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Stephen Edward Ambrose

Born: January 10, 1936 in Lovington, Illinois
Died: October 13, 2002 in Bay St. Louis, Mo.

Pen Name: Stephen E. Ambrose

Connection to Illinois: Ambrose was born in Lovington, Illinois

Biography: Dr. Stephen Ambrose was a renowned historian and acclaimed author of more than 30 books. 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 was 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 was a retired Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans. He was the Director Emeritus of the Eisenhower Center in New Orleans, and the founder of the National D-Day Museum. He was 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.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers

Stephen Ambrose on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

Americans at war
ISBN: 0425165108 OCLC: 39970195

Berkley Books, New York : 1998.

Ambrose's vivid & compelling essays take you to the heart of America's wars, from Grant's stunning Fourth of July victory at Vicksburg, to Nixon's surprise Christmas bombing of Hanoi. Annotation. Collected here for the first time are fifteen essays that span over 100 years of American history--and the remarkable thirty-year career of America's foremost historian. Ambrose's vivid and compelling essays take you to the heart of America's wars, from Grant's stunning Fourth of July victory at Vicksburg, to Nixon's surprise Christmas bombing of Hanoi. Ambrose brings to life the ambition and charisma that led to Custer's great success in the Civil War and fateful disaster at Little Big Horn. With vivid imagery and precise commentary, he puts you on the beaches of Normandy with the common footsoldier and in the headquarters of America's great commanders, Eisenhower, Patton and MacArthur. He takes you to the trenches of the homefront, ground zero of the Atomic Bomb, and into the arsenals of the twenty-first century. Collected here for the first time are 15 essays that span over 100 years of American history--and the remarkable 30-year career of America's foremost historian. From Grant's stunning Fourth of July victory at Vicksburg to Nixon's surprise Christmas bombing of Hanoi, Ambrose takes readers into the trenches of the homefront, ground zero of the Atomic Bomb, and into the arsenals of the 21st century.

Americans at war /
ISBN: 1578060265 OCLC: 44958710

University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, Miss. : ©1997.

Examines the history of American warfare from the Civil War through Vietnam and the Cold War, looking at the experiences of both leaders and the led and how American democracy defines itself through these conflicts.

  Band of Brothers
ISBN: 9781408490433 OCLC: 764530201

BBC Audiobooks, [Place of publication not identified] : 2010.

Band of brothers :
ISBN: 0743216385 OCLC: 45862089

"They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, drawn to Airborne by the $50 monthly bonus and a desire to be better than the other guy. And at its peak -- in Holland and the Ardennes -- Easy Company was as good a rifle company as any in the world. From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, Stephen E. Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable group. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments. They parachuted into France early D-Day morning and knocked out a battery of four 105 mm cannon looking down Utah Beach; they parachuted into Holland during the Arnhem campaign; they were the Battered Bastards of the Bastion of Bastogne, brought in to hold the line, although surrounded, in the Battle of the Bulge; and then they spearheaded the counteroffensive. Finally, they captured Hitler's Bavarian outpost, his Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. They were rough-and-ready guys, battered by the Depression, mistrustful and suspicious. They drank too much French wine, looted too many German cameras and watches, and fought too often with other GIs. But in training and combat they learned selflessness and found the closest brotherhood they ever knew. They discovered that in war, men who loved life would give their lives for them. This is the story of the men who fought, of the martinet they hated who trained them well, and of the captain they loved who led them. E Company was a company of men who went hungry, froze, and died for each other, a company that took 150 percent casualties, a company where the Purple Heart was not a medal -- it was a badge of office." -- Book jacket.

Citizen soldiers :
ISBN: 0684815257 OCLC: 37201388

Includes maps indicating the Normandy Beachhead expansion, July 1-24, 1944; the pursuit to the Siegfried Line, Aug. 26-Sept. 14, 1944; the Ardennes Campaign, Dec. 16-25, 1944, Dec. 26, 1944-Jan. 16 1945, and Jan. 17-Feb. 7, 1945; the Battle of the Rhineland, Feb. 8-Mar. 28, 1945; and the drive to the Elbe, Apr. 4-May 7, 1945.

Citizen soldiers :
ISBN: 0743450159 OCLC: 48932491

Pocket, London : 2002, ©1997.

Comrades :
ISBN: 0743200748 OCLC: 41231372

Simon & Schuster, New York : ©1999.

The author explores male friendships, including those between brothers, fathers and sons, soldiers and more.

Crazy Horse and Custer :
ISBN: 0385479662 OCLC: 34080090

Anchor Books, New York : 1996.

