The Supreme Commander: The War Years of Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Supreme Commander: The War Years of Dwight D. Eisenhower

by Stephen E. Ambrose


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In this classic portrait of Dwight D. Eisenhower the soldier, bestselling historian Stephen E. Ambrose examines the Allied commander’s leadership during World War II.
Ambrose brings Eisenhower’s experience of the Second World War to life, showing in vivid detail how the general’s skill as a diplomat and a military strategist contributed to Allied successes in North Africa and in Europe, and established him as one of the greatest military leaders in the world. Ambrose, then the Associate Editor of the General’s official papers, analyzes Eisenhower’s difficult military decisions and his often complicated relationships with powerful personalities like Churchill, de Gaulle, Roosevelt, and Patton. This is the definitive account of Eisenhower’s evolution as a military leader—from its dramatic beginnings through his time at the top post of Allied command.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307946621
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/17/2012
Pages: 768
Sales rank: 225,929
Product dimensions: 5.16(w) x 7.96(h) x 1.31(d)

About the Author

Stephen E. Ambrose was the author or co-author of more than thirty books on military affairs and foreign policy. Early in his career he was an associate editor of The Eisenhower Papers, and he later went on to publish the definitive, three-part biography of Eisenhower, as well as many bestselling books of military history, including Band of Brothers and Undaunted Courage. He died in 2002.

Date of Birth:

January 10, 1936

Date of Death:

October 13, 2002

Place of Birth:

Whitewater, Wisconsin

Place of Death:

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi


B.A., University of Wisconsin; M.A., Louisiana State University, 1958; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1963

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The Supreme Commander: The War Years of Dwight D. Eisenhower 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stephen Ambrose continues to not disappoint. This book gives the reader the feel of the frustrations of being the Supreme Commander of a multinational force in a theater of war. The need to way every decision on what is not military sound and necessary but the political ramifications as well; not only for his only country, but for the British as well. A must read for anyone who loves World War II and the study of General Eisenhower.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was hard to get into. It gave alot of information, which is why it was too boring. I would recomend if you are looking for facts about Eisenhower, but not if you are looking for an action packed acount.
linedog1848 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a hefty book I put off for a long time due to its size. I thought 670 pages had to be excessive as a biography of only one person over a period of only 4 years. It was. This was much more than merely a biography. This was an excellent birds-eye view of the entire portion of WWII during American involvement in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Europe. It was a very good and often surprising account of the war.Although I enjoy war books that include perspectives of the soldiers in the line, too narrow a focus leaves out the context. Likewise, leaving out the experience of the people doing the fighting, the killing, the bleeding and the dying gives a less-than-complete story. Of course, at the end of the day, no single book--no number of books no matter how large--will transmit the totality of the thing. Still, the very best, I feel, transition from command to front-line and back. I think Rick Atkinson's Army at Dawn and Day of Battle are the best balanced I've read.So this one did give a great view of the war, but it was very much, even sometimes disturbingly, separated and isolated from the horror and suffering of those giving their lives to execute the decisions made at AFHQ and SHAEF. It was often chilling but, I think, realistic, to see the depersonalized processes of directing war at high levels; the disconnect between that and the intimacy of the act of taking a man's life face-to-face was a real and unvarnished aspect of this account of war.Ambrose was an advocate for Eisenhower throughout, but of course all biographers tend to err on the side of serving the subject as their "relationship" with their subject develops through their writing and research. Ambrose's bias is not bold or blind--he does acknowledge mistakes and counter-arguments--but it is at least visible enough that the reader does not have to wonder and guess at how the author's bias is entering his work. It's better that way sometimes, so that you can account for the bias rather than having to wonder.All in all this was a very worthwhile read despite its length, and its length contributed to a very satisfying feeling at having finished it. I average about 3 to 7 days for a typical nonfiction war book 300-500 pages. This one took me 14 