Books by Mississippi Writers 1996-2010
Nonfiction by Stephen E. Ambrose (University Press of Mississippi, Hardcover, $28.00, ISBN: 1578060265, 10/1997; Berkeley Paperback, $14.00, ISBN: 0425165108, 10/1998) Collected here for the first time are 15 essays that span over 100 years of American history―and the remarkable 30-year career of America's foremost historian. From Grant's stunning Fourth of July victory at Vicksburg to Nixon's surprise Christmas bombing of Hanoi, Ambrose takes readers into the trenches of the homefront, ground zero of the Atomic Bomb, and into the arsenals of the 21st century. Ambrose's theme, the American way of war, is significant, for war indeed has delineated each era in America's turbulent history and has focused the nation's democratic perspective. Throughout, these essays encompass two large subjects. First, Ambrose is drawn to the experiences of those who have gone to war, both the leaders and the led. Second, he is intrigued by men who make big decisions―or fail to make them. He concludes that generals alone don't win wars. Infantrymen, he believes, as well as the generals and the intelligence officers, were responsible for the Allied victory in World War II. And although the stalwart common soldier is credited with winning America's wars, Ambrose also gives fair and empathetic examination to soldiers who break under strain.