25 Stephen Ambrose Books

An accomplished historian and author, Stephen Ambrose has written more than two dozen books on various historical subjects. A prolific writer, Ambrose is known for his ability to make complex historical topics accessible to a wide audience.

His work has garnered critical acclaim and earned him numerous awards.

Some writers have recently come to accuse Ambrose of pieces of plagiarism in at least six of his books where he didn't correctly attribute passages in the books to the original authors. He's also faced a few other controversies during his writing career. 

Either way, his works have gained praise and awards by well known historians and establishments during his lifetime. You will find some of his best works here.

Books by Stephen Ambrose

1. Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest

Band of Brothers

Published: 1992

Pages: 335

In this compelling book, Ambrose tells the story of Easy Company and brings it to life. This unit was part of the U.S. Army's airborne division during World War II. Easy Company saw action in some of the most pivotal moments during the war, including the invasion of Normandy, the Battle of Bastogne, among so many more.

They were famous for taking 150% casualties because they were always on the front lines and would never back down from any battle. The experiences these soldiers went through forged an unbreakable bond between them that lasted long after the war was over. Those who served in this company became known as "The Band of Brothers."

NOTE: There is also a miniseries of the same name.

2. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West:

Undaunted Courage

Published: 1996

Pages: 521

Meriwether Lewis and Thomas Jefferson are two of the most celebrated American historical figures. Both were instrumental in the exploration and mapping of America's western frontier, and both left a legacy on the development of our country. In 1803, Jefferson was President and chose Lewis to go West.

Stephen Ambrose tells their story in riveting detail, painting an intimate portrait of these two remarkable men and their incredible journey to explore the uncharted West. Being that the Lewis and Clark expedition changed the future of the USA, this is a must-read for anyone interested in American history or exploration.

3. Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869

Nothing Like It in the World

Published: 2000

Pages: 431

Railroad enthusiasts know the story of the transcontinental railroad all too well. How six hundred miles of track were laid in a record-breaking eleven months, and how the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads were finally joined together at Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10th, 1869.

But what about the men who built that railway? Historian Stephen Ambrose tells their story in his book The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869.

This is the story of the men who labored day and night to keep this monumental project on track through thick mud and blistering heat, facing hazardous conditions and deadly obstacles at every turn. Even if you're not particularly interested in trains, Ambrose's tale of determined pioneers is sure to engross you with each event in it.

4. D-Day: June 6th, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II

D-Day: June 6th, 1944

Published: 1994

Pages: 656

This gripping account of Normandy's Allied invasion on June 6th, 1944, is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the climactic battle of World War II. Ambrose weaves together multiple perspectives – from generals to foot soldiers – to create a riveting narrative that puts readers right in the thick of the action.

Drawing on extensive interviews and first-hand accounts, D-Day brings to life one of history's most remarkable military engagements, such as the battle of Omaha and Utah beaches. Anyone who wants to understand what it was like to fight in World War II will appreciate Ambrose's expert storytelling.

5. Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany June 7th, 1944, to May 7th, 1945

Citizen Soldiers

Published: 1997

Pages: 512

Starting from where his book, D-Day, ends, this book is an engaging account of the Allied campaign in Western Europe during World War II. The book provides a detailed history of the events that unfolded from D-Day to Germany's surrender in 1945. Ambrose weaves together personal stories and anecdotes with historical analysis to create a cohesive narrative that is both informative and entertaining.

He always focuses on both the generals in command, the officers below them, and the average grunt who was trying to win the war but also just survives battles. This makes for a highly readable account of one of the most critical periods in world history.

6. Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors

Crazy Horse and Custer

Published: 1975

Pages: 527

Stephen Ambrose draws intriguing parallels between the lives of these two iconic American warriors. Both men were born to humble beginnings and rose to become extraordinary leaders in their fields. As young men, they both demonstrated remarkable courage and determination in the face of adversity, and each went on to make a significant impact on the course of history.

While their stories are filled with many differences, there are also striking similarities between Crazy Horse and Custer that help to illustrate their shared heroism and legacy. It is utterly intriguing to see that the comparison between the two is so meaningful and yet leads to different endings.

7. The Supreme Commander

The Supreme Commander

Published: 1999 (Originally published in 1970)

Pages: 732

In this incredible biography, Stephen Ambrose draws on his personal acquaintance with General Dwight D. Eisenhower to offer a unique and insightful perspective on the Allied commander's role in World War II.

