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Stephen E. Ambrose
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A Short Stephen E. Ambrose biography

Stephen Ambrose, (January 10, 1936 - October 13, 2002) was a popular historian and biographer of Dwight Eisenhower. He had a Ph.D in History from the University of Wisconsin and taught history from 1960 until his retirement in 1995.

Ambrose was the author of numerous bestselling books about World War II, including D-Day, Citizen Soldiers and The Victors; Undaunted Courage, about Lewis and Clark; and Nothing Like It in the World, about the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. He was the founder of the Eisenhower Center and President of the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was military advisor on the movie Saving Private Ryan, and was an executive producer on the television mini-series that was based on his work, Band of Brothers.

Eisenhower chose Ambrose as his biographer after admiring his work on Halleck: Lincoln's Chief of Staff, which was based on his doctoral dissertation. The resulting Eisenhower biographies were generally enthusiastic, but contained many criticisms of the former commander in chief.

Ambrose also wrote a three-volume biography of Richard Nixon, also generally positive, but his Band of Brothers (1993) and D-Day (1994), about the lives and fates of individual soldiers in the World War II invasion catapulted him out of the ranks of academic history and into best-sellerdom.

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 is 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 is a retired Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans. He is the Director Emeritus of the Eisenhower Center in New Orleans, and the founder of the National D-Day Museum. He is 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.

Major Books of Stephen E. Ambrose covering American Politics

  • Eisenhower and Berlin, 1945: The Decision to Halt at the Elbe (1967)
  • The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, Vols. 1-5 (1967)
  • The Supreme Commander: The War Years of General Dwight D. Eisenhower (1970)
  • General Ike: Abilene to Berlin (1973)
  • Ike's Spies: Eisenhower and the Espionage Establishment (1981)
  • Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 1890-1952 (1983)
  • Eisenhower: The President (1985)
  • Eisenhower: Soldier and President (1990)
  • Eisenhower and the German POWs: Facts Against Falsehood (1992)
  • Nixon: The triumph of a Politician, 1962-1972

Pick your favorite Stephen E. Ambrose Book

  • Lewis & Clark: Voyage of Discovery
    from National Geographic.


    Customer Reviews

    I enjoyed Mr. Ambrose's story of the Lewis and Clark expedition. It's a great introduction with ample details and excerpts from their (Lewis' and Clark's) daily journals. The photographs were outstanding. I have also purchased Mr. Ambrose's "Undaunted Courage" so I can read an in depth story of the...


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  • Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Simon & Schuster.


    Customer Reviews

    As an amateur student of Thomas Jefferson and his life, the tale of the Lewis and Clark Expedition has always intrigued me. I have not found a better telling of that story than Stephen Ambrose's book, Undaunted Courage. The book provides a vivid account of early America and insight into what...


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  • Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest
    from Simon & Schuster.


    Customer Reviews

    This is an OK account of a platoon of American Airbourne soldiers, from "Boot Camp" through to the end of WW2, & beyond. For me, Ambrose has a highly jingoistic & much too "yankee doodle" view of history. He comes out with some extraordinary generalistic condemnations of whole nationalities....


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  • To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Simon & Schuster.


    Customer Reviews

    This book let me say good-bye to the greatest American historian in my generation. Mr. Ambrose will be missed. I looked forward to reading more of his future works. It's too bad I will never read his "Pacific Theater" version of Citizen Soldier. He brought the battles of WWII to life for me and...


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  • D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Touchstone Books.


    Customer Reviews

    I enjoyed this book very much despite the sins of its historiography. Like many readers I was drawn to this book after seeing "Saving Private Ryan". As a trained historian, I quickly noted many of Ambrose's flaws. The book was highly predjudiced (America great, Britain laughable, all others...


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  • The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation: From the Louisiana Purchase to Today
    By Stephen E. Ambrose, Sam Abell (Photographer), Douglas G. Brinkley from National Geographic.


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  • The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s over Germany
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Simon & Schuster.


    Customer Reviews

    I just finished "Wild Blue," and I must say it was a severe disappointment. When I heard that Mr. Ambrose was writing a book about World War II in the air, I was very excited. But, after reading "Ghost Soldiers," the story of the Bataan Death March, this book felt like it was run through a shredder...


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  • Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Touchstone Books.


    Customer Reviews

    The building of the transcontinental railroad was one of the largest efforts in modern times. It tied the Atlantica to the Pacific and enabled the settlement of the west. It dramatically changed communication, reducing both time and cost. It began the healing of the rift between North and...


