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In this very personal book Stephen Ambrose celebrates his friendships with his father and brothers, boys from his youth, his sons, and among men he found through his work as a historian; his comrades. Ambrose writes about Dwight Eisenhower's remarkable gift for genorosity and loyalty, and about many others who forged those indelible bonds, from the boy-men of World War II to the great Native-American warriors Crazy Horse and He Dog, to the intrepid explorers Lewis and Clark and his brothers, who died together at Little Big Horn. COMRADES concludes with the author's recollection of his own friendship with his father. " He was my first and always most important friend," Amborse wrItes. "I didn't learn that until the end, when he taught me the most important thing , that love the love of father-son-father-son is a continuum, just as love and friendship are expansive."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780743200745
ISBN-10: 0743200748
Format: Paperback
(214mm x 139mm x 10mm)
Pages: 144
Imprint: Touchstone
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: 19-Mar-2001
Country of Publication: United States

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » A disappointingly sentimental celebration of male friendship that reveals almost nothing about the emotional lives of men. Bestselling historian Ambrose (Undaunted Courage, 1996, etc.) is a brilliant chronicler of public events, but his exploration of male friendship is exasperatingly shallow. How do young men become friends, according to Ambrose? They might "join the same fraternity, date the same or similar girls from the same sorority, play on the same [sports] teams, all things that lead to genuine connection." As a University of Wisconsin freshman, Ambrose befriends a fraternity brother because "[w]e liked beer, we liked to sing when drunk, we liked girls" and enjoyed the outdoors. This hardly exhausts the infinite variety of male friendship. Ambrose portrays men as "comrades" in the public arena of sports, politics, and combat, but says little about the private roles men typically play - as nurturing fathers, perhaps, or supportive husbands. In Ambrose's estimation, men bond by sharing a goal. The friendships Ambrose has chosen to celebrate are largely forged in wartime: soldiers hitting the beaches on D-Day, George Armstrong Custer and his brother Tom dying together at Little Big Horn, Crazy Horse and his warrior friend He Dog slaughtering Custer's men, Dwight Eisenhower and George Patton working side by side to destroy the Nazi war machine. Ambrose recycles a lot of material from his previous books and throws in a few anecdotes about his own lifelong friendships. None of it plunges much below surface platitudes. We learn, for example, that Patton and Eisenhower "both had a deep interest in tanks and armored warfare." But where are the men who simply enjoy each other's company? A vaguely nostalgic and disorganized exploration meant, no doubt, as a Father's Day gift book. Not Ambrose's freest hour. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Stephen E. Ambrose

Dr. Stephen E. Ambrose was a renowned historian and acclaimed author of more than thirty books. Among his New York Times bestsellers are Nothing Like It in the World, Citizen Soldiers, Band of Brothers, D-Day - June 6, 1944, and Undaunted Courage. Dr. Ambrose was a retired Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans and a contributing editor for the Quarterly Journal of Military History.

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