30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Band of Brothers and Beyond,
This review is from: Brothers In Battle, Best of Friends (Hardcover)
This book is a fine account of the exploits, adventures, and mishaps of two of the better known members of the "Band of Brothers" extolled in the the Stephen Ambrose book and HBO miniseries (based on the book) of the same name.
The book stems from the interviews by a journalist in 2001 of "Wild Bill" (aka "Gonorrhea" and one of the two "natural killers" in Easy Company according to Major Richard Winters in his autobiography, "Beyond Band of Brothers") and "Babe" (who joined Easy Company after D-Day and lived through Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge, and the capture of Hitler's Eagle's Nest at the end of the war) in connection with an article she was writing about them and the then upcoming HBO miniseries.
Each chapter contains their life stories (and those of other members) as told separately through these interviews, from both of them growing up poor in Philadelphia, to both of them ignoring their draft exemptions to volunteer, to their training and combat experiences, to their continuing post-war friendship ("Wild Bill" was shipped home after losing a leg in the Battle of the Bulge), to their belated renown as heroes.
I viewed this book with some trepidation as yet another spinoff from what is now a cottage industry of Band of Brothers material but I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting it was to learn more first-hand information from both of these warriors about their WWII experiences and lives both before and after the war. (Particularly revealing are frank admissions of certain acts that have been widely downplayed, discounted, or dismissed for generations. But without these admissions, no one will ever understand what these men went through and what war is often like no matter what side you are on. History cannot be studied or understood in a vacuum. It is these admissions that are, perhaps, their final act of heroism.)