nonpareil combat paratroopers on earth circa 1941-45. Ambrose takes us along on Easy Company's trip from gruelling basic training to Utah Beach on D-day, where a dozen of them turned German cannons into dynamited ruins resembling "half-peeled bananas", on to the Battle of the Bulge, the liberation of part of the Dachau concentration camp, and a large party at Hitler's "Eagle's Nest", where they drank the his (surprisingly inferior) champagne. Of Ambrose's main sources, three soldiers became rich civilians; at least eight became teachers; one became Albert Speer's jailer; one prosecuted Robert Kennedy's assassin; another became a mountain recluse; the despised, sadistic CO who first trained Easy Company (and to whose strictness many soldiers attributed their survival of the war) wound up a suicidal loner whose own sons skipped his funeral. The Easy Company survivors describe the hell and confusion of any war: the senseless death of the nicest kid in the company when a souvenir Luger goes off in his pocket; the execution of a GI by his CO for disobeying an order not to get drunk. Despite the gratuitous horrors it relates, Band of Brothers illustrates what one of Ambrose's sources calls "the secret attractions of war ... the delight in comradeship, the delight in destruction ... war as spectacle". --Tim Appelo --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

"The Times-Picayune" A valuable and fascinating record...In these pages, the reader can vicariously walk with the men of E Company, suffer and laugh with them. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Iceni Peasant on 21 July 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are not accustomed to reading books concerning military history and/or are not familiar with this stage of World War II, I'd highly recommend that you watch the BBC/HBO series first. It's very accurate to what is written in the book with good character acting to the main guys involved in Easy Company, 506th PIR of the 101st Airborne.

The book is well written, with Ambrose setting out the events of each day/engagement/battle/incident, and then using quotes and excerpts from other books and memoirs to illustrate how it was for the actual men in those incidents. A lot of the quotes are directly from interviews the author had with the various enlisted men and officers who took part in D-Day and beyond. It is stated towards the end of the book that Ambrose was in constant contact with the veterans of Easy Company and showed them drafts of the book to make comments and corrections on. So this book is pretty much the definitive history of Easy Company's part in World War II, from the birth of the company to through D-Day and then duties of Occupation in Germany etc.

The book loses one star for these down points:
It IS hard not to be in awe of what Easy Company and all the 101st achieved, but in one or two places, objectivity would have been prefered to all out adoration. If you are a Brit and have any soft spot for the achievements of the British contribution to the Allied advance in 1944, be prepared for the author to spurt out the odd punch to British forces. In a lot of places he seems to suggest that the British were blind, ignorant, and badly trained buffoons; and takes one or two unprofessional incidents to act as a general overview of British standards.

The minor sour grapes accepted, this is still a fantastic book, and there will be something on every page that will make you smile, or shock, or bring you close to tears. Every World War II enthusiast and history fan should read this book!
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83 of 86 people found the following review helpful By father2 on 31 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stephen E. Ambrose has written a very good account of the history of E-Company, which has now been turned into a major television series. I read this book in a couple of days and have to confess that it makes compelling reading. Those who have never experienced combat cannot fully understand what people like the young men that made up E-Company went through, but this account helps us to appreciate the debt we all owe to ones like Major Winters and the rest of the allied forces that defeated Nazi Germany in WWII. In an age where celebrity and hero worship are bandied around too liberally, these men show us that the real hero's are those who quietly do their job against a backdrop of constant danger and death.
One part of the book that demonstrates Ambrose's skill as a historian is the account of the attack upon Foy. This is contained in the chapter entitled: "The Breaking Point." Ambrose states: "Back in '42 the question was, Can a citizen army be trained and prepared well enough to fight Germans in a protracted campaign in Northwest Europe?" E-Company faced this test during this encounter with the Germans and the book provides the answer given by these young men to their test.
Ambrose relates events in a balanced way and is not blinded by the natural trap of accepting everything that he is told by those whose experiences make up the account. After reading this book you will be filled with an awe of the young men that fought and died to help remove the dark threat of Nazi Germany and retain the freedom that we all have enjoyed since that dangerous time. This book does not glorify the war, but simply tells it as it happened.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Upton on 13 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
Stephen Ambrose presents an account of an American paratrooper company in the Second World War. Solely focusing on Easy from beginning to end allows you to really get to know individual members how they lived and as another reviewer said gives you a real insight of stepping out into battle from beginning to end.

My first criticism of the book would be the contribution; it seems those who contributed get put forward in a hero like manner with others who sadly could not contribute sometimes getting portrayed in a very bad light at times. There are times Ambrose goes over board with praise such as Winters quipped this, Winters commanded that and everybody loved Winters. Don't get me wrong I'm not doubting what he did but there are few times in the book the author prioritizes showing Winters and co in a positive light before telling a balanced story (as there are many times often when Easy make mistakes or decisions go wrong usually which result in only a couple of lines explanation) whereas when describing the exploits of the company many more lines are rationed.
Secondly the book is written as if America won the war single handedly there is little mention of the allied troops and when it is it seems to be full of cheap shots towards the English. Ambrose portrays the English as badly trained, cowards in battle with Easy Company saving there day. Like another reviewer said although you can't question their achievements Easy were still a small cog in a very very big machine.

In general a very enjoyable book which if written with less bias showing more angles could have been a 5 star.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
Well worth a read, even if you've seen the TV series, that will provide you with more information on Easy company, and will increase your enjoyment of the TV series if, make that when, you watch it again.
You might think that the written word will not come close to the impact of the images and sound of the TV series, but with "Band of brother", for me the best of Stephen Ambrose's books, he comes very close to matching that impact. Plus, with the luxury that the written word allows, provides you with far more information on Easy Company, how the harsh training under Captain Sobel helped forge the company, and the hardships it faced, and survived, during combat.
Remember, this is not a novel, but the recollections of a group of American soldiers, who present an American view of the war. If you want to read about other nations contributions to the war, look elsewhere ("Pegasus Bridge" where Ambrose attempts to do for the British para what he did for the American with "Band Of Brothers"), but don't blame Ambrose, and don't close yourself off to this book.
If you did, you would be denying yourself an insight into what makes soldiers fight, how in even the most inhuman conditions they can maintain their humanity towards their comrade, and the hardships they suffer for us.
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