On the sparkling morning of June 25, 1876, 611 men of the United States 7th Cavalry rode toward the banks of the Little Bighorn in the Montana Territory, where 3,000 Indians stood waiting for battle. The lives of two great warriors would soon be forever linked throughout history: Crazy Horse, leader of the Oglala Sioux, and General George Armstrong Custer. Both were men of aggression and supreme courage. Both became leaders in their societies at very early ages; both were stripped of power, in disgrace, and worked to earn back the respect of their people. Their parallel lives would pave the way, in a manner unknown to either, for an inevitable clash between two nations fighting for possession of the open prairie.

Crazy Horse and Custer :
ISBN: 0743468643 OCLC: 56457497

Pocket, London : 2003, ©1975.

On June 25, 1876, 611 men of the United States 7th Cavalry rode towards the banks of the Little Bighorn where three thousand Indians stood waiting for battle. The lives of two great war leaders would soon become forever linked: Crazy Horse, leader of the Oglala Sioux, and General George Armstrong Custer. This masterly dual biography tells the epic story of the lives of these two men: both were fighters of legendary daring, both became honoured leaders in their societies when still astonishingly young, and both died when close to the supreme political heights. Yet they - like the nations they represented - were as different as day and night. Custer had won his spurs in the American Civil War; his watchword was 'To promotion - or death!' and his restless ambition characterized a white nation in search of expansion and progress. Crazy Horse fought for a nomadic way of life fast yielding before the buffalo-hunters and the incursions of the white man. The Great Plains of North America provided the stage - and the prize.

D-Day, June 6, 1944 :
ISBN: 068480137X OCLC: 29357128

Simon & Schuster, New York : ©1994.

On the basis of 1,400 oral histories from the men who were there, Eisenhower biographer and World War II historian Stephen E. Ambrose reveals for the first time anywhere that the intricate plan for the invasion of France in June 1944, had to be abandoned before the first shot was fired. The true story of D-Day, as Ambrose relates it, is about the citizen soldiers - junior officers and enlisted men - taking the initiative to act on their own to break through Hitler's Atlantic Wall when they realized that nothing was as they had been told it would be. This is a brilliant telling of the battles of Omaha and Utah beaches, based on information only now available, from American, British, Canadian, French, and German veterans, from government and private archives, from never before utilized sources on the home front, gathered and analyzed by the author, who has made D-Day his life work. Ambrose's first interview was with General Eisenhower in 1964, his last with paratroopers from the 101st Airborne in 1993. Called the premier American narrative and military historian, Ambrose explains the most important day of the twentieth century. The action begins at midnight, June 5/6, when the first British and American airborne troops jumped into France to launch the invasion. It ends at midnight, June 6/7. Focusing on those pivotal twenty-four hours, this is the story of individuals rather than units. It moves from the level of Supreme Commander to that of a French child, from General Omar Bradley to an American paratrooper, from Field Marshal Montgomery to a British private, from Field Marshal Rommel to a German sergeant. Ambrose covers the politics of D-Day, from Churchill's resistance to the operation to Stalin's impatience and Roosevelt's concern. On the other side were Hitler's command structure, German policy, and the plot against the Fuhrer. This is the epic victory of democracy in winner-take-all combat. When Hitler declared war on the United States, he bet that the young men brought up in the Hitler Youth would outfight the Boy Scouts. Ambrose shows how wrong he was.

Duty, honor, country :
ISBN: 0801862930 OCLC: 41924799

Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore : 1999.

Chronicles the history of the United States Military Academy.

Eisenhower /
ISBN: 0671440691 OCLC: 9556407

Simon and Schuster, New York : ©1983-©1984.

Volume 1. Soldier, general of the army, President-elect, 1890-1952. "Stephen E. Ambrose draws upon extensive sources, an unprecedented degree of scholarship, and numerous interviews with Eisenhower himself to offer the fullest, richest, most objective rendering yet of the soldier who became president. He gives us a masterly account of the European war theater and Eisenhower's magnificent leadership as Allied Supreme Commander. Ambrose's recounting of Eisenhower's presidency, the first of the Cold War, brings to life a man and a country struggling with issues as diverse as civil rights, atomic weapons, communism, and a new global role. Along the way, Ambrose follows the 34th President's relations with the people closest to him, most of all Mamie, his son John, and Kay Summersby, as well as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Harry Truman, Nixon, Dulles, Khrushchev, Joe McCarthy, and indeed, all the American and world leaders of his time. This superb interpretation of Eisenhower's life confirms Stephen Ambrose's position as one of our finest historians"

  Eisenhower /
ISBN: 0671605658 OCLC: 12575979

Simon and Schuster, New York : 1985, ©1983-©1984.

