Americans at War

Americans at War

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by Stephen E. Ambrose
     
 

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Perhaps no other historian has concentrated on modern America at war so strikingly as Stephen E. Ambrose. Although World War II has been the backdrop for most of his acclaimed historian's work, he writes here of America's other wars too -- the Civil War, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War. From Vicksburg to My Lai, Ambrose covers the fields of battle so

Overview

Perhaps no other historian has concentrated on modern America at war so strikingly as Stephen E. Ambrose. Although World War II has been the backdrop for most of his acclaimed historian's work, he writes here of America's other wars too -- the Civil War, Korea, Vietnam, and the Cold War. From Vicksburg to My Lai, Ambrose covers the fields of battle so authoritatively, portrays the figures and the personalities so convincingly, and recounts the history so compellingly that his reader feels present as momentous issues are considered and as decisions are made. Ranging over the many wars that have enveloped Americans and their leaders (Custer, Eisenhower, Patton, MacArthur, FDR, and Nixon), these exemplary commentaries show leadership as it is tested, confirmed, or refuted in the theater of war.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fascinating...compelling."—The Indianapolis Star

"Ambrose has the great gift of making history come alive."—Anniston Star

The Barnes & Noble Review
This collection of essays from America's premier historian looks back at the American era spanning from Grant to Nixon.
Newsweek
'If I was ever in a desperate situation,' [Ambrose'] declares, 'I would want Meriwether Lewis for my leader.' When it comes to assaying American history, one could say the same for Stephen Ambrose.
Houston Chronicle
A fascinating, insightful collection....Ambrose convinces you that you are a participant in history.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With its 15 essays (eight previously unpublished, the remaining published in various journals over the course of 30 years), this is a precis of a brilliant career. Reflecting such works as Crazy Horse and Custer, D-Day, Undaunted Courage and Eisenhower and Berlin, 1945, these essays show Ambrose as a wide-ranging writer and a historian who does his best to understand the soldiers he studies, whether through thousands of interviews or through a swim in the choppy June waters off Normandy. After the first, longest and most strictly tactical piece on Vicksburg, he moves more or less chronologically to the 21st century and the future of war. He offers three profiles, not of the men he admires most, but of three histrionic egotists -- Custer, MacArthur and Patton -- with complicated personal and martial legacies. Ambrose doesn't shy away from the most controversial subjects, but rather marshals fact and feeling in convincing argument. Take 'The Atomic Bomb and Its Consequences,' in which he contends that the atomic bomb may have saved Japanese lives by allowing the country's military leaders a face-saving way to get out of a war long lost. Without the bomb and the surrender, Japan would have been subjected to extensive conventional bombardment, and, Ambrose reminds us, the March 1945 raid on Tokyo caused more casualties than did the atomic bombs. His discussion of My Lai never gives the specifics of the 1968 massacre. But in a long accounting of Meriwether Lewis' ongoing minor skirmishes with Native Americans, Wounded Knee and other incidents, he puts My Lai into a context of terror, anger and lost control. 'My Lai,' he says, 'was not an exception or an aberration. Atrocity is a part of war that needs to be recognized and discussed.'
Booknews
A collection of essays about the leaders and the led in America's wars. Ambrose (history, University of New Orleans) looks at the accomplishments of leaders such as Custer, Eisenhower, Patton, and MacArthur. He also examines events such as the massacre at My Lai, the Christmas bombing of Hanoi in 1972, the first uses of the atomic bomb, and D-Day in their historical perspectives. Several of the essays have been published previously in various academic journals.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425165102
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/28/1998
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
685,319
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Fascinating...compelling."—The Indianapolis Star

"Ambrose has the great gift of making history come alive."—Anniston Star

Meet the Author

Stephen E. Ambrose is Director Emeritus of the Eisenhower Center, retired Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans, and president of the National D-Day Museum. He is the author of over twenty books including the bestsellers Undaunted Courage, Citizen Soldiers, and D-Day, multiple biographies of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, and his compilation of 1,400 oral histories from American veterans.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
January 10, 1936
Date of Death:
October 13, 2002
Place of Birth:
Whitewater, Wisconsin
Place of Death:
Bay St. Louis, Mississippi
Education:
B.A., University of Wisconsin; M.A., Louisiana State University, 1958; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1963

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Americans at War 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In his usual style, Ambrose has written an account of major battles in which American soldiers were involved. From Grant's astouding victory in Vicksburg, Ms to the horrible Me Lei incident , Ambrose recounts the events that happened and attempts to explain why they happened. This book is easy to read and would be appreciated by all age levels. Pay particular attention to his critique of General Custer as he attempts to differentiate the myth from the reality.