by Stephen E. Ambrose
If you’re a fan of U.S. history — and especially if you’re a fan of Stephen Ambrose, one of our nation’s foremost historians — you should find this a worthwhile read. In reflecting on some of his earlier subjects — such as Presidents Nixon, Grant, Roosevelt, Jackson and Eisenhower, explorers Lewis and Clark, Crazy Horse and George Armstrong Custer, and the transcontinental railroad, among others — Ambrose provides additional insight into the personalities and events that he wrote about over the years. Ambrose covers a wide variety of subjects — ranging from racism to political correctness to women’s rights to civil rights and immigration, among others. He also candidly addresses some of the attitudinal changes he experienced over the years, having grown “older and wiser” and having access to new sources of information about many of his subjects. While Ambrose puts many of our nation’s decisions under the microscope (e.g., the Vietnam War, which he actively opposed as a college professor), when you’re finished reading this book, you’ll feel like you’ve had a lengthy conversation with someone who deeply loves America, warts and all.