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Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest

4.41 of 5 stars 4.41  ·  rating details  ·  43,969 ratings  ·  1,539 reviews
Stephen E. Ambrose’s iconic story of the ordinary men who became the World War II’s most extraordinary soldiers: Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army.

They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, drawn to Airborne by the $50 monthly bonus and a desire to be better than the other guy. And at its...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 6th 2001 by Simon & Schuster (first published June 6th 1992)
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Jason Koivu

Little good comes from war, however it does tend to create heros and leaders and show people how to love and depend upon their comrades. The bonds built upon the catastrophic ruin that was World War II is the basis of Stephen E. Ambrose's Band of Brothers.

After watching the television miniseries a couple times through and really enjoying it for its humanity, I thought it was time I gave the book a go. There isn't much difference between the two. The timeline and events depicted in the series sta...more
Matt
As a history lover, and as someone who loves not getting flamed on Goodreads, I am loathe to say what I am about to say. However, as someone who finds it impossible not to say what I feel like saying, I’ll just go ahead and say it: I don’t like Stephen Ambrose.

No, no, no! Not like that.

I didn’t know him personally, but he seemed like a nice man, a good husband and father. Moreover, he did History an incredible service by collecting the stories of ordinary men. The living memory of World War II...more
Dan
This was so good! Two thumbs up and a booya. I'd give it 6 stars if I could. I saw the HBO series and loved it so I decided to read the book. The book was great too because it gave more information on the war and the men involved. If you have not seen the series, watch it. Then you can call me and tell me how awesome I am for recommending it to you. The really great thing about the show and the book is that it is not all about war. It is the (very accurately) true story about the men of E compan...more
Aleksandr Voinov
I'm shocked to learn that Ambroses taught history. The military history/analysis is pretty poor to appalling. He's good when he talks about Easy Company and relates stories. (Though he states that the book is "very much a group effort" with the men from E Company, so how much of that credit goes to them is anybody's guess, and some events were anonymised and possibly left out to protect people.)

Whenever he attempts military analysis of the actual way/battles, his thoughtless "MURRIKA!" propagand...more
Melody
AMAZING. I was cold when they were cold, tired with them, hungry with them, and relieved when they left the front lines. I felt like I was there the entire time and could not stop turning the pages. A historical, true, and educational book. Very insightful as to war and the minds of soldiers. Lots of specific military movements, language, and actions. And, of course, violent, bloody, and most everyone dies either in war or in old age.
Malquiviades
Just the stories told in this book made it really superb. It might be one of the best accounts on WWII. Might be it is, but for the annoying comments of Ambrose at every chapter, reminding the reader that they (US) won because the "democratic soldier" had the moral superiority over the German (Nazi) soldier. So, it is difficult to rate it properly.
To win a war or a battle has nothing to do with moral righteousness.
The book will be among the best on WWI if you skip Ambrose's comments on every cha...more
jennifer
If you want a good summary of E Company's experience in WW2 that also follows the HBO series fairly closely, this is an interesting, not overly tactical read.

Though, you should be warned that Ambrose editorializes quite a bit throughout the book, e.g., "because we were a democracy, we had better trained soliders and won the war..." and so forth. Statements like that smack a bit of triumphalism to me.

It's also very coarse prose--no elegantly written passages in Band of Brothers. In fact, there a...more
Riku Sayuj
Nov 02, 2011 Riku Sayuj rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Riku by: Nishant Singh
The last few chapters were truly unbearable in their intensity. As the soldiers discover for the first time what the real cost and cruelties of the war they fought was, we too are forced to understand this unimaginable thing called war that can never be understood by the ones that fought in it or by posterity looking back.

There are some things in life that can only ever be expressed in one way - silence - a deep and anguished silence that cries primievally in disbeilieving defiance. War - a deva...more
Anirudh
I have always been fascinated by WW2. Not because of all the fights and deaths but because it was a struggle in which men around the world came together and fought on against all odds. Band of Brothers tells the story of Easy Company of the 101 first airborne, of men in their own words, idiots who jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

The HBO mini series based on the book led me to this wonderful piece of treasure. Stephen Ambrose collected stories from many surviving Easy Company men and wrote...more
Katie
I know this is the vaguest, most non-descript way to begin a review, but...this book is amazing.

