Americans at War

( 1 )

Overview

Ambrose's theme, the American way of war, is significant, for war indeed has delineated each era in America's turbulent history and has focused the nation's democratic perspective. Throughout, these essays encompass two large subjects. First, Ambrose is drawn to the experiences of those who have gone to war, both the leaders and the led. Second, he is intrigued by men who make big decisions -- or fail to make them. He concludes that generals alone don't win wars. Infantrymen, he believes, as well as the generals ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reissue)
$12.15
BN.com price
(Save 19%)$15.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (118) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $8.43   
  • Used (112) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Ambrose's theme, the American way of war, is significant, for war indeed has delineated each era in America's turbulent history and has focused the nation's democratic perspective. Throughout, these essays encompass two large subjects. First, Ambrose is drawn to the experiences of those who have gone to war, both the leaders and the led. Second, he is intrigued by men who make big decisions -- or fail to make them. He concludes that generals alone don't win wars. Infantrymen, he believes, as well as the generals and the intelligence officers, were responsible for the Allied victory in World War II. And although the stalwart common soldier is credited with winning America's wars, Ambrose also gives fair and empathetic examination to soldiers who break under strain.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
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With its 15 essays eight previously unpublished, the remaining published in various journals over the course of 30 years, this is a precis of a brilliant career.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.
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.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425165102
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 437,327
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.74 (d)

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.

Biography

"I was ten years old when [World War II] ended," Stephen Ambrose once said. "I thought the returning veterans were giants who had saved the world from barbarism. I still think so." Years after he first watched combat footage in the newsreels, the popular historian brought fresh attention to America's aging WWII veterans through such bestselling books as Band of Brothers, about a company of U.S. paratroopers, and The Wild Blue, about the B-24 bomber pilots who flew over Germany. Though best known for his books on World War II, Ambrose also produced multi-volume biographies of Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, a history of the building of the transcontinental railroad, and a fascinating account of the Lewis and Clark expedition across the American West.

As a young professor of history, Ambrose was one of many left-wing academics who spoke out against American involvement in the Vietnam War. Yet he revered the veterans of World War II, and he interviewed and wrote about them at a time when many of his colleagues considered military history old-fashioned. "The men I admire most are soldiers, sailors, professional military," Ambrose would later tell The Washington Post. "Way more than politicians."

He labored without much popular acclaim or academic renown until 1994, when his book D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II burst onto the bestseller lists. War heroism was suddenly a hot topic, and Ambrose's approach, which focused on the experiences of soldiers rather than the decisions of high command, was perfectly suited to a popular audience. More bestsellers followed, including Citizen Soldiers, The Victors and Undaunted Courage. Ambrose's vivid narrative accounts were devoured by readers and praised by critics. "The descriptions of individual ordeals on the bloody beach of Omaha make this book outstanding," wrote Raleigh Trevelyan in a New York Times review of D-Day.

Ambrose retired as a professor of history at the University of New Orleans in 1995, but he continued to write one or more books per year. He also founded the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans, worked with his family-owned business organizing historical tours, and served as the historical consultant for the 1998 Steven Spielberg film Saving Private Ryan. Spielberg later turned Ambrose's Band of Brothers into an HBO miniseries.

This rise to fame was accompanied by criticism from some of Ambrose's fellow historians, who charged that he could be careless in his research and editing. In early 2002, he faced accusations of plagiarism when reporters noted that a number of phrases and sentences in his books were lifted from other works. Ambrose responded that he had forgotten to place quotation marks around some quotes, but said he had footnoted all his sources. "I always thought plagiarism meant using another person's words and ideas, pretending they were your own and profiting from it. I do not do that, never have done that and never will," he wrote in a statement on his Web site.

When he was diagnosed with lung cancer a few months later, he began work on a memoir, To America. "I want to tell all the things that are right about America," he said in an interview with the Associated Press. Ambrose died in October 2002, at the age of 66.

Good To Know

Ambrose was a star football player at the University of Wisconsin and played in the Rose Bowl, according to his friend and co-author Douglas Brinkley.

As a college sophomore, Ambrose abandoned his pre-med major for history after he attended a class on "Representative Americans" taught by professor William Hesseltine.

For more than 20 years, Ambrose and his family spent their vacations traveling portions of the Lewis and Clark Trail. They canoed the Missouri and Columbia rivers, endured soaking rains and summer snowstorms, and read from the explorers' journals at night by the light of their campfires.

Ambrose named his house in Mississippi "Merry Weather," after Meriwether Lewis. His Labrador was called Pomp, after the nickname of Sacagawea's son.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Stephen Ambrose
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 10, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Whitewater, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Death:
      October 13, 2002
    2. Place of Death:
      Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Table of Contents

Introduction

Struggle for Vicksburg: The Battles and Siege that Decided the Civil War
Custer's Civil War
"Just Dumb Luck": American Entry into World War II
SIGINT: Deception and the Liberation of Western Europe
D-Day Revisited
Victory in Europe: May 1945
The Atomic Bomb and Its Consequences
General MacArthur: A Profile
A Fateful Friendship: Eisenhower and Patton
The War on the Home Front
My Lai: Atrocities in Historical Perspective
The Christmas Bombing
Eisenhower and NATO
The Cold War in Perspective
War in the Twenty-First Century

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2001

    An exceptional masterpiece

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)