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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Upon his untimely death in October 2002, Stephen Ambrose was the nation's most popular historian. The author of books such as Band of Brothers, Nothing like it in the World, and Undaunted Courage, he produced an unparalleled string of bestsellers at a time when Americans were rediscovering history.
In this relatively slim volume that, nevertheless, covers a lot of ground, Ambrose looks back on his own career -- reviewing the historical subjects he has treated, from Crazy Horse and Custer to Eisenhower and Nixon, and examining how his opinions may have changed over the years. He also takes a long, loving look at the United States and identifies the intangible quality that differentiates it from other nations: the indomitable American spirit that has pulled the country through in difficult times.
Ambrose's history, born of optimism and reassurance, eloquently expresses the sentiments and values of mainstream America. In his last chapter, he expresses the view that the nation's foes are extremists who place no value on human life. Deeply committed to his belief that the American spirit has provided the strength to defeat past enemies and to "make the world a better place," he assures us that "it will see us through the future." A comforting message indeed, from a beloved writer. Katherine Hottinger