Books by Stephen E. Ambrose

Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"Not the first choice among the many new books on the subject. (Fiction. 12+)"
Though Lewis and Clark and several others kept journals on the famous 1803 journey, this is not one of them. Read full book review >
TO AMERICA by Stephen E. Ambrose
Released: Nov. 25, 2002

"Useful enough to Ambrose's many diehard fans. General readers will find this hurried collection less than compelling."
A blend of memoir, canned book-talks, and synopses by the prolific historian. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 21, 2001

"Much nostalgia and admiration; very little analysis; virtually no censure."
Another paean to the "greatest generation" of young Americans, this time focusing on the B-24 bomber crews—with special attention to the crew of the Dakota Queen, piloted by future US Senator and 1972 presidential candidate George McGovern. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2001

"Too bad. (Nonfiction. 9-12)"
In what is plainly a packager's distillation of far better work by the noted historian, what should have been exciting and heart-stirring—thanks to strong photographs—is reduced to a hop, skip, and a jump due to a weak text. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 6, 2000

"A master historian and writer takes on another pivotal epoch in American history."
Acclaimed historian Ambrose (Comrades, 1999, etc.) takes on one of the biggest and most influential engineering projects in American history—the building of the transcontinental railroad. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1999

"Not Ambrose's finest hour."
A disappointingly sentimental celebration of male friendship that reveals almost nothing about the emotional lives of men. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 2, 1998

"Meticulously researched and characteristically well told. A compelling and heartfelt tribute to the GI."
Revisiting ground covered previously in his superb Citizen Soldiers (1997) and other works about the climactic European campaigns of 1944—45, distinguished historian Ambrose (Undaunted Courage, 1996, etc.) tells the story of the conquest of Nazism by an array of American, English, and Canadian kids led by the plain-spoken Dwight Eisenhower. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"With remarkable immediacy and clarity, as though he had trained a telescopic lens on the battlefields, Ambrose offers a stirring portrayal of the terror and courage experienced by men at war."
A worthy sequel to Ambrose's 1994 D-Day. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 15, 1996

"A fascinating glimpse of a pristine, vanished America and the beginning of the great and tragic conquest of the West."
In a splendid retelling of a great story, Ambrose chronicles Lewis and Clark's epic 1803-06 journey across the continent and back. Read full book review >
Released: June 6, 1994

"A brilliant account that blends perfectly the human and the strategic dimensions of this great battle."
A splendid, moving, and authoritative account of the most decisive day of WW II by Ambrose (History/Univ. of New Orleans), whose massive biographies of Eisenhower and Nixon have won widespread praise. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1992

"Hard-nosed, yet ultimately a celebration of grace under pressure in 'the Good War.'"
With his multivolume biographies of Eisenhower and Nixon now complete, Ambrose (History/Univ. of New Orleans) returns to military affairs (Pegasus Bridge, 1985, etc.) with this spirited account of one of the Army's crack WW II units. Read full book review >
NIXON by Stephen E. Ambrose
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

"An adroit retelling of how Nixon plunged into his political black hole—and why, like Lady Macbeth's 'damned spot,' and despite his carefully orchestrated comeback, his role in the Watergate cover-up can never be obliterated."
Foreign policy master, political brawler, family man, loner, tragic hero, criminal, elder statesman, eternal conniver—Richard Nixon plays all of these roles in the final installment of Ambrose's fascinating three-volume biography (1987, 1989) of the ex-President. Read full book review >
NIXON by Stephen E. Ambrose
Released: Oct. 19, 1989

"A thorough but uninspired account of Nixon's middle years."
The second of three installments in an ambitious biography of one of the century's most perplexing and beguiling politicians. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1987

"Masterful biography."
Early in this massive biography, Ambrose makes the ironic statement that, at 25, Nixon was considered to be so honest, scrupulous, and upright that had he opened a used-car lot, his peers would have flocked to buy cars from him. Read full book review >
PEGASUS BRIDGE by Stephen E. Ambrose
Released: March 25, 1985

"Ambrose is little given to dramatizing, and he apologizes for superlatives: recounted close-in, with soldierly affability and snap, the facts don't need embellishment."
The recent, deglorifying accounts of D-Day and after (John Keegan, Max Hastings) left untouched the repute of the British Sixth Airborne Division—one unit of which, the gliderborne troops of Major John Howard's D Company, made the first, crucial Normandy landing. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 28, 1984

"But the book is markedly short of common sense, accuracy, and coherence."
The first volume of Ambrose's biography of Eisenhower, chiefly on his military career, at least benefited from Ambrose's familiarity with military affairs and his earlier writing on Ike's wartime and postwar roles; if routine, it held together. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1983

"A curious formulation, but one that will likely appeal—as the book will—to others who feel as Ambrose does."
At its most obvious, this is the first half of a rather bland biography of Eisenhower—partly from primary sources, but adding nothing consequential to the record—by a practiced hand and staunch admirer: to Ambrose, Eisenhower was "a great and good man," "one of the great captains of military history," and "one of the most successful presidents of the twentieth century." Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1983

"Some future biographer will be grateful for the authors' interview-materials—for present readers, they've been used too earnestly and unimaginatively."
A showcase, in effect, for the attractive personality and deep-held convictions of octogenarian Milton Eisenhower—with little of the zest, acumen, or substantive interest of his memoir The President Is Calling. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 16, 1980

"While the WW II section will serve for some purposes, the treatment of the presidential years is apologetic in tone and verges on palace, not critical, history."
A review of Eisenhower's use of intelligence resources and covert operations—first as Supreme Allied Commander in World War II, then as president—which, though variously flawed, does demonstrate a vital linkage between the two: because of his wartime experience, Ike was ready and willing, come the Cold War, to apply covert action by the CIA to any international problem, especially in the Third World. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 17, 1975

"Ambrose is the sort of hearty writer who expresses approval with the phrase 'damned good' and apparently still believes in a manifest destiny which exonerates."
With the centennial of Custer's Last Stand at the Little Big Horn less than a year away, it's likely that we'll have to cope with more than one book on the protagonists. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1973

"In light of Ambrose's evaluation of Eisenhower's negative political acumen, it would be interesting to see how he views the Presidential Ike, but this is an engaging portrait of a man whose easygoing personality and unassuming devotion to duty Ambrose admires and successfully communicates."
Ambrose was an editor of Dwight Eisenhower's collected military papers (The War Years, 1970) and thus is amply qualified for this informal assessment of his long, undramatic but deserved rise to command of a long, dogged, ultimately successful European campaign. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 25, 1970

"Within the limits of this treatment, Ambrose has produced a fine account of the American and Allied war effort in Europe, factually detailed but personally involving."
Stephen Ambrose elected to describe the war years of General Eisenhower from Eisenhower's own frame of reference, an approach which is valid for a biographical study and effectively executed here, but is certainly not without its drawbacks. Read full book review >