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Biggest Brother: The Life Of Major Dick Winters, The Man Who Led The Band… (2005)

by Larry Alexander

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3641055,486 (3.92)5
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 looked up to--Major Richard D. Winters. Here is the compelling story of an ordinary man who became an extraordinary hero--from Winters's childhood in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, through the war years in which his natural skill as a leader elevated him through the ranks in combat, to now, decades later, when he may finally be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on D-Day.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
In my opinion, based on reading a series of books on the topic, Biggest Brother: The Life Of Major Dick Winters, The Man Who Led The Band of Brothers is the best book written on Major Dick Winters and the Band of Brothers. Larry Alexander is a journalist who used his gift with words to craft an amazing story. Read More ( )
  skrabut | Sep 2, 2020 |
They were Easy Company, 101st Army Airborne—the World War II fighting unit legendary for their bravery against nearly insurmountable odds and their loyalty to one another in the face of death. Every soldier in this band of brothers looked to one man for leadership, devotion to duty, and the embodiment of courage: Major Dick Winters.

This is the riveting story of an ordinary man who became an extraordinary hero. After he enlisted in the army’s arduous new Airborne division, Winters’s natural combat leadership helped him rise through the ranks, but he was never far from his men. Decades later, Stephen E. Ambrose’s Band of Brothers made him famous around the world.
  Gmomaj | Feb 12, 2020 |
A good read, particularly for those who've read "Band of Brothers" and want to know more about the leader of the 506 PIR, Major Dick Winters. In short, most of the book was akin to reading Stephen Ambrose's "Band of Brothers" but from the Major Winters's perspective. However, it was the last quarter of the book detailing Winters's post-war life and his eventual drive to tell the 506th's story that revealed the toughness of character and core beliefs that made Major Winters the combat leader he was. After the war and despite age and failing health, Major Winters kept in touch with surviving members of the 506th and eventually decided that they had a story worth telling.
Seeking a writer for their story, Winters interviewed writers, rejecting those who didn’t share his enthusiasm, and especially one who asked, “Well, how much money do you have.” Winters booted him out and eventually found his way to Stephen Ambrose. And the rest is history. But even as the story was being assembled, Winters coordinated the surviving members, keeping them on schedule on topic with an occasional “boot in the pants, just as he’d done half a century earlier:

“Malarky would write and come in with some good stuff, but he was always a step late,” Winters remembers. “Like we were on Holland, and he’d come in with Normandy. I’d say, Shit, Don, get on the ball and get me Holland. We’re going to hit Bastogne next.”

The same, “get the story right” attitude applied to both Stephen Ambrose and Tom Hanks as well during the making of “Band of Brothers.” Major Winters spoke his mind truthfully. The essence of the man was competence and confidence.
A good story well told, my one complaint being – as is with so many other histories – was the paucity of available photographs. Assigning a face to a name does wonders to fill in a story. Personally, I would have liked to have seen DeEtta, Winters’s female pen pal during the war, and Denver “Bull” Randleman, one of the finest soldiers Winters ever commanded. It would have been nice. Anyway, 3 and a half stars for “Biggest Brother.” Worth having and keeping on your shelf. ( )
  Renzomalo | May 26, 2019 |
Even though I really do like the book, the biggest maybe let down that I had was how similar it was to Band of Brothers the book. It would be expected in retrospect because alot of the interviews were from the same man or people.

I was pretty well engaged with the book. It was hard to put down. ( )
  SarahIverson | Aug 13, 2016 |
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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 looked up to--Major Richard D. Winters. Here is the compelling story of an ordinary man who became an extraordinary hero--from Winters's childhood in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, through the war years in which his natural skill as a leader elevated him through the ranks in combat, to now, decades later, when he may finally be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on D-Day.

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