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To America: Personal Reflections of an…
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To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian (2002)

by Stephen E. Ambrose

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Ambrose once again continues to lay out history in a way that anyone from a high school student to a PHD candidate can read and learn from. In this book he not only lays out the history presented in his other books and the stories from his life that served as the ideas behind the topics but he gives lesson that all Americans can read and learn something from. He lived through some of the most momentous occasions of the 20th Century and has learned a lot. He admits where his opinions on topics have changed, and why, while still explaining not only his reasoning but the historical lessons that he gleamed along the way.

A great read for anyone wanting to get into the mind of an historian while also being a great look at the politics, topics and ideas surrounding many moments in the 20th Century. ( )
  bshultz1 | Dec 10, 2013 |
Ambrose once again continues to lay out history in a way that anyone from a high school student to a PHD candidate can read and learn from. In this book he not only lays out the history presented in his other books and the stories from his life that served as the ideas behind the topics but he gives lesson that all Americans can read and learn something from. He lived through some of the most momentous occasions of the 20th Century and has learned a lot. He admits where his opinions on topics have changed, and why, while still explaining not only his reasoning but the historical lessons that he gleamed along the way.

A great read for anyone wanting to get into the mind of an historian while also being a great look at the politics, topics and ideas surrounding many moments in the 20th Century. ( )
  bshultz1 | Dec 10, 2013 |
An amazing book! A personal reflection on American history from a leading US Historian. Goes into showing the American spirit and what made this country great. Lewis and Clarke's expedition, manifest destiny, and the war of 1812 are just some points. Stephen Ambrose seamlessly blends historical fact with his view on how these events forged who we are today as a country, a society, and a free people! Truly a book every American should read! ( )
  blanchvegas | Feb 10, 2013 |
Very readable, informative, and humourous ( )
  latgaj | Jun 25, 2012 |
Steven Ambrose's last book an interesting collection of topics that he would have liked to written more about however he ran out of time. Many interesting short historic stories that make one want to read more about. ( )
  foof2you | Sep 2, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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For 
Paul Schuwarzenberger, MD
Alicia R Millet, RN
Suzanne Murray, RN
and the
Stanley S Scott Cancer Center
LSU Health Sciences Center
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In 1953, when I was an eighteen-year-old sophomore at the University of Wisconsin, I took a course in American History entitled "Representative Americans."
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Book description
In To America, Stephen E Ambrose, one of the country's most influential historians, reflects on his long career as an American historian and explains what an historian's job is all about. He celebrates America's spirit, which has carried us so far. He confronts its failures and struggles. As always in his much acclaimed work, Ambrose brings alive the men and women, famous and not, who have peopled our history and made the United States a model for the world.
Taking a few swings at today's political correctness, as well as his own early biases, Ambrose grapples with the country's historic sins of racism, its neglect and ill treatment of Native Americans, and its tragic errors (such as the war in Vietnam, which he ardently opposed on campus, where he was a professor). He reflects on some of the country's early founders who were progressive thinkers while living a contradiction as slaveholders, great men such as Washington and Jefferson. He contemplates the genius  of Andrew Jackson's defeat of a vastly superior British force with a ragtag army in the War of 1812. He describes the grueling journey that Lewis and Clark made to open up the country, and the building of the railroad htat joined it and produced great riches for a few barons.
Ambrose explains the misunderstood presidency of Ulysses S Grant, records the country's assumption of world power under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, and extols its heroic victory of World War II. He writes about women's rights and civil rights and immigration, founding museums, and nation-building. He contrasts the presidencies of Dwight Eisenhower, John F Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Lyndon B Johnson. Throughout, Ambrose celebrates the unflappable American spirit.

Most important, Ambrose writes about writing history. "The last five letters of the word 'history'  tell us that it is an account of the past that is what makes it the most fascinating of subjects."

To America is an instant classic for all those interested in history, patriotism, and the love of writing.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743202759, Hardcover)

"I am a storyteller by training and inclination," writes the late Stephen Ambrose in To America, his final book. And what a storyteller. One of the most respected and popular historians of his era, Ambrose had a passion for making the events of the past both relevant and entertaining. In these pages, he touches on many of the subjects that he devoted his career to, including presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, the journey of Lewis and Clark, the building of the transcontinental railroad, and the citizen soldiers of World War II. He also writes about his own personal story and his role as a historian. In detailing a family camping trip to Wounded Knee (an outing which directly led to his dual biography of Crazy Horse and George Armstrong Custer) or offering tips on vivid historical writing (keep your narration in chronological order; keep the reader guessing; and never use the passive voice), he shares what it is like to reflect upon the triumphs and mistakes of the past and why it is so important to pass those stories on to the next generation.

In this brief yet satisfying book, Ambrose moves seamlessly from one topic to the next with contagious enthusiasm and unapologetic optimism. Along the way he points out the inherent absurdity of political correctness, and even takes himself to task for past biases and for sometimes failing to consider his subjects within the context of their own times and not his own. He does not shy away from writing about America's sins, both past and present, but Ambrose's undying faith in his country and his fellow citizens is inspiring. --Shawn Carkonen

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:13 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"In To America, Stephen E. Ambrose reflects on his long career as an American historian and explains what an historian's job is all about. He celebrates America's spirit, which has carried us so far. He confronts its failures and struggles. As always in his much acclaimed work, Ambrose brings alive the men and women, famous and not, who have peopled our history and made the United States a model for the world." "Taking a few swings at today's political correctness, as well as his own early biases, Ambrose grapples with the country's historic sins of racism, its neglect and ill treatment of Native Americans, and its tragic errors (such as the war in Vietnam, which he ardently opposed on campus, where he was a professor). He reflects on some of the country's early founders who were progressive thinkers while living a contradiction as slaveholders, great men such as Washington and Jefferson. He contemplates the genius of Andrew Jackson's defeat of a vastly superior British force with a ragtag army in the War of 1812. He describes the grueling journey that Lewis and Clark made to open up the country, and the building of the railroad that joined it and produced great riches for a few barons." "Ambrose explains the misunderstood presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, records the country's assumption of world power under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, and extols its heroic victory of World War II. He writes about women's rights and civil rights and immigration, founding museums, and nation-building. He contrasts the presidencies of Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Throughout, Ambrose celebrates the unflappable American spirit."--BOOK JACKET., and postmoder m0 A .… (more)

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