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The Victors: Eisenhower and His Boys: The Men of World War II Hardcover – November 2, 1998

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (November 2, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068485628X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684856285
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #820,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

The Victors is like a compilation of Stephen E. Ambrose's greatest hits, drawing heavily from his biography of General Dwight D. Eisenhower and several military histories that recount the events of the Allied push across the European continent in 1944 and 1945 from the frontline trooper's perspective. The narrative is vintage Ambrose, full of engaging yet workmanlike prose that conveys the epic scope of its subject while paying careful attention to the details of the often inglorious lives of the GIs. Eisenhower looms large over this book, but it's the ordinary soldiers and their experiences who give the story real life. Readers who have already dipped into the Ambrose library may find sections of The Victors redundant, but for those who want an adept overview of what Ike and his men accomplished, this is a great place to start. --John J. Miller

From Publishers Weekly

Ambrose has established himself as both a major biographer of Dwight Eisenhower and the definitive chronicler of America's combat soldiers in the D-Day campaign of 1944-45. But after Citizen Soldiers, he'd sworn off war and given away his WWII books. Then his editor convinced him to do "a book on Ike and the GIs, drawing on my previous writings"Asuch as Citizen Soldiers, D-Day and The Supreme Commander. "Alice Mayhew made me do it," Ambrose writes here. Readers familiar with Ambrose's work will find familiar set pieces, familiar anecdotes, even familiar phrases, but this is more than a clip job. It stands on its own as the story of the GIs who fought their way from Normandy's beaches and hedgerows across Europe. Few were prepared for combat against a Wehrmacht that was dangerous even in decline, and both enlisted men and officers learned through hard-earned experience. While admiring Eisenhower's character and generally affirming his performance as supreme Allied commander, Ambrose is sharply critical of such costly slugging matches as the one in the Huertgen Forest, which continued during the fall and winter of 1944 on orders from senior officers unaware of conditions in the front lines and unable to develop an alternative to frontal assault. But by the final thrust into Germany in the spring of 1945, the U.S. Army's fighting power was second to none. Once more, Ambrose does what few others do as wellAvividly portray the sacrifices and achievements of democracy's army.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

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.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#43 in Books > History
#43 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

Ambrose is one of the premier historians of the 20th century.
The author presented an good overview of major events with detailed events to cover individual actions.
Ronald M Walton
I would recommend his book to anyone interested in history and especially WWII history.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Terry Campbell on September 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another great book from Steven Ambrose which documents the allied victory over Germany. One could probably say some parts of this work are a summary of his previous accounts of WWII (Supreme Commander, Band of Brothers); however that shouldn't discourage one from reading this account. As with all Ambrose books, it is very well written, very informative, and hard to put down because there are no sections where the reader's interest lags. One should also read David Howarth's "Dawn of D-Day" to supplement this and other books concerning fighting in Europe.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By James T. King on June 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Stephen Ambrose's "The Victors" is mainly a showcase for the reminiscences of those involved in D-Day and the campaigns which followed, ending finally with the taking of Berlin. As a historian, Ambrose's voice and expertise are most apparent in detailing the early stages of the assault's planning, as he provides insights into the personalities (and distinct styles) of Eisenhower, Patton, Montgomery, et al. The telling is most poignant when it reveals -- in tired, frightened messages composed in the fields of battle -- the plain truths of war for the loved ones back home. My single complaint about this book is its lack of maps; only two are provided, with the second one being an impossible hodge-podge of all the Allied movements between D-Day and VE Day.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Hector on January 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the first book that I've read from Stephen Ambrose and I thought it was remarkable. Ambrose takes us from the battles in North Africa all the way to the German surrender on May 7th 1945. One thing that I truly enjoyed about this book is; Ambrose gives a complete picture of the war, from the orders made by Eisenhower and his staff, to the captains, sergeants and privates who had to carry out those orders. I'll end this review with a passage from the book, which most touched me.
"At the core, the American citizen soldiers knew the difference between right and wrong, and they didn't want to live in a world in which wrong prevailed. So they fought, and won, and we all of us, living and yet to be born, must be forever profoundly grateful."
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Mullin on July 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Being familiar with Ambrose's body of work, it is easy to understand why this book is taking up space on bargain racks from sea to shining sea, as well as space on Amazon's bargain shelves. There is simply little new here to recommend for anyone who has read Ambrose's biography of Ike, or his "Citizen Soldiers" book about the soldiers who fought and won the war. And if you haven't read those books, go read them -they're better than this work, which is mostly a rehash of earlier material.
Ambrose doesn't hide his enthusuiasm for the marines who tumbled out of those landing craft on Omaha Beach and endured murderous fire from the well-entrenched German defenses. This was like Fredericksburg and Pickett's Charge rolled into one, except the suicidal attacking army attained their objectives in 1944.
Ambrose also is unabashed in his admiration for Eisenhower, and at times one has to wonder why. Clearly Ike had a take charge personality and valiantly offered to take all of the blame if bad weather, low tides, or any other factor defeated his grand mission at Normandy. But was Eisenhower a brilliant tactition? Even Ambrose admits his first combat experience as a general, in North Africa, was a disaster. I think more than anything, Ambrose senses and admires Ike's dislike of war, his strength of character, and his genuine regard for the infantry that he was ordering to slaughter on those Normandy beaches.
I must say that while accounts of battles often fascinate me, the painstaking detail of much of this book left me a little overwhelmed with minutae. I know that every one of these soldiers represent actual men who risked (and in many cases gave)their lives for their country, but I question the wisdom of telling us names, companies, nicknames, etc.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Fontaine on August 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I agree that this book was composed of some of his other great pieces, but it is definately still a great book. Ambrose follows operation OVERLORD with wonderful description. He not only gives us the facts(once again)but he continues with his great style of writing by taking us into the lives of many young soldiers who were there. Once again, I had the feeling that I knew these people. There were quite a few of them that Ambrose paints a picture of so well that I feel like they were my buddies in high school. Being honest though the author does show some biased sides and every piece of information offered may not be EXACTLY how things were done but I know of not one author that was not there that can paint us a perfectly accurate picture of what happened. Even the men and women that will tell stories that were there seem to sometimes exaggerate or forget things. Overall, Ambrose does a great job with this one though it was mainly bits and pieces from his other books. If you are new to Stephen Ambrose, then this is a good overview book before diving deeper into his realm of writing. Remember in school when they had those 100 level classes that were bits and pieces of the higher level classes? That's what this book is. It's a great intro to his better works. I spent six buck for it and it was definately worth it!!!
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