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  • Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany, June 7, 1944 to May 7, 1945
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Touchstone Books.


    Customer Reviews

    Are you hunting for a World War II history book that will perfectly describe every detail that took effect? Then you have found the right book! From the horror stories of a single soldier's life to the exact performance of a Tiger tank, Citizen Soldiers just can't be beaten. Surely all the research...


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  • Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors
    By Stephen E. Ambrosefrom Anchor.


    Customer Reviews

    Stephen E. Ambrose really brings history to life in this book about Custer, Crazy Horse, and the culture of plains indians and American expansionism. Ambrose is able to elquantly put down on to paper both sides of the story without becoming bogged down in what is so popularly reffered to as...


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  • Pegasus Bridge
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Touchstone Books.


    Customer Reviews

    If you've seen "The Longest Day" you may recall the scene in which a small band of glider-borne commandos seizes a bridge and defends it until relieved by Lord Lovett and his commandos. What you may not know is that this was a singular event- the very first combat engagement of D-Day and the first...


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  • Eisenhower: Soldier and President
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Touchstone Books.


    Customer Reviews

    Dwight Eisenhower helped make Stephen Ambrose's career as a historian after reading the author's biography of the obscure Henry Halleck. Ambrose repays the debt in spades with this well written authoritative account of Eisenhower's life. This is history writing at its most readable. Ambrose portrays...


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  • D-Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II [ABRIDGED]
    from S&S audio tape. By Stephen E. Ambrose (Reader)


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  • Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938
    by Stephen E. Ambrose, Douglas Brinkley (Contributor) from Penguin USA (Paper).


    Customer Reviews

    Profs. Ambrose and Brinkley made a book about the American foreign policy since 1938. This a very courageous task, since it may be very complex to discuss it with this large time span. Said that, I think they managed that well. The book is very informative and presents a lively picture of America's...


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  • Nixon: Ruin and Recovery 1973-1990
    By Stephen E. Ambrosefrom Simon & Schuster. Note: Availability: Out of Print--Limited Availability


    Customer Reviews

    This third volume of the Nixon series is dominated by the Watergate scandal, with Ambrose skilfully detailing how the great election victory in 1972 slowly unravelled, as the full weight of the media and Democrat-controlled Congress worked to expose the whole tawdry episode. During this era, there...


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  • Comrades: Brothers, Fathers, Heroes, Sons, Pals
    By Stephen E. Ambrose, Jon Friedman (Illustrator) from Touchstone Books.


    Customer Reviews

    I picked up this book in the airport as I headed off for a 4 hour flight. I knew that given its author it would be an interesting "quick read". I had enjoyed many other books by Ambrose and looked forward to another.

    In this short compilation Ambrose explores the relationships between men as...


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  • Citizen Soldiers
    from S&S audio.


    Customer Reviews

    As a budding World War II scholar, I found this book to be one of the best I've ever read. Stephen Ambrose captures the imagination with cold, hard facts. He makes you feel what it was really like in the cold trenches of the Bulge, the frustration of the Hedgerows in Normandy, and the exuberance of...


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  • Upton and the Army
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Louisiana State University Press. Availability: This title usually ships within 2 to 3 days. Please note that special order titles occasionally go out of print, or publishers run out of stock.


    Customer Reviews

    As a student of the Civil War, I have read many books about the subject, and this one to me ranks as among the best.

    Steven Ambrose is America's best historical biographer and proves it in this outstanding study of Emory Upton, a hero of the Civil War and a brilliant tactician who was the first...


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  • The Victors: Eisenhower and His Boys: The Men of World War II
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Touchstone Books.

    From America's preeminent military historian, Stephen E. Ambrose, comes a brilliant telling of the war in Europe, from D-Day, June 6, 1944, to the end, eleven months later, on May 7, 1945. This authoritative narrative account is drawn by the author himself from his five acclaimed works about that conflict, most particularly from the definitive and comprehensive D-Day and Citizen Soldiers.

    But it is, as always with Stephen Ambrose, the ranks, the ordinary boys and men, who command his attention and his awe. The Victors tells their stories, how citizens became soldiers in the best army in the world. Ambrose draws on thousands of interviews and oral histories from government and private archives, from the high command -- Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton -- on down through officers and enlisted men, to re-create the last year of the Second World War when the Allied soldiers pushed the Germans out of France, chased them across Germany, and destroyed the Nazi regime.