This biography tells the story of Eisenhower's rise from humble beginnings to become one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century. From his experiences as a young soldier in World War II to his time as President of the United States.

Through Ambrose's lens, Eisenhower emerges as an individual of great strategic insight and political acumen, whose calm demeanor and ability to make hard decisions won him the trust of both subordinates and superiors. This book provides an excellent overview of one of the pivotal figures of World War II.

8. Eisenhower: Soldier and President

Eisenhower: Soldier and President

Published: 1990

Pages: 635

Dwight Eisenhower was more than just a five-star general and the 34th president of the United States. He was also a family man, an avid golfer, and a voracious reader. This book chronicles Eisenhower's impressive career from West Point cadet to Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War II.

If you're looking for an in-depth understanding of one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century, then be sure to check out Eisenhower: Soldier and President.

Ambrose's book is compelling because he draws on personal anecdotes and recently declassified documents to paint a complete picture of this American icon. Some of these accounts come from people such as FDR, Truman, Charles de Gaulle, and others.

9. The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944-1945

The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew

Published: 2001

Pages: 299

More than 60,000 U.S. servicemen died in the bomber war. The dangers these men faced, from smoke that made their flight plans almost impossible to taking flak from the enemies, are truly unique. Stephen Ambrose tells their story in The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944-1945.

Drawing on interviews with hundreds of veterans, Ambrose creates a meticulously detailed account of this little-known facet of World War II.

From bomber training to harrowing combat missions to life after the war, these men's experiences provide a unique perspective on one of history's deadliest conflicts.

Each Memorial Day, it is essential to remember the sacrifices made by all who fought for our freedom - including those pilots who risked everything to take down Hitler's regime.

10. Pegasus Bridge

Pegasus Bridge

Published: 1985

Pages: 197

In the early hours of June 6th, 1944, the first Allied troops crossed the English Channel and landed on French soil—an event that would begin the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany. Among those soldiers were members of the British 6th Airborne Division.

The latter was tasked with seizing two strategic bridges in Normandy: over the Caen Canal and the Orne River.

This was the first battle of D-Day, and readers are given a detailed account of that fateful day, as well as an inside look at how the mission was planned and carried out. Ambrose's book is a testament to the courage and ingenuity of those involved in Operation Overlord.

11. Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938

Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938

Published: 1997 (Originally in 1971)

Pages: 480

Stephen Ambrose explores the development of U.S. foreign policy from the end of World War II until the present day. Ambrose does an excellent job of providing a historical context for current events and illustrating how past decisions have led to the nation's current standing in the world.

This book is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding modern America's place in the world from the past. He offers fresh perspectives on well-known topics and introduces readers to lesser-known episodes in our country's diplomatic history. He provides new perspectives on notable topics and introduces readers to lesser-known episodes in our country's diplomatic history.

12. American Heritage History of World War II

American Heritage History of World War II

Written by: Stephen Ambrose and C. L. Sulzberger

Published: 1997

Pages: 628

Initially written in 1966 by Pulitzer Prize winner C. L. Sulzberger, Ambrose gave this a significant update. If you are looking for an in-depth and engaging look at the history of World War II, then this book is a great choice. It provides a detailed account of all aspects of the war, from the origins of the conflict to the final surrender of Japan.

Ambrose draws on various sources to create a comprehensive and compelling narrative that will keep you captivated from beginning to end. He always uses stories from the top to the bottom of the chain, and the different opinions you get are all enthralling and illuminating. If you are interested in learning more about one of the most significant events in world history, then be sure to check out this book.

13. Ike's Spies: Eisenhower and the Espionage Establishment

Ike's Spies: Eisenhower and the Espionage Establishment

Published: 1999 (Originally published in 1981)

Pages: 368

This book sheds light on the little-known story of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his reliance on a close circle of advisors to conduct espionage and counterintelligence operations during the Cold War.

Drawing on recently declassified documents, Ambrose provides an in-depth look at Ike's inner circle, including Allen Dulles, John Foster Dulles, and Richard Nixon, and their role in shaping America's response to the Soviet threat.

It also examines his role in the ULTRA, the overthrow Guatemala's President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman's government in 1954, U-2 spy flights over Russia, and so much more. It is incredibly in-depth, and the amount of spy work done by Ike, and his people, are almost unbelievable.

