This tender book about male friendship will probably surprise those readers who know Stephen Ambrose best for his histories of World War II and biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Born in 1936, Ambrose acknowledges in the introduction to his memoir that men of his generation do not speak or write easily about their feelings. Yet male bonding is a strong theme in all of his work, as selections from previous writings on Lewis and Clark, Richard Nixon, Crazy Horse, and General Custer that are included in Comrades
prove. What is more interesting, however, is the more personal material on Ambrose's two brothers (their youthful competitiveness mellowed into mature devotion), fellow historian Gordon Mueller ("my dearest and closest friend"), and several college buddies. After losing touch with each other during the harried years of career building and child rearing, these men rediscovered intimacy in middle age. Most moving of all is the closing chapter on Ambrose's father, an old-fashioned authority figure and disciplinarian quick to criticize his sons, but always available to sustain and guide them. The warming of that rather stern relationship is clearly one of the great joys of his son's adult life. It makes a fitting finale to a dignified but strikingly sweet memoir. --Wendy Smith
--This text refers to the
From Library Journal
Ambrose, best-known for his studies of men in battle, here addresses the subject of male friendship. Beginning with brothers (his own and Dwight and Milton Eisenhower), he also describes the friendship of Crazy Horse and He Dog as an example of friendship between nonrelations. He then gives an account of his father that is especially moving. Finally, he describes the friendship that many English and American veterans have forged with their German counterparts since 1945. This articulate and heartfelt tribute to male friendship is wonderfully read by the author; his gruff, Midwestern voice is really rather pleasant to hear. Ambrose (Band of Brothers) is at ease when reading, and this performance has a charming masculine quality to it. Libraries where Ambrose's works are in demand should at least consider this work.-Michael T. Fein, Central Valley Community Coll., Lynchburg, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.