Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, the Man Who Led the Band of Brothers

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"They were Easy Company, 101st Army Airborne - a fighting unit whose members became legendary in the annals of World War II combat for their bravery, their ability to get the job done against nearly insurmountable odds, and their unswerving loyalty to one another in the face of death. They were more than brothers in arms. They were a family. And there was one man to whom every soldier in Easy Company looked for leadership, guidance, the embodiment of courage, and devotion to duty: Major Dick Winters." "Here, for the first time, is the compelling
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Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, the Man Who Led the Band of Brothers

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Overview

"They were Easy Company, 101st Army Airborne - a fighting unit whose members became legendary in the annals of World War II combat for their bravery, their ability to get the job done against nearly insurmountable odds, and their unswerving loyalty to one another in the face of death. They were more than brothers in arms. They were a family. And there was one man to whom every soldier in Easy Company looked for leadership, guidance, the embodiment of courage, and devotion to duty: Major Dick Winters." "Here, for the first time, is the compelling story of an ordinary man who became an extraordinary hero. Winter's childhood in the rolling farmlands of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, taught him the core values of hard work and personal integrity that guided him, leading him to enlist at the outbreak of war and volunteer for the arduous training that forged the army's new Airborne division. His natural skill as a leader in combat elevated him into the higher ranks, where he felt an increasing responsibility for the lives of his men. After the war, he gradually adjusted to civilian life, but was reactivated to duty during the Korean conflict. Yet it was only decades later that worldwide fame and recognition - which he had never sought - were thrust upon him with the publication of Stephen E. Ambrose's Band of Brothers." Including interviews with family, friends, and fellow veterans of Easy Company, and the insight and knowledge only Winters himself could provide, Biggest Brother is the life story of a man who became a soldier, a leader, and a living testament to the valor of the human spirit - and of America.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The commander of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was the subject of Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers, the HBO miniseries made from it, and now this biography from a Pennsylvania journalist. Much of the book covers the same ground as the preceding work (Winters's command from Normandy through the Battle of the Bulge), but it also covers his youth in rural Pennsylvania, the Depression-era hardships he survived and the old-fashioned work ethic that stood him in good stead when he was drafted in 1941. Promotion eventually brought Winters to the rank of major and command of the 2nd Battalion of the 506th, and he was urged to stay in the army after WWII and again during Korea. But he settled down as a successful seller of livestock feed, raised a family and at the end of the book is still alive at 87. This straightforward study of the best sort of small-unit leader-fair, judiciously rewarding merit or the lack thereof, able to deal with a wide variety of people, leading from in front-is for the dedicated only. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786278862
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Series: Thorndike Biography Ser.
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 631
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry Alexander has been a journalist and columnist for the Intelligencer Journal newspaper in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for more than a decade, winning numerous awards for excellence in journalism. He grew up on the same street in the same town as Major Dick Winters, three decades later.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 9, 2009

    Biggest Brother

    Biggest Brother is an amazing book. I enjoyed reading it and could not put it down. It is an Auto-biography that tells the life of Major Dick Winters, who led the Band of Brothers. It starts out with his life as a boy growing up in Lancaster, Pa. It tells about his family and him joining the army. Then Dick decides to join the Airborne Division. He is sent to Camp Toccoa where he is being trained to become a paratrooper. He is put into Easy Company, 2nd Battalion of the 101st Airborne. He gets shipped overseas and prepares for D-Day. As the planes fly over Normandy, Dick tells his men to prepare for the worst. Then planes begin to get shot down. Men are crying out for help because they are hit by shrapnel. Dick orders his men to jump out of the plane; he is the last one out. Once he lands and everyone else are spread across Normandy, but slowly he starts to find men he knows. After meeting up with everybody he leads a successful attack on German artillery and leads his men to more attacks. Dick Winters rises up in the ranks to Major. He led Easy Company in Market Garden to invade Holland to the harsh winter at Bastogne all the way to the end in taking Hitler's Eagle Nest. That is what makes Major Dick Winter so great. After the war he had many jobs, but started his own successful livestock business near Hershey, Pa. He is met Ethel and married her. He is now 87 years old. Tom Hanks gave Dick a call one day and said that they were going to make Band of Brothers the book into a movie. Dick and the other Easy Company soldiers travelled with the movie to watch it being made. Winters accepted the award that it won with Tom Hanks. Dick than wrote with author Larry Alexander and wrote this book. Major Dick Winters is a true American hero.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    "Biggest Brother" Brilliant

    As a fan of Band of Brothers, I was eagerly interested in reading Biggest Brother. The book guides you through the life of Major Dick Winters and how his life was affected by the war. It also shares his personal descriptions of what went on during the war through excerpts of letters he had written to a friend during that time. It is inspirational to understand his journey. I could not put it down. Best of all, the book depicts Major Winters' description of how Band of Brothers came to be when Stephan Ambrose expressed his interest. I enjoyed reading about Winters' relationships with Ambrose, Tom Hanks, and Stephan Spielberg. It showed that even after so many years, Winters still had the best interest of his men at heart.
    This is a great read for any World War II buff, and particularly enjoyable if you are familiar with Band of Brothers. You won't be disappointed!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    Great biography

    I visited an air museum recently and became interested again in World War II. This biography was wonderful and I plan to read the other Easy Company biographies soon. Reading Band of Brothers now. They were such great men.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2015

    Great read

    Great Read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    Biggest Brother

    If you enjoyed Band of Brothers buy this book and read it. It documents the experiences of Dick Winters in the the 101st in a very interesting read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2009

    nice complimentary read to band of brothers

    good companion book to band of brothers

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  • Posted October 8, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The story of a true hero a man of convictions, honor and courage.

    A great telling of the life of Major Dick Winters. Anyone who has read or saw Band of Brothers MUST read this. When all you can think of what is wrong with this country Dick Winters is one of the things that are right. If he ran for president I would vote for him hands down a true man of character and courage. A true American HERO.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2008

    Into the mind of Major Winters

    Wow. This book just got to me. Getting to understand the mind of one of the greatest minds in the war was just unbelievable! If it wasn't for this book, I'd still wonder why Winters didn't drink. The dialogue, though, seemed like it was straight out of the movie, which kind of annoyed me in a way. I could hear it in my head! ha ha ha. Definately a must read for all of those BAND OF BROTHERS buffs out there!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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