Vol. 2 covers the life and presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower from November 1952 to his death on March 28, 1968.

Eisenhower :
ISBN: 0945707398 OCLC: 244203568

American Political Biography Press, Newtown, CT : 2007.

Eisenhower :
ISBN: 0743468716 OCLC: 56468587

Pocket, London : 2003.

Eisenhower and Berlin, 1945 :
ISBN: 0393320103 OCLC: 44443263

Norton, New York : 2000.

Historian Ambrose studies the political and military aspects of Eisenhower's decision to leave Berlin to the Russian army in the waning days of the European War.

Halleck, Lincoln's Chief of Staff /
ISBN: 0807120715 OCLC: 35056231

Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge : 1996, ©1990.

Before the Civil War, Halleck was one of America's few important theorists on the higher art of war, and it was in large part due to his efforts that the doctrines of Baron Henri Jomini were widely accepted by Civil War generals.

  Ike's spies :
ISBN: 0385144938 OCLC: 6863017

Doubleday, Garden City, N.Y. : ©1981.

An account of the transformation of the wartime Office of Strategic Services into the Central Intelligence Agency and the growth of America's intelligence community.

ISBN: 0671691880 OCLC: 14414031

Simon and Schuster, New York : ©1987-©1991.

This is volume one of a biography of one of the most elusive and intriguing American political figures, Richard M. Nixon, covering his life from birth through 1962.

Nixon :
ISBN: 0671792083 OCLC: 317825290

Simon and Schuster, New York : ©1991.

Volume three of Nixon's biography. Shows Nixon's struggle to save himself from political oblivion, and provides a portrait of the older Nixon in San Clemente.

Nothing like it in the world :
ISBN: 0743203178 OCLC: 44089273

Simon & Schuster, New York : ©2000.

The account of an unprecedented feat of engineering, vision, and courage. It is the story of the men who built the transcontinental railroad-the investors who risked their businesses and money; the enlightened politicians who understood its importance; the engineers and surveyors who risked, and sometimes lost, their lives; and the Irish and Chinese immigrants, the defeated Confederate soldiers, and the other laborers who did the backbreaking and dangerous work on the tracks. The U.S. government pitted two companies, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads, against each other in a race for funding, encouraging speed over caution. At its peak, the work force approached the size of Civil War armies, with as many as 15,000 workers on each line. Nothing like this great work had ever been seen in the world when the golden spike was driven in Promontory Peak, Utah, in 1869, as the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific tracks were joined. This is the story of the brave men, the famous and the unheralded, ordinary men doing the extraordinary -- who accomplished the spectacular feat that made the continent into a nation.

Pegasus Bridge :
ISBN: 074345068X OCLC: 50434162

Pocket, London : 2003, ©1985.

D-Day before dawn. Minute by minute, hour by hour the danger grows ... In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, a small detachment of British airborne troops stormed the German defence forces and paved the way for the Allied invasion of Europe. Pegasus Bridge was the first engagement of D-Day, the turning point of World War II. This gripping account by acclaimed author Stephen E. Ambrose brings to life a daring mission so crucial that, had it been unsuccessful, the entire Normandy invasion might have failed. Ambrose traces each step of the preparations over many months to the minute-by-minute excitement of the hand-to-hand confrontations on the bridge. This is a story of heroism and cowardice, kindness and brutality - the stuff of all great adventures.

  Pegasus Bridge :
ISBN: 0671712616 OCLC: 59981684

Pocket Books, 1994.

The Holocaust and World War II almanac
ISBN: 0787650188 OCLC: 44979705

Gale Group, Detroit : ©2001.

A popular history of World War II and the Holocaust, interspersed with excerpts from historical documents, memoirs, etc., and accompanied by numerous photographs. Vol. 1 discusses, inter alia, the Nazi rise to power, the development of Nazi antisemitism, Nazi anti-Jewish policy in 1933-39, the anti-Jewish measures in occupied Poland, ghettoization, and the murder of Polish Jews. Dwells on the Warsaw ghetto and Jewish resistance. Discusses, also, the Nazi death camp system, focusing on Auschwitz. Reports on the fate of the Jews in the USSR, Denmark, the Netherlands, and France. Vol. 2 discusses rescue of Jews, the Nuremberg trials, and Holocaust remembrance. Vol. 3 contains biographies of 103 personalities, ca. 30 of them related to the history of the Holocaust.

