Stephen Ambrose, born Stephen Edward Ambrose

Ambrose, born Stephen Edward Ambrose

American Historian and Biographer

Author Quotes

The copied words they discovered amounted to about 10 pages out of a total work of some 15,000 pages in print... The investigative reporters found them by using my footnotes.

Third, the Sioux did not delegate real power to an individual, be he a head of an akicita society, tribal chief, or simply a brave individual. As Lowie puts it, in normal times the chief was not a supreme executive, but a peacemaker and an orator. Chiefs?all chiefs?were titular, and any power exercised within the tribe was exercised by the total body of responsible men who had qualified for social eminence by their war record and their generosity.33 Whites could never understand this point, incidentally; because they could not conceive of a society without a solid hierarchy, the whites insisted that the Indians had to have chiefs who would be a final authority and able to speak for the entire tribe. Later, much difficulty grew out of this basic white misunderstanding of Indian government.

We voted 50-50 for the next president ... One of the things that was notable was how much the American people today yearn for a sense of national unity and that brought it about. So there are a lot of things that happened after 12/7/41 that are happening now and will continue to happen, the most important of which is we became one people.

American is the first democratic nation-state.

Dams have harmed our wildlife and made rivers less useful for recreation.

I'm no politician. I'm an historian who has learned through a lifetime of studying that nothing in the world beats universal education.

I've walked every step of that trail. I've made wakes where Lewis made wakes, and I've sat around his campfires... You don't see power lines, you don't see bridges or ranches. You see what the explorers saw.

No wrong will ever be done you by our nation.

The Enlightenment taught that observation unrecorded was knowledge lost.

Those things which are precious are saved only by sacrifice.

When Hitler declared war on the United States, he was betting that German soldiers, raised up in the Hitler Youth, would always out fight American soldiers, brought up in the Boy Scouts. He lost that bet. The Boy Scouts had been taught how to figure their way out of their own problems.

Andrew Johnson was a Southerner generally who proclaimed that his native state of Tennessee was a country for white men.

D-Day represents the greatest achievement of the American people and system in the 20th century. It was the pivot point of the 20th century. It was the day on which the decision was made as to who was going to rule in this world in the second half of the 20th century. Is it going to be Nazism, is it going to be communism, or are the democracies going to prevail?

Immigrants do more than help us win our wars, or set up cleaning shops or ethnic restaurants.

Jefferson could write, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.

No, I realize that you didn?t think of it! But I did.

The first man stepped up to the open door. All the men had been ordered to look out at the horizon, not straight down, for obvious psychological reasons.

Through the late spring [1975] we made our way up the Missouri River, stopping at Lewis and Clark campsites along the way. We canoed the river at every stop. Each night around the fire, we would read aloud from the journals.

Who today is willing to say that Texas and California and the remainder of the Southwest would be better off if they were governed by Mexico?

Arthur Moore describes the results: Whole forests of oak, beech, poplar, maple, and walnut, standing since Columbus, collapsed ? from girdling and deadening with fire. There was in the heart of the new race no more consideration for the trees than for the game until the best of both were gone; steel conquered the West but chilled the soul of the conqueror. This assault on nature, than which few more frightful spectacles could be imagined, owed much to sheer need, but something also to a compelling desire to destroy conspicuous specimens of the fauna and flora of the wilderness. The origin of this mad destructiveness may be in doubt, but there is no question about its effect. The Ohio Valley today has neither trees nor animals to recall adequately the splendor of the garden of the Indian which the white man found and used so profligately.

During the Second World War, the Germans took four years to build the Atlantic Wall. On four beaches it held up the Allies for about an hour; at Omaha it held up the U.S. for less than one day. The Atlantic Wall must therefore be regarded as one of the greatest blunders in military history.

In 1945, there were more people killed, more buildings destroyed, more high explosives set off, more fires burning than before or since.

Jefferson owned slaves. He did not believe that all were created equal. He was a racist.

Nor did the Americans find it necessary to wage a ruthless campaign. As has been mentioned previously, both sides respected

The German today is like the June Bride. He knows he is going to get it, but he doesn't know how big it is going to be.

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Ambrose, born Stephen Edward Ambrose
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American Historian and Biographer