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9780743429900

ISBN: 9780743429900

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Band of Brothers

by Stephen E. Ambrose

Category: History / General
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 17 September 2001
Number of pages: 336

Description:
They fought on Utah Beach, in Arnhem, Bastogne, the Bulge; they spearheaded the Rhine offensive and took possession of Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden. Easy Company, 506th Airborne Division, U.S. Army, was as good a rifle company as any in the world. From their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to D-Day and victory, Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company, which kept getting the tough assignments. Easy Company was responsible for everything from parachuting into France early D-Day morning to the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. BAND OF BROTHERS is the account of the men of this remarkable unit who fought, went hungry, froze, and died, a company that took 150 percent casualties and considered the Purple Heart a badge of office. Drawing on hours of interviews with survivors as well as the soldiers' journals and letters, Stephen Ambrose tells the stories, often in the men's own words, of these American heroes.

Review:
The remarkable success of the TV series produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks will ensure that many readers are keen to sample this vivid and powerful picture of men at war. In the book that formed the basis for the series, Stephen Ambrose takes us on a tour of duty with the men of Easy Company, a US rifle company being trained for the bloody landings of D-Day. From the tough training scenes in Georgia (in which the raw recruits are honed into a crack team of soldiers) to the final costly assault on Hitler's Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgarden, we are inextricably involved in the hopes and fears of the fighting men. Utilising first-person accounts, the verisimilitude of Band of Brothers virtually leaps off the page and makes most accounts of war seemed thin-blooded indeed. While always building the narrative towards its pulse-increasing finale, the author never forgets to characterize each member of Easy Company with maximum vividness: in each tautly orchestrated set piece, the tension is ratcheted up not so much by the bursts of action as by our knowledge of the individual personalities of the men of Easy Company. The reality is increased by the constant shoring up of the narrative with the hard facts of the encounters and a section of well-chosen photographs. Trading on the innovations of Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, the TV series was more subtle and intelligent than many earlier ventures in the genre; a few pages into Stephen Ambrose's remarkable book shows us how much it owed to the source material. (Kirkus UK)

What the papers say:
"The Times-Picayune" A valuable and fascinating record...In these pages, the reader can vicariously walk with the men of E Company, suffer and laugh with them.

Author's Biography:
Stephen E. Ambrose, leading World War II historian, was the author of numerous books on history including the Number 1 bestselling BAND OF BROTHERS, D-DAY (on which SAVING PRIVATE RYAN was based) PEGASUS BRIDGE and WILD BLUE. He is founder of the Eisenhower Center and the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. He died in 2002.

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