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Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, The Man Who Lead the Band of Brothers

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  3,907 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
In every band of brothers, there is always one who looks out for the rest.

A soldier. A leader. A living testament to the valor of the human spirit. Major Richard D. Winters finally shares his amazing story.

They were the Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Army Airborne, the legendary fighting unit of World War II. And there was one man every soldier in Easy Company loo
Hardcover, 297 pages
Published April 26th 2005 by NAL Hardcover
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Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will say straight out that this review is prejudiced since Dick Winters is one of my all time favourite heroes. Frankly the book could have been poorly written and I am not sure I would have cared but the book is well written and serves as a wonderful companion to anyone who loved "Band of Brothers". Dick Winters embodies what Tom Brokaw so aptly described as the 'Greatest Generation' and the world is a lesser place with his passing.
James Christensen
Jan 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, history, ww2
Biggest Brother: Major Dick Winters
Biggest Brother: The Life of Major Dick Winters, The Man Who Led the Band of Brothers

written by Larry Alexander, '09, (hist/bio)

Best read after reading "Band of Brothers" by Stephen Ambrose. Winters was an exceptional leader of Easy Company, 101st Army Airborne, from D-Day, Normandy, to Market Garden, Holland, to Battle of the Bulge, Bastogne, Belgium, on to Berchtesgaden, Austria. He was a non-drinker, non-fraternizer, no-nonsense man of Mennonite descent but
Jun 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to say it is an excellent read. I can recommend it for everyone who wants to know more about Richard Winters, as a person, a soldier and a man.

I picked this book over Winters own (for now, I might still read that), simply because it seemed like it would be better, and perhaps because I often prefer biographies when they're written by someone other than the person they're about.

Larry Alexander did a great job. The book keeps you interested all the way through, it's brilliantly paced, somet
Darcey McKay
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
Larry Alexander's recount of the life and time of Major Dick Winters is well told and free-flowing, while still preserving the details necessary for a successful history of war time events. Stephen Ambrose's 'Band of Brothers' was extremely successful but critically and commercially, and led to the HBO mini-series of the same name and garnered much attention on the men of Easy Company, including Winters. With 'Biggest Brother', Alexander was able to match what Ambrose was able to do, with his wo ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very well written, easy to pick up, hard to put down book. An account of one of the greatest officers in WW2 before, during and after. A must read for any WW2 era junkie.
May 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a biography of Major Richard Winters, the commanding officer of Easy Company.

An interesting book to read after Band of Brothers as it deals largely with the same events but from Winters' perspectives. You learn what he thought about, for example, Speirs, the officer believed to have killed POWs in cold blood and who eventually took over command of Easy Company.

One interesting factoid I picked up was the fact that Operation Market Garden may have failed, not because Montgomery ignored war
Nov 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: ww2, bio
By the time that I read "Biggest Brother", I had already finished reading "Band of Brothers", "Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters" and many of the other fine books written by and about Easy Company, and I was worried that it would just re-hash facts that I was already familiar with. There was a bit of repetition from the other books, but there was so much more! For me, the letters between Winters and his pen pal DeEtta were the best part. I thought that they served to ...more
Abby Jones
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's hard for me to not automatically give everything relating to Band of Brothers five stars, but this book truly deserves it. It tracks in great detail Winters childhood, time at war, and life after the war. If you've read some of the memoirs of other Easy Company men and wished they had spent more time on battles than read this book. It's filled with detailed information about each battle from beginning to end. But more than that it is about the man who led Easy and then worked to preserve it ...more
Meirav Rath
Dec 23, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: World war 2 buffs, history buffs, Band of Brothers fans
Shelves: world-war-2
You were perfect, weren't you, Mr Winters? Nothing you ever did was wrong (rather, General Taylor was always wrong) and everyone loved you. The Brits were appalling, the French and the Russians never existed; it was only you and the whole American army who won that war. The whole D-Day invasion lay on the balance of your action in Bercot Mannor.
Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh. If you're easily sickened by American kitsch you better leave this book alone; someone's been praised way, way too many times to b ab
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yet another book on an American Hero Major Richard Winters. The author of this book was a little star struck but he certainly gets his message across and the story of Dick Winters never gets old. If you are interested in the lives of servicemen and women from the Second World War then this book is for you.
Corey Rudd
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here is another entry in the collection of real life accounts of Easy Company, the 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division during the Second World War. This particular account focuses on the life of Major Dick Winters, the archetypal hero immortalized in Stephen Ambrose’s Band of Brothers, and played on screen by Damien Lewis in the show of the same name (which I’m sure most people are familiar with). However, what elevates this book to more than sim ...more
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Biggest brother is another biography of Major Dick Winters. Contrary to Beyond Band of Brothers published several years later, this one is written in third person. Its contents ranges from elder generations of Winters family and childhood and youth of Dick Winters, to present, when the book was finished. The military life of Winters, also the highlight, is most familiar to us in this book. This section has almost the same timeline as Band of Brothers book, while only concentrating on viewpoint o ...more
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stephen Ambrose wrote the first book that made this man famous in "Band of Brothers" Here Larry Alexander nails the intricacies of the leader of Easy Company 501 Paratroopers. Dick Winters was a man well loved by his soldiers and led them with a deft hand and by a 'lead from the front' style putting himself on the line as much as his men. The story of a TRUE American hero. Mr. Winters passed away some years ago, over the age of 90. He had said at the end of the war that he just wanted to go home ...more
Todd Haines
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excelent book for sure.

