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Comrades: Brothers, Fathers, Heroes, Sons, Pals

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  568 ratings  ·  51 reviews
From the author of Undaunted Courage and D-Day comes this celebration of male friendship, taken both from the pages of history and from Ambrose’s own life.

Acclaimed historian Stephen Ambrose begins his examination with a glance inward—he starts this book with his brothers, his first and forever friends, and the shared experiences that join them for a lifetime, overcoming distanandof
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 7th 2000 by Simon Schuster (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  568 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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This is an easy reread for me, prompted by a Goodreads group challenge to read a works about friendship. My favorite literary friendships include the of playful, lucky Captain Jack Aubrey and ship’s doctor, naturalist, and spy Stephen Maturin in Patrick O’Brian’s series of maritime adventures with the British Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. It also includes the complex complementarity in the lifelong friendship between charming, lecherous, and literate Augustus McCrae and the laconic, stu ...more
Oct 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone with an important male role model in their lives
Recommended to Mahlon by: Dad
Shelves: read-2010
In Comrades, Stephen Ambrose examines male friendship throughout History by providing the reader with several case studies (including examples from his own youth) His chapters on the Eisenhower, and Custer Brothers are particularly strong. In addition he offers a penetrating analysis of the psyche of Richard Nixon which is not to be missed. The weakness in the book stems from the fact that Ambrose draws a little too much on his own experiences in the last chapter, this seems rather self-indulgen ...more
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Ambrose is a master of the authentic story-telling experience especially when it comes to historical figures and events. I thoroughly have enjoyed reading his body of work and will continue to do so. That being said, I was disappointed in this book. The first half relays some excellent examples of friendship and comrades in arms, the last half of the book relays the powerful friendships of early explorers. It is the middle of the book that I struggled with. Ambrose obviously has a very high rega ...more
Nov 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
I love this historian and the stories he's compiled. I LOVED the HBO series Band of Brothers that was based on his book. He interviewed these men and gathered stories that have been kept personal or even silent for decades. Learning more and more about WWII has changed my perspective on war entirely.

This is the 3rd book of his that I've read. It is a book on paternal and brotherly relationships. These are also the stories that are less known but which shape history. From reading the 2nd chapter
Earl Pike
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful overview of many male friendships. Ambrose covers a wide variety including his own friendships. Very insightful how many historic characters held on to certain relationships. Very enjoyable and very quick read.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, memoirs
Delightful stories, even though it's all about men. A female historian should write the sequel!
Gail Young
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent summary of male bonds created by pressures of all kinds
Patrick Barry
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
A quick read. The best is a short essay on Eisenhower and his relationship with his brother. Enjoyable, but perhaps too much like his other stories.
Reese Snell
    For the author’s purpose of the book I chose,  I believe his purpose was a mix between trying to entertain his readers,  but also to inform them of the life that they lived at that time period.  The book I  chose was called Comrades.  The author of Comrades,  Stephen E. Ambrose,  wrote this very interesting book in such an intriguing way,  that is made me come to the decision that I thought his main purpose was to entertain his readers.  With the very descriptive words he used, along with th ...more
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
It felt as if this book was one he wrote to quickly meet his contract agreement. I don’t feel that I know any of these men better having read their stories. There was too much about Ambrose, and not enough about the others.
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-bookshelf
Friendship is a powerful thing, it can be a bond that will never break and never be forgotten. Well in the book Comrades by “Stephen E. Ambrose” you can find many different bonds that Stephen makes over his lifetime. Some of the friendships he made were fast and some took a really long time to realize, but this is a book of short stories that were real.
The stories range from his whole lifetime, from childhood to adult, which is kind of interesting to see. Also range from lots of differen
Mar 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel is a quick read with packed with of nuggets of interesting information. The timeline jumps around a bit, but all of the people, except the author's friends, are all recognized historical figures. The most thought provoking relationship is bond between former World War II adversaries. The men who fought for Pegasus Bridge, one of first engagments on D-Day, come together in friendship forty years after of the end of the war. Other hightlights of the text include the interactions between ...more
Steve Hemmeke
Apr 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Ambrose is a descriptive writer, and the theme of friendship was lovely. Friendship requires respect and esteem for others as people, genuine interest in their lives and a willingness to sacrifice yourself to be involved in helpful ways. Relationships described include the author's brothers and father, Dwight Eisenhower and his brother, George Custer and his brothers, Richard Nixon's LACK of friends, Lewis and Clark, various combat veterans, and others.

I like reading history, so this
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Friends never cheat each other, or take advantage, or lie. Friends do not spy on one another, yet they have no secrets. Friends glory in each other’s successes and are downcast by the failures. Friends minister to each other, nurse each other. Friends give to each other, worry about each other, stand always ready to help. Perfect friendship is rarely achieved, but at its height, is an ecstasy." Although I am not a big fan of Eisenhower (and yes, Ambrose devotes 2 chapters to him), I enjoyed thi ...more
Jan 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good

Published by Audioworks in 1999.
Read by the author, Stephen Ambrose.
Duration: approximately 3 hours on audio cassette.