14. The Victors: Eisenhower and His Boys The Men Of World War II

The Victors: Eisenhower and His Boys The Men Of World War II

Published: 1998

Pages: 396

In this book, Stephen Ambrose writes about the men who served in World War II under General Dwight D. Eisenhower and their victorious campaigns in Europe. This book is a tribute to the brave men who fought and sacrificed so much for their country. It is also a tribute to Eisenhower himself, who led his troops to victory and became one of the most respected leaders of our time.

The stories of these soldiers are inspiring, and their courage is something that we can all admire. He also paints a picture of the unique camaraderie that developed among them, forged by shared experiences in some of history's most brutal fighting.

This camaraderie would continue to shape their lives long after the war ended.

15. Nixon Volume I: The Education of a Politician 1913-1962

Nixon Volume I: The Education of a Politician 1913-1962

Published: 1987

Pages: 752

If you're interested in American politics, this is one of the books and chapters of U.S. history that needs to be read and understood. It offers an in-depth look at the early life and career of Richard Nixon, who would later become the 37th President of the United States.

This book provides keen insights into how Nixon rose to power and offers a detailed look at some of the major events and controversies from this era.

Ambrose does an excellent job of providing readers with never-before-seen insights into Nixon's character and motivations, making for an informative and engaging read. So, if you want to learn more about one of America's most complex political figures, be sure to check out Nixon Volume I.

16. Nixon Volume II: The Triumph of a Politician 1962-1972

Nixon Volume II

Published: December 1st 1987

Pages: 736

In this eagerly anticipated follow-up to his groundbreaking biography of Richard Nixon, Stephen Ambrose offers a stunning account of the President's political triumphs from 1962 to 1972. Drawing on more than two hundred hours of interviews with Nixon and his closest aides, as well as newly released transcripts of the Nixon White House tapes, Ambrose provides an intimate and detailed portrait of our thirty-seventh president.

Here we see Nixon at the peak of his power—defying his critics to win a massive victory in 1968, then presiding over America's transformation from a nation mired in despair to one bursting with self-confidence.

In Watergate, we see the darkest hours of Nixon's presidency, his fall from grace, but also his steely determination to survive and rebuild his career.

17. Nixon Volume III: Ruin and Recovery 1973-1990

Nixon Volume III: Ruin and Recovery 1973-1990

Published: 1993

Pages: 667

In the third and final installment of his bestselling Nixon biography series, Stephen Ambrose tells the story of Nixon's turbulent post-presidential years. Faced with personal and political ruin, Nixon fights back to rebuild his reputation and secure his legacy.

From Watergate to the pardon controversy, from Vietnam to China, this is a riveting account of one man's remarkable resilience.

Nixon Volume III is filled with detailed accounts of the President's actions and thoughts on a wide range of topics, as well as insights into the people around him.

Even after leaving office, Nixon remained a controversial figure, and this volume offers a fascinating look at his handling of domestic and international affairs during his post-presidential years.

18. D-Day Illustrated Edition: June 6th, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II

D-Day Illustrated Edition

Published: 2014 (Originally published in 1994)

Pages: 768

On June 6th, 1944, Allied troops invaded Normandy, France, during World War II in the largest amphibious assault in history codenamed Operation OVERLORD; the invasion was part of a larger strategy to liberate Europe from Nazi control. The day has been commemorated as D-Day ever since.

Instead of just using words, this illustrated edition of Stephen Ambrose's book gives a view of the war, unlike anything he wrote.

The book tells the story of the men who planned and participated in the invasion—from General Dwight Eisenhower to Private Joe DiMaggio. Illustrated with more than 125 photographs and maps, this is a must-read, and a must-see, for anyone interested in military history or WWII.

19. Duty, Honor, Country: A History of West Point

Duty, Honor, Country: A History of West Point

Published: 1966

Pages: 376

West Point is one of the most prestigious institutions in America. It is a place where young men and women come to learn about leadership and service to their country. The school's history is rich, and its alumni are some of the most famous people in the world. In Duty, Honor, Country: A History of West Point, we get a closer look at this great institution.

West Point was initially established in 1802 as a military academy. Since then, it has educated generations of leaders who have served their country with distinction. Ambrose introduces us to some of the school's most famous graduates, including Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Robert E. Lee. He tells their stories with depth and knowledge.

It is also interesting to see the infighting, issues with congress and the press, the Board of Supervisors, and more than other books leave out.

