You don’t hate history, you hate the way it was taught to you in high school.
–Stephen E. Ambrose
This morning, somebody followed an ad for my book from the keyword “Stephen E. Ambrose,” and I appreciated it so much, I thought I’d write a little remembrance of the man himself.
Ambrose was a historian: an author, a professor, an intellectual, activist and public speaker. His career spanned from 1960 – 2002. Ambrose’s popularity rose dramatically after his stint as the military advisor for the movie, “Saving Private Ryan.” An expert on military history, Ambrose’s work impressed Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks enough to turn to him again and again, most notably for the cable miniseries based on his book, “Band of Brothers.”
The television series was famous but a scant part of his full career. He published over 30 books, founded a museum–well, the list goes on and on. Ambrose’s primary work was in the field of military history, which was ironic because he began his career as a “pony-tailed liberal.” Ambrose has been credited with helping to change the attitude toward returning World War II heroes. He once said, “I thought the returning veterans were giants who had saved the world from barbarism. I still think so.”
Ambrose died with his family at his side in the Fall of 2002.
Ryil Adamson is the author of the irreverent book on presidential elections, “The Best-Looking One Always Wins.”