Given the subject mamner and quality this has to be a 5vstar book. It had me re watching a few episodes of the Band of Brothers series. Some inconsistencies but its close. Overall its a top notch biography and likely represents a number of situations from the war. Recomended book for sure.
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A look at Easy Company from Maj. Winters perspective. Very good & interesting.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read. I am a huge fan of anything to do with Easy Company & the 101st. Dick Winters is the best of the best. His story was compelling, even though I've seen the miniseries, read Ambrose's book, read at least 3 other books on the subject. There is new ground to cover here.

Alexander honors Winters with this story & it seems obvious that he genuinely likes the man. Wish I could have meet the Major in person but this is the next best thing.
I'm certain there are others like me who watched "Band of Brothers," tried to follow up by reading the book, and then stopped because the series had done such a great job of telling the story (I experienced this with "Schindler's List," too, to be fair). My father, however, bought me a copy of "Biggest Brother," so I felt compelled to at least give it a shot. Written by a journalist from Dick Winters' home state, this book is, I think, written for folks in the aforementioned frame of mind. After ...more
May 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Biggest Brother is no question, one of the best books I’ve ever read. I was constantly on edge and felt as if I was there with the paratroopers of the 101st. I think the author portrayed those men’s experiences fairly well, I felt all of the emotions that Dick Winters seemed to feel: Anger, fear, anguish, and relief. I’ve always liked books and stories about the World War II time period, mainly because it is the largest war in the history of mankind, but this book was definitely the best on ...more
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alexander's biography of Major Richard Winters covers the man's entire life, from his childhood in Pennsylvania, through his military service, and his life afterwards. Biggest Brother offers a more complete picture of the man than the one in Stephen Ambrose's book Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest, or the miniseries. While both of those are excellent, and I highly recommend them to anyone with even a passing interest in the Second ...more
May 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 stars, because while it is not a bad book it really doesn't bring much to the table about the man.