A diligent researcher, Ambrose sifted through historical evidence and spoke with family members and, when still possible, the troops themselves--which is an invaluable addition to the book--to humanize the story and tell it as accurately as possible. It's an incredible story to hear, and while I would never say "it's like you're actually there," Ambrose does as good of a job as any in making you feel...more
Leila
Jul 30, 2007 Leila rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history/war buffs, people who fell in love with the mini-series
Shelves: nonfiction, history
For a history book Band of Brothers is very well written. It is easy for a non-military buff to understand and Ambrose does a great job of bringing the men of Easy to life. It's difficult for me to rate the book impartially because I have already fallen in love with the mini-series. Parts of the book were probably easier to understand because I had the series as a background. The one complaint I had was that, when describing military position and combat details, Ambrose often slips into a slight...more
Chris
Just so you know, this author was accused of plagiarism. It's important that you know this.

Slate Article.

And not possibly made a mistake type either (see Fareed Zakaria. Ambrose did it more than once.

Knowing that fact is important, regardless of how you view the book.
Brad
There's some serious jingoism going on here -- which is to be expected from Stephen E. Ambrose's histories (but I am okay with that because I know that is who he is before going into any of his books. Besides, he is an historian who can actually write) -- but a recognition of that jingoism doesn't take away from the sheer mind-blowing impressiveness of what Easy Company accomplished in WWII -- and their too good to be true, Hollywood style amazingness is best summed up in the career of Major Ric...more
Nathan Moore
For someone who is new to reading military history and WWII this is an entertaining read. As the title implies, the author focuses around the men of Easy Company of the 101st Airborne and describes the war from their perspective. The book is full of grimy details that serve to anchor the horrific reality of war into the minds of civilians far removed from conflict.

Ambrose is largely unconcerned with many of the questions historians ask. Instead, he asks the questions of a biographer. Causes for...more
John
Stephen Ambrose (or whoever wrote the material he used) relates the history of Easy Company 506 PIR from Camp Toccoa where they were trained to Berchtesgaden at the war's end and how they remained close after the war despite the geographical separation.

Though no great stylist, Ambrose (or whoever) moves the story along easily and clearly. That's the good news.

The bad news is that, 1) He plays fast and loose with the facts. For example he says that Fritz Niland was not immediately pulled off the...more
nanto
'From this day to the ending of the world, we in it shall be remembered. We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.'

-Shakespeare; "Henry V"

Membaca buku dan menonton sebuah film memang dua kegiatan berbeda. Namun untuk buku dan film tentang Easy Company 2/506th Regiment, 101st Airborne ini bisa dibilang saling melengkapi.

Ambilah cerita tentang pertempuran merebut meriam Jerman di Brécourt Manor setelah Letnan Winters berhasil menggabungkan dir...more
Nathan
Sep 18, 2007 Nathan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who don't get HBO on Demand.
Shelves: history
Stephen Ambrose was one of the most important historians of his time, and Band of Brothers is one of his greatest achievements. Ambrose wrote extensively about WWII in his life, and in his career his writing always showed a tender sympathy for the average man who fought in that war. His sympathies weren't with generals or politicians, but with the complex, diverse, cynically optimistic generation that fought and died on the Allied side. In Band of Brothers, Ambrose focused that fascination on on...more
Greg G
I'd been meaning to read this for the longest time. It reads very quick, especially if you have seen the miniseries and already know the story of Easy.

A few things that jump out at you about real life vs. the miniseries:

Winters was not the golden boy HBO makes him out to be. He did not drink, but not out of any moral objection. He also did swear casually, which I found surprising. HBO goes out of its way to make Winters' language squeaky-clean. What the series gets right: Winters' incredible mod...more
Judy
Despite the recent controversy surrounding the validity of Stephen Ambrose's works concerning Eisenhower, Band of Brothers is a masterfully written history of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment and their experiences in World War II. His detailed research into the lives of the men helps the reader to feel as though they truly know those soldiers. It is no wonder that the miniseries was made about this incredible unit. If you are into World War II history or in the military, this is a...more
monamour
"From this day to the ending of the world, we in it shall be remembered. We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother."
-Shakespeare Henry V



This ranks as one of the most accurate portrayals of World War II, I have found. It gives the reader a vivid, raw, powerful, view of the men who served in the 101st Airborne, Easy Company, from D-Day to VE-Day. Not only their struggles and at times despair, but the bonds they formed and how they supported...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I think many if not most will be familiar with this book as it's not only been around a while, sold well and gotten a lot of notice it's also the inspiration behind a TV edition.