    Customer Reviews

    This book is a compilation of several of Ambrose's earlier histories of Eisenhower and WWII. Having read "D-Day," I recommend his earlier books for a more thorough understanding of what went on. In reading about the drive to victory after D-Day, I, at times, felt that there were blanks to be filled...


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  • The Good Fight: How World War II Was Won
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Atheneum.


    Customer Reviews

    The rationale behind this book is great, especially given the relative ignorance of younger generations towards the recent past. Breaking up the war into manageable two-page chunks (page of text plus page of photos or maps) is also a sensible way of presenting the chronology of the war. But for a...


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  • Handbook on German Military Forces: U s War Department
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Louisiana State University Press. Availability: Out of Print--Limited Availability


    Customer Reviews

    The book is very useful on the basic knowledge of german military force. The book has much emphasis on the development of what is to come, and less on what has been utilized. It is a great resource for wwii history buffs and/or wwiionline game players.


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  • The Supreme Commander: The War Years of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from University Press of Mississippi.


    Customer Reviews

    Ambrose edited the Eisenhower Papers project for many years and finally turned his talents on writing a military biography of Ike. The Ike opus is infinitely superior to Ambrose's earlier biography on Henry Halleck and his research and knowledge about his subject is obvious throughout.

    The only...


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  • Nixon: Education of a Politician, 1913-1962
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Touchstone Books.


    Customer Reviews

    It is always interesting to understand what really motivates people. Normally it takes a good deal of psychoanalyzing, historical background, family history etc. But some people seem to elude even this. Nixon is obviously one of those people, who is really difficult to figure out....


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  • Twenty-Five Yards of War: The Extraordinary Courage of Ordinary Men in World War II
    from Hyperion.


    Customer Reviews

    This book is a easy read, filled with many many facts previously not read, and the short stories of various battles, with specific people was EXCELLENT. Best author since Ambrose I've read in years.


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  • Eisenhower and Berlin, 1945: The Decision to Halt at the Elbe
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from W.W. Norton & Company.


    Customer Reviews

    After reading Citizen Soldiers, D-Day, and Band of Brothers, I came to one conclusion. Ambrose is great at interviewing veterans and taking those interviews and making pretty good books out of them. However, he should not attempt to analyze the strategy of several generals in World War 2. Ambrose is...


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  • Nixon: The Triumph of a Politician 1962-1972 (Unabridged)
    from audible.com. Audio Download running time: 29 hours and 22 min.


    Customer Reviews

    The second volume of Ambrose's three-volume biography of Richard Nixon covers the period from Nixon's defeat in the 1962 gubernational election in California to his re-election as US President in 1972.

    In his refreshingly frank Foreward, Ambrose states that "I confess that I do not understand this...


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  • Halleck: Lincoln's Chief of Staff
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Louisiana State University Press.


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  • Duty, Honor, Country: A History of West Point
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Johns Hopkins Univ Pr.


    Customer Reviews

    Ambrose complied a great deal of information into a concise, readable, text that will give the reader a deeper insight into the country's most important military institution.


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  • Americans at War
    By Stephen E. Ambrose from Berkley Pub Group.


    Customer Reviews

    Stephen E. Ambrose has been a great huistorian of 2oth Century America and a great biographer of Eisenhower and Nixon. He has a great admirer of the American GI and has written well on this subject. He has even slipped back in time to write a great classic about the Lewis Clark expedition (Undaunted...


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  • Witness to America: An Illustrated Documentary History of the United States from the Revolution to Today
    from HarperResource.


    Customer Reviews

    I've been a huge Stephen Ambrose fan since reading his biography of Nixon years ago. This book dispays Ambrose's flair for research, and ability to make the past come alive. This time, however, rather than using his own prose to set the scene, he has compiled a collection of accounts from people who...


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  • Ike's Spies: Eisenhower and the Espionage Establishment
    from Univ Pr of Mississippi (Trd).


    Customer Reviews

    This book is very helpful in understanding the challenges of today's world. Intelligence is a vital requirement for three objectives: Knowing what your opponents are doing; deceiving your opponents about what you are doing; and using covert means to change or replace your opponents.

    As Ambrose...


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  • Stephen Ambrose Collection [ABRIDGED]
    from S&S audio tape. by Stephen E. Ambrose (Reader), Cotter Smith (Reader)


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  • Eisenhower: The President Part 1 Of 2
    from Books on Tape, Inc.. by Stephen E. Ambrose (Audio Cassette)


 


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