From Publishers Weekly
In his well-intentioned but impersonal memoirs, Winters tells the tales left untold by Stephen Ambrose, whose Band of Brothers was the inspiration for the HBO miniseries, but Winters's memoir is disappointingly sparse on details unrelated to troop position. It is in the battles and tactical maneuvers of Easy Company that Winters is most at home: on D-Day, when Easy Company's commanding officer is killed, Winters takes charge minutes after landing deep in German territory and leads an assault against a German battery. He carefully explicates the reasoning behind his strategy, leading the reader along as the Company attacks German machine gun and mortar outposts. The narrative is laced with Winters's soldierly exaltations of pride in his comrades' bravery: "My God, it's beautiful when you think of a guy who was so dedicated to his company that he apologizes for getting hit." Although the intrepidness of the group induces more than a tinge of pride, the memoir is devoid of powerful reflections. In the last, sluggish chapters, Winters devotes an excessive amount of time to letters he has received and to expositions on leadership. Winters is too humble for a genre that requires a little bit of conceit.
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Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers
(1992) and the HBO miniseries based on it made Easy Company--the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which fought from D-Day to the end of World War II, with 150 percent casualties--well known to more than -military-history buffs. After both publication and broadcast, Winters, Easy Company's commanding officer, received many requests for more information. Feeling that much of the material Ambrose didn't use deserved an audience, he chose to air it and satisfy all those requests in his memoirs. For those to whom the story is familiar, the major and his collaborator developed an excellent narrative voice to recount Winters' experiences, actions, and thoughts during everything from training to deployment to battle to subsequent occupation. Winters has been praised as an exemplar of leadership, and here he shows what he did to earn that praise and how he did it. Very well done, book as well as war service. Frieda MurrayCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved