Written by: Walt
Band of Brothers is a non-fiction book by Stephen Ambrose which tells the story of Easy Company during World War II. That is, Company E of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. This book follows the story of this fabled company from its earliest beginnings through some of the most famous battles of World War II: D-Day, Operation market garden, and Bastogne, until its final decommissioning at the end of the War. This unit consistently found itself in the forefront of the fight. Following the critical acclaim for the book and the success of their film Saving Private Ryan. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg created the Oscar Award winning miniseries based on this book for HBO.
You may find it odd that at I am starting the book review of one book by telling you about a different book but, it is necessary because it sets the context for The Biggest Brother by Larry Alexander. The story of Easy Company cannot be told without including Major Dick Winters. He is the man who really helped to form this company and led it in many of its most notable battles. While Stephen Ambrose includes a great deal of information about and from Dick Winters, Biggest Brother tells the tale of Easy Company strictly from the perspective of Winters. Much of the information about the battles is the same as Band of Brothers which Alexander draws heavily from. There is more information on Winters life before and after his time in the army. Alexander also includes snippets of the letters he wrote back to a girlfriend. I really enjoyed this book because it gives you picture into the mind set of the individual soldier during World War II. In addition, Winters was also a superb company and battalion commander so you get an excellent insight into the mind set of of a combat commander. While not the focus of this book, the take away lessons on leadership from Winters behavior I thought were of great benefit.
I really think The Biggest Brother makes an excellent companion to Band of Brothers. If you have read Ambrose’s book I would highly recommend this one. If you haven’t read Band of Brothers, I would probably say you should go and read that one first.
If you are looking for some other books like this one here are a few others you might enjoy:
Band of Brothers is my favorite book by Stephen Ambrose. His style of writing which focuses on individuals which sometimes is difficult when he is covering an entire theater of operations. It becomes very easy to can lose track of who all the people are. However, it is fantastic for telling the story a company size group. The Band of Brothers DVD set is what I am currently watching so you may see an upcoming post on that. So far its awesome. This miniseries was produced by HBO and won an Oscar. The last book, Beyond Band of Brothers is one I haven’t read yet. I came across it as I was researching this article. It turns out that it was written by Major Dick Winters himself. So I have added this to my required reading list. If any of you have read it let me know.
Easy Company Association
Pictorial History of Easy Company
Posted on: Thursday, November 1, 2007
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