Stephen Ambrose, born Stephen Edward Ambrose

Ambrose, born Stephen Edward Ambrose

American Historian and Biographer

Author Quotes

A critical fact in the world of 1801 was that nothing moved faster than the speed of a horse. No human being, no manufactured item, no bushel of wheat, no side of beef (or any beef on the hoof, for that matter), no letter, no information, no idea, order, or instruction of any kind moved faster.

Burial practices illustrated the two men?s different outlooks. Custer believed a body should be buried in a long-lasting metal casket, thus removing the body from the ecological system by preventing bacteria from breaking it down and feeding it back into the soil. Crazy Horse believed in wrapping a body inside a buffalo robe and placing it on a scaffold on an open hillside, where the elements could break it down in a year or two. It would then come up again as buffalo grass, to be eaten by the buffalo, which would then be eaten by the Sioux, completing the circle.

I read about a number of generals and colonels who are said to have wandered about exhorting the troops to advance. That must have been very inspirational! I suspect, however, that the men were more interested and more impressed by junior officers and NCOs who were willing to lead them rather than having some general pointing out the direction in which they should go.

It all happened, Lipton summed up, because Shifty saw a tree almost a mile away that hadn't been there the day before.

Nearly every artifact has a story connected to it, whether it be a hole in a helmet or a belt that a medic carried around with him as he treated the wounded on the beach.

Sergeant Mercier...dressed in a full German officer's uniform, topped off with a monocle for his right eye. Someone got the bright idea to march him over to the company orderly room and turn him in at rifle point to Captain Speirs. Someone got word to Speirs before Mercier showed up. When troopers brought Mercier up to Speirs's desk, prodding him with bayonets, Speirs did not look up. One of the troopers snapped a salute and declared, Sir, we have captured this German officer. What should we do with him? Take him out and shoot him, Speirs replied, not looking up. Sir, Mercier called out, sir, please, sir, it's me, Sergeant Mercier. Mercier, get out of that silly uniform, Speirs ordered. (In Austria after VE Day)

There are many more want-to-be writers out there than good editors.

We are part of a country that outshines those that have gone before us and most of those in existence today.

All that existed was precious in Crazy Horse?s religion?whatever a man did or thought was good, was wakan, so long as he obeyed his own inner voice, for that too was wakan.

By this time, around 0745, unknown others were doing the same, whether NCOs or junior officers or, in some cases, privates. Staying on the beach meant certain death; retreat was not possible; someone had to lead; men took the burden on themselves and did. Bingham put it this way: The individual and small-unit initiative carried the day. Very little, if any, credit can be accorded company, battalion, or regimental commanders for their tactical prowess and/or their coordination of the action.

I thought Nixon was the worst President we had ever had, save only perhaps Andrew Johnson.

It does you no good to see the number two or number three man in the corporation-you have to get through to number one.

Neighbors are far better acoustic analyzers for determining the quality of their life versus any acoustic instrument left unattended by an expert.

Shaef had prepared for everything except the weather. It now became an obsession. It was the one thing for which no one could plan, and the one thing that no one could control. In the end, the most completely planned military operation in history was dependent on the caprice of winds and waves. Tides and moon conditions were predictable, but storms were not. From the beginning, everyone had counted on at least acceptable weather for D-Day.

There are many rules of good writing, but the best way to find them is to be a good reader.

We are part of a country that outshines those that have gone before us and most of those in existence

Almost everything Truman did in foreign affairs I approve of.

Chickenshit is so called - instead of horse- or bull- or elephant shit - because it is small-minded and ignoble and takes the trivial seriously.

I was taught by professors who had done their schooling in the 1930s. Most of them were scornful of, even hated, big business.

It would not be possible to praises nurses too highly.

Neither Johnson nor his party nor the government as a whole were willing to raise, train, equip, and then send Vietnam sufficient manpower to do the job.

The American Constitution is the greatest governing document, and at some 7,000 words, just about the shortest.

There was no room on this new road for Crazy Horse, the greatest warrior of them all. Perhaps Touch-the-Clouds had this in mind as he looked down on those courageous, confused people. It?s well, he said quietly, reassuringly. He has looked for death and it has come. The Oglalas filed away, silently, into the night.

We know how to win wars. We must learn now to win peace.

Although both men were full of resolve, the defender could not keep his doubts out of his mind, while the attacker refused to entertain any doubts. (Rommel vs. Eisenhower)

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Ambrose, born Stephen Edward Ambrose
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American Historian and Biographer