I had watched the exceptional mini series and like most people became instant fans of E Company and their commander. Bonus points that Major Winters hails from the same place I do, as does the author. With such familiarity and personal relationship between the author and subject I expected great things. The book, unfortunately, fails to deliver much depth. I completed the volume without getting mu
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
While the bulk of this book echoes the HBO series, Band of Brothers, it offers a unique perspective from the man himself. And I enjoyed reading about his days before the army as well as his career preceding Tacoa (where the series began). As well as the time after the war. Moving forward. Meeting his wife. His jobs. He is proof that (and this is a paraphrased quote from the author) anything you set your mind to learn or do, you can, with some hard work, successfully. The book also follows the pr ...more
Peter Cimino
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are a fan of the Band of Brothers, both the book and the epic HBO Mini-series, this read is a must! Major Dick Winters is without question one the true heroes and leaders of men to ever put on a military uniform. He is a genuine one of a kind.....a natural born leader and soldier. This story follows Winters from childhood through his military service in WWII to his return to civilian life right up through the making of Band of Brothers.
If you want know what true leaders are made of - rad
Steve Parcell
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating insight in to Major Dick Winters who led the "Band of Brothers" the 101st Airborne Division into France on D Day and then across Belgium and Holland and ultimately Germany.
The man is quite simply a hero of the 20th century and led his men by example and high moral values in the face of terrors we can never imagine.
The book is well written and creates a more vivid picture of Winter and also describes him before and after the war. A more humble and thoroughly decent man you will never
Monte Lamb
Feb 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-ii
This book filled in a lot of information about Major Dick Winters who famously led THE BAND OF BROTHERS in the book and television series. It is impossible for me to read anything about Major Winters without feeling awe and admiration for him and how he handled himself in the war. This book is not nearly so well written as BAND OF BROTHERS but it does fill in a lot of details about his personal life before and after the war. It brings several things together from the earlier book, particularly h ...more
Anyone who has read Band of Brothers or watched the HBO miniseries would have to be lacking in any judgment of character if they did not instantly fall in love with Major Dick Winters. Still highly respected by nearly anyone who comes in contact with him, Winters personifies leadership. Larry Alexander has provided an excellent biography of Winters, paying attention to his life before enlisting in the Army and after, including the portion where he led the men of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regi ...more
Mark Ott
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading Biggest Brother. I loved how Alexander focused on the relationships Winters had with his men and the people around him. Although many of the war scenes were replayed from Band of Brothers, this time through seemed to focus more intently on Winters reactions. I especially enjoyed the last chapters, focusing on his connection to Ambrose, and later, his opinions on Hanks and Spielberg. Winters leadership style was present in my Career in the Army. Always getting to know my soldier ...more
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read the "Band of Brothers" book 4 or 5 times now, and it's amazing to me what these guys went through, and many, many more men in the military. Someone told me I should read this book and I was in a crowd of people right then, when 5 heads shot around and told me I had to read this book at the mention of it. I'm very happy I read this, and would read it again. I'm very thankful for men like Winters, and the men of E company. Winters comes to mind often while I'm at work when I get into som ...more
Alex Rennick
The narrative style used to tell the life of Major Winters was, at times, jarring on the grounds that it skipped around the century. References to post-war events and facts were mixed in with siege details and that had the effect of pulling me out of the narrative more often than not. Overall, the sequencing of events was stable and the author wrote with the bias of Winters and not his own opinions (there are some exceptionally rare moments where this was not so). An excellent insight into his l ...more
Jul 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What do I think, well in my opinion this was a very good book. The only problem was it felt like i had read this book before I had even started. While it was not extremely similar to band of brothers it does talk about the same people with this one focusing on Major Dick Winters. One other thing I thought was weird was how the first chapter was D-Day and then the second was his early life. Anyway it ws still a goos book because it still tells a great story. I recomend it.
Aug 13, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of this book is about the war, so it's redundant for those who have read Band of Brothers and/or seen the series. It didn't offer as much new information or insight into Winters's thoughts and feelings as I was hoping for, but overall I still enjoyed it for the little that it did add and it was interesting to see those events from Winters's perspective and learn more about how he felt about them.
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Larry Alexander is a journalist and military historian who has written a number of books about World War II, most notably about Easy Company of the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. Easy Company was made famous principally by Stephen Ambrose's book, Band of Brothers, and the television miniseries of that name.

For over a decade, Alexander has been a columnist for the "Intelligencer Journal"
More about Larry Alexander...
“The 101st was trucked to Utah Beach on July 10, seeing from the land what they had seen from the air the night of June 5: hundreds of ships sitting off shore as far as the eye could see. Smaller boats, LSTs, LCMs and other craft carrying men and supplies plied the waters between the ships and the sand. “It took your breath away,” he recalled. Winters saw something else he had not seen for more than a month, a sight that literally brought tears to his eyes: the American flag. In 2003, the memory still left him choked up. “I didn’t realize how much the American flag meant to me,” he said.” 3 likes
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