20. Eisenhower Volume I: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect, 1890-1952

Eisenhower Volume I

Published: 1983

Pages: 637

Being that Ambrose met personally with Dwight D. Eisenhower, this book is an excellent portrayal of the life of one of America's most esteemed presidents. From his humble beginnings as a small-town boy to his triumphant role in leading Allied forces during World War II, this book paints a detailed picture of this complex and fascinating man.

Instead of just focusing on his positions of power, it also delves into his relationships with his family, friends, and others.

Ambrose's account is augmented by numerous personal interviews with Eisenhower himself and letters and other supplementary materials. This makes for a comprehensive and insightful biography that is sure to interest anyone curious about one of America's most renowned leaders.

21. Eisenhower Volume II: The President

Eisenhower Volume II

Published: 1984

Pages: 752

When President Eisenhower left office in 1961, he was one of the most revered and popular presidents in American history. In this book, Ambrose sheds new light on Ike's time in the White House. Drawing on previously unpublished letters and tapes, Ambrose provides an intimate portrait of a president who faced some of the most challenging moments in U.S. history. These include using atomic weapons, civil rights issues, and overall foreign affairs.

According to Ambrose, Eisenhower was a consummate leader who relied on sound judgment, hard work, and a deep understanding of America's strengths. It also examines his relationships with influential people of the time, including Premier Khrushchev, Joe McCarthy, and others.

Despite his many accomplishments, Ike also made his share of mistakes, which Ambrose is careful to point out.

22. To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian

To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian

Published: 2002

Pages: 288

Historian and author Stephen Ambrose has always felt a strong connection to America, reflected in his writing. Ambrose provides a unique perspective on the nation's history, both past, and present. Drawing on history, personal anecdotes, and his own insights as an American citizen, Ambrose offers readers a thought-provoking look at the United States.

This includes the past presidencies, civil rights, the wars the country has been involved in, and more.

Whether exploring the importance of freedom and democracy or discussing hot-button topics such as immigration and gun control, Ambrose does his best to show both the positives and negatives of this country. Ambrose's argument is clear: Even though it has its fault, the USA is a great country with much to offer the world.

23. Halleck: Lincoln's Chief of Staff

Halleck: Lincoln's Chief of Staff

Published: 1996 (Originally published in 1962)

Pages: 248

This book provides a detailed look at the life of one of Abraham Lincoln's most influential advisors. Although not as well-known as some of Lincoln's other advisors, Henry W. Halleck was a significant player in the President's cabinet and played a critical role in shaping Union strategy during the Civil War.

Often thought of as an idiot and a failure as a General, this little-known leader was quite crucial in the war.

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in Abraham Lincoln's presidency during the Civil War. Ambrose does an excellent job of exploring Halleck's origins, his career before and during the war, and his relationship with Lincoln.

It also delves into his ability and inability to admit his faults and make enemies of people that could have been essential friends.

24. Upton and the Army

Upton and the Army

Published: 1993 (Originally published in 1964)

Pages: 216

Very few people know about General Emory Upton's history, which is why Ambrose decided that it was essential to highlight him. After graduating from West Point, he became a major general by age 25, a brilliant military tactician, and helped the North win many battles against the Confederates.

He also traveled abroad to see how other nations’ militaries were set up and led, so he could adapt and change the U.S. one as necessary.

All of this sounds positive, but there were negatives to Upton's personality and his desire to change what he believed were incorrect plans by the U.S. military.

He wrote several books, many of which were ignored at the time but became respected later, but he always felt he was unappreciated. Ambrose suggests this may be one of the reasons that he committed suicide in 1881.

25. Comrades: Brothers, Fathers, Heroes, Sons, Pals

Comrades: Brothers, Fathers, Heroes, Sons, Pals

Published: 1999

Pages: 144

When Stephen Ambrose wrote this book, he set out to create a tribute to men's relationships with one another. The book is full of personal stories from Ambrose and others who have been deeply affected by the bonds they've shared with their male friends. Some of the stories are personal, such as with himself and his brothers.

Others are about Eisenhower and his younger brother Milton who were very different.

And, since Ambrose spent so much time writing about soldiers, the stories of they became brothers as they fought and tried to survive, together with no matter their familial relationship to each other.

Whether it's a father-son relationship that has lasted a lifetime or just a moment of comradeship on the battlefield, these stories will make you appreciate the power of brotherhood.