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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Gern Obit: Author/Historian Steven Ambrose (Oct 2002) (2) RE: Obit: Author/Historian Steven Ambrose 13 Oct 02

Sorry to hear of this loss, as I am for any of the thousands whom tobacco will kill this year. I enjoyed the Lewis and Clark chronicles and especially enjoyed Citizen Soldiers. For an author so focused on generals and leaders, this book and others rightly centered on the experiences of the grunts thru their own words. I believe his D-Day museum in New Orleans maintains this focus on the little guy. My father spent over 100 days on the front in the Battle of the Bulge, and this book told me a lot that my father never discussed. But as a writer and former teacher, I was grieved by the controversies that surrounded Ambrose's works in the last few years. Seems that many of his quotes were lifted without attribution from other sources. Ambrose quickly blamed his research staff for the errors -- one reason why the best historians (Shelby Foote, for one) do all the legwork themselves. These mistakes happen easily, but they cheapen the work and cast doubt on the author's accomplishments. Without smoothing over these criticisms, I still appreciate Ambrose's work and regret his passing.

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