Here we get the story of Easy (E) company of the 506th PIR of the 101 Air Borne Division told by Mr. Ambrose through remembrances of surviving members. it's a highly interesting book giving the story/history of the outfit along with a "slice" of the "everyday war". Things are related with the "dirt still on". The men, t...more
Trevor Parker
Jan 01, 2008 Trevor Parker rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: War aficionados
This was a marvelous book. On the simplest level it is a great story about war and the feats of the 101st E company. Lots of shooting, lots of dying.

But what really intrigued me were the depths the book dived to, and the delicacy Ambrose had dealing with the true intricacy's of combat. This book did not glorify the men, primarily because the men did not glorify themselves. It did not glorify war. Ambrose related well the men's views on the incompetence of the Army Bureaucracy, the absolute terro...more
Darrell
Amazing. This book details an Paratrooper division that was involved in many key battles during WWII in Europe. It gave an outstanding account of the hardship these soldiers suffered. It was sufficiently graphic to realistically explain the horrors of war; but was not over the top.

Sometimes I had a hard time following where the men were and what they were doing. I also didn't understand all the army acronyms used in this book to describe the chain of command.
Richard
"Band of Brothers" is easily the best-known title of American History books from prolific author Stephen E. Ambrose. I had been aware of it for some time after its original printing, and, like many readers I'm sure, decided to pick up a copy at the book store after the book was made into a compelling HBO miniseries, produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. I made it a point to read the book before seeing the miniseries, which is impressive in its adherence to the book's story and its tone. Th...more
Daniel Solera
Over the last month, I have been watching the HBO series in 3-episode sessions with my friends. Upon learning that it was based on a book (and not a 1,000-page tome), I decided to read it. The source material matches the silver screen's raw, gritty depiction of the 101st Airborn's journey from the training grounds of Taccoa to Berchtesgaden.

Ambrose's narrative style is mixed. It treats the actual battle scenes with much indifference, rarely sentimentalizing specific events as they happen, or ta...more
Nikki
Sep 28, 2008 Nikki rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who are interested in WW2 or American History
Shelves: history
A very interesting book start to finish. It opened my eyes to what every day life was like for American soldiers in WW2. I expected tales of bravery and heroics- which there were. I did not expect the darker side of war- gambling, drinking to excess, sexual conquests, looting- to be so prevalent among one of the most famous and elite divisions in the army. In my mind, I had idealized the citizen soldiers from America to an army like Helaman's stripling warriors. The heros in this book were full...more
Sandi
Jul 30, 2007 Sandi rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WWII and History Buffs
I didn't start reading this book until after watching the HBO series. Soon afterwards, I traveled to Normandy and visited a number of important sites in the war. The movie and book definitely provide you with images of what things were like,
but there isn't anything like seeing them in person. I also discovered that one of my relatives was in the Easy Company and I was able to ask him some questions about it(although he doesn't talk much of the war). He's in the book, but chose not to be a major...more
Nathaniel
A compelling history of the Easy Company of the US Airborne--the personalities of the men really shine through the story, and the war mindset becomes more comprehensible to civilians. I'm watching the HBO miniseries based on this book, and it's also excellent.

My biggest issue with this book is its clunky writing and lousy editing. I can safely say that aside from self-published books, I've never seen a book with more typos and clumsy phrasing. Ambrose may be good at research, but his writing and...more
Roger Gloss
I first read Band of Brothers exactly seven years ago, in July 2007. Stephen Ambrose is an excellent historian. He tells the story of Easy Company, an elite group of paratroopers in the 101st Airborne Division, who participated in most of the major action of WWII in the European theater, from Normandy to Operation Market Garden to Bastogne to Hitler's Eagle's Nest. Ambrose constructs the story as a well-structured series of vignettes, through the eyes of those who served and sacrificed, based on...more
Joe Genco
Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose takes you through the lives of the men who served in Easy Company of the 101st Airborne Division. Easy Company was one of the most battered companies in the war who took part in the D-day airborne assault, and also the capture of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest. Easy took 150 percent casualties and saw some of the toughest fighting on the eastern front. Stephen Ambrose makes you feel as if you were on the front lines with Easy. I’ve never felt as much emotion when r...more
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5882
Stephen Edward Ambrose was an American historian and biographer of U.S. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon. He received his Ph.D. in 1960 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

More about Stephen E. Ambrose...
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“In one of his last newsletters, Mike Ranney wrote: "In thinking back on the days of Easy Company, I'm treasuring my remark to a grandson who asked, 'Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?'
No,'" I answered, 'but I served in a company of heroes.”
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“Within Easy Company they had made the best friends they had ever had, or would ever have. They were prepared to die for each other; more important, they were prepared to kill for each other.” 15 likes
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