Ken's Reviews > To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian

To America by Stephen E. Ambrose
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Jul 27, 11

Read in July, 2011

Stephen Ambrose was one of my favorite historians. He was an excellent writer that brought a "you are there" quality to his works. In many cases, he actually had been there, such as on the Missouri River following the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, which made his books more authoritative and readable. Sadly, he passed away due to cancer in 2002, but he managed to finish this last work.

"To America" is a little bit memoir, a little bit "greatest hits," and a little bit patriotic hymn to America. In it, Ambrose discusses the Founding Fathers, the Battle of New Orleans, General Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Ike, and, of course, World War II. However, he also has interesting things to say about nationbuilding, Richard Nixon, America's transformation in the 1960s, and what it's like to write history (10 hours of a day for a number of years, in case you're curious). If you like Ambrose's books, I would highly recommend it (the parts abut Eisenhower are especially interesting). If you've never read one of Ambrose's books, this is a readable introduction to his scholarship that will probably make you want to tackle some of his other books.
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message 1: by Lili (new) - added it

Lili Thanks for the review and recommendation. I'm almost embarrassed to say that, although I've probably read everything by Daniel Boorstin or by Barbara Tuchman, I don't recall having read anything by Stephen Ambrose.


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