The Supreme Commander :
ISBN: 0307946622 OCLC: 773614223

Anchor Books, New York : [2012]

Genereal Dwight D Eisenhower, the story of Ike in his finest hours as the Allies top strategist in WWII.

  The supreme commander :
ISBN: 0304938181 OCLC: 16216902

Cassell, London : 1971.

The victors :
ISBN: 068485628X OCLC: 39533921

A telling of the war in Europe, from D-Day, June 6, 1944, to the end, eleven months later, on May 7, 1945. 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.

The victors :
ISBN: 0743263669 OCLC: 59265556

Simon & Schuster, London ; 2004.

The wild blue :
ISBN: 0743223098 OCLC: 46419848

Simon & Schuster, New York : ©2001.

Includes references to George McGovern, who became a United States senator and a presidential candidate. He flew thirty-five missions (all the Army would allow) and received the Distinguished Flying Cross.

This vast land :
ISBN: 0689864485 OCLC: 52942180

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York : ©2003.

A fictional journal recounting the travels--from 1803 to 1806--of eighteen-year-old George Shannon, the youngest member of Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery, as the Corps explores the west and seeks a water route to the Pacific Ocean.

To America :
ISBN: 0743252128 OCLC: 50754782

The popular historian shares his views of his own life and on the history of America, in a series of reflections on the Founding Fathers, Native Americans, Theodore Roosevelt, World War II, civil rights, Vietnam, and the writing of history.

  Undaunted courage
ISBN: 0671574434 OCLC: 35126785

Simon & Schuster Audio, New York : ℗1996.

A chronicle of the two-and-a-half year journey of Lewis and Clark covers their relationship with Thomas Jefferson, their extreme hardships, and the contributions of Sacajawea.

Undaunted courage :
ISBN: 0684811073 OCLC: 33044492

Though primarily a biography of Meriwether Lewis, this book also provides fascinating sketches of Thomas Jefferson, William Clark, Sacagawea, & other contemporaries. From the bestselling author of the definitive book on D-Day comes the definitive book on the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time. In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies, over the mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, and back. Lewis was the perfect choice. He endured incredible hardships and saw incredible sights, including vast herds of buffalo and Indian tribes that had had no previous contact with white men. He and his partner, Captain William Clark, made the first map of the trans-Mississippi West, provided invaluable scientific data on the flora and fauna of the Louisiana Purchase territory, and established the American claim to Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Ambrose has pieced together previously unknown information about weather, terrain, and medical knowledge at the time to provide a colorful and realistic backdrop for the expedition. Lewis saw the North American continent before any other white man; Ambrose describes in detail native peoples, weather, landscape, science, everything the expedition encountered along the way, through Lewis's eyes. Lewis is supported by a rich variety of colorful characters, first of all Jefferson himself, whose interest in exploring and acquiring the American West went back thirty years. Next comes Clark, a rugged frontiersman whose love for Lewis matched Jefferson's. There are numerous Indian chiefs, and Sacagawea, the Indian girl who accompanied the expedition, along with the French-Indian hunter Drouillard, the great naturalists of Philadelphia, the French and Spanish fur traders of St. Louis, John Quincy Adams, and many more leading political, scientific, and military figures of the turn of the century. This is a book about a hero. This is a book about national unity. But it is also a tragedy. When Lewis returned to Washington in the fall of 1806, he was a national hero. But for Lewis, the expedition was a failure. Jefferson had hoped to find an all-water route to the Pacific with a short hop over the Rockies-Lewis discovered there was no such passage. Jefferson hoped the Louisiana Purchase would provide endless land to support farming-but Lewis discovered that the Great Plains were too dry. Jefferson hoped there was a river flowing from Canada into the Missouri-but Lewis reported there was no such river, and thus no U.S. claim to the Canadian prairie. Lewis discovered the Plains Indians were hostile and would block settlement and trade up the Missouri. Lewis took to drink, engaged in land speculation, piled up debts he could not pay, made jealous political enemies, and suffered severe depression. High adventure, high politics, suspense, drama, and diplomacy combine with high romance and personal tragedy to make this outstanding work of scholarship as readable as a novel.

Upton and the army /
ISBN: 0807118508 OCLC: 846496110

Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge : 1993.

On March 15, 1881, Emory Upton shot himself at the age of 41. He had been an outstanding soldier but had never received the recognition he thought was due him. This book is a sensitive and scholarly account of the career and contributions of this man who is now considered a pivotal figure in American military theory. As a commander in all three branches of the army-the infantry, artillery, and the cavalry-Upton had few equals. In the Civil War he was made a brevet major general before his 26th year. He distinguished himself at Spotsylvania, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, in Sheri.