Ambrose's stories of male friendship would be good in any format, but why read what Ambrose wrote when you can hear him read it to you? There is the added benefit of hearing Ambrose's emphasis on a phrase, his light-hearted tone in some areas and, even more important to the emotional punch of some of the stories, hearing his voice break at pa
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
“Comrades” is an enjoyable short book on male friendships. It’s not particular deep and that is a bit of a shame, though the author gets his point across quite well anyways.

He lightly touches on 10 examples mostly from history but also from his personal life. Some of the male friendships are brothers who grew up into true friends, while others are of men who met later in life. But it’s interesting to see that in the latter the friendships are more brotherly than just having a friend.

Mar 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This book is basically about friendship. Ambrose writes about friendship in his own life and in the lives of those he has known and discovered in his research of historical events.

I like the references and stories about historical figures: Eisenhower, Patton, Nixon, Crazy Horse, Custer.

I was surprised to find so much of the book written about Ambrose's personal friendships but I found a depth and quality of friendships I personally have not known but I admire.

Feb 20, 2015 rated it liked it
"Comrades" is a quick read, rather warm and fuzzy, but really not that deep. I call it a "sampler" of Ambrose's style that touches on some of the men he has uncovered in previous books of his. Men like Eisenhower, Nixon, Meriwether Lewis. Custer and Crazy Horse. In this book he explains the power of friendship and shows us some very famous friendships. I finished this in two days. If you really want to read Ambrose, pick up " Band of Brothers:, which I call one of the best books ever written on ...more
Mike Day
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a good book on friendship, using some of the examples from American history. I really liked how he made Dwight Eisenhower and Patton come alive. I was familiar with Patton's explosion on the poor soldier that had shell shock. It was good to see the human side of these men.

I do wish that there was more depth, more detail in this book, but I still enjoyed it. Ambrose makes history come alive. If you liked this book, you will love "The Victors: Eisenhower and his boys: The men of World Wa
Andy Doyle
Jun 24, 2013 rated it liked it
This is an "OK" book. If you are a fan of Ambrose, you will truly enjoy this book. However, if you're not familiar with this author, or looking for a good history book, you should probably stay away from this.

"Comrades" is about friends, and the value of friendship. Ambrose uses subjects from his previous writings, and his personal life to illustrate the value of true friendships. This is an enjoyable read, and an easy read.
Feb 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is the kind of book I would have liked to have given my grandpa to read for when he was on the toilet. He would have liked the short summaries of friendship I think and the fact its a quick read. You can just pick it up and put it down and not worry about losing your place.
There were a few weak moment in here but I found the chapter on Lewis and Clark most interesting- they left a lot of stuff out of that story when they teach it in school!
Mar 02, 2009 rated it liked it
I like the idea of this book more than the actual stories or writing style. I originally got it as a gift for a good friend, as a memorial to our friendship. Unfortunately the book is not as engaging as I had hoped. I do appreciate Ambrose's contention that friendships can actually be revisited and become stronger as people get older, after the time requirements of child rearing and ambition have decreased.
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was my first ever audio book. Overall, I enjoyed it, however some parts were much easier to listen to then others. Some parts of the book did not hold my attention and I had to listen to the same parts a second time.

I'm not convinced that audio books are for me, but maybe for the next one I will choose a different genre.
Apr 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
It was a really interesting quick read. I love Steven Ambrose books and this was just a fun read on male friendships. I really have had fun talking it over with my husband and delving into the mind of men. I loved pondering my own friendships and the ones I hope to have someday.
Juleen Brantingham
A book about friendship, mainly Ambrose's friendships. Most or all are pieces taken from his earlier works. Not much depth but interesting enough that it made me want to read a few of those earlier books: CRAZY HORSE AND CUSTER and any of the books about Eisenhower.
Kyle McManamy
Aug 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
A look at male friendship through the lens of biography. It started slow for me, but at some point I was drawn in deeply and satisfied fully. I may remember the picture of Nixon for the rest of my life.
Dec 02, 2010 rated it liked it
This is an author I like and the book was a quick read about friendship. Interesting insight of his personal friendships as well as some historical figures like Eisenhower and Patton, Lewis and Clark, Easy Company in WW II, and others. A good book.
David Eilers
Apr 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I need to add this to my favorites list. Mr. Ambrose makes a strong argument for a man's need for male relationships. It made me realize that I hadn't done enough to foster the male relationships in my life, so I made an effort to start doing that. It's a quick, good read.
Joe Wisniewski
Jan 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Steven Ambrose is one of a kind. This is a book about brothers, families and friends and friendships. His most important chapter is the last; about his relationship with his father.

If you have a son, I HIGHLY recommend that you read this and pass it along to him.
Richard L
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Such a great book that really makes you thankful for those around you that impact your life.
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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. In his final years he faced charges of plagiarism for his books, with subsequent concerns about his research emerging after his death.