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...moreI'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 modesty about his service and the intense loyalty his men felt and still do toward him.
The real Cobb was a drunk, but not a jerk. In Ambrose's account, you don't get the sense that Cobb was the kind of guy who picked on replacements or was cynical about his service. Makes me wonder if there was any truth in his depiction in the miniseries.
Easy liberated a work camp, not a concentration camp. I was disappointed in the HBO producers for taking this liberty. The conditions at the work camp were horrendous enough. Painting over the work camp as a concentration one struck me as lazy. I'd have preferred a more in-depth account of Easy's shift in attitude toward the Germans (and the undercurrents of anti-Semitism in the Army).
There's also a bit of character compression (what happened to Sgt. Gordon??), omissions of battles, etc etc, but, with a few exceptions, the miniseries is remarkably faithful.
This book will make you want to do two things: revisit the miniseries to compare notes, and read more about Winters. He is remarkable.
I really enjoyed Reich's analysis of the US economy during the twentieth century and his explanation of why capitalism as-is is at odds with democracy...moreI really enjoyed Reich's analysis of the US economy during the twentieth century and his explanation of why capitalism as-is is at odds with democracy, but this book was far too short on prescriptions. Reich suggests further campaign finance reform and restructuring the tax code to put pressure on shareholders, but does little to explain how to deliver either under current regimes - if Supercapitalism is really as intractable as he (quite convincingly) makes it out to be, we need a more in-depth, practical explanation of how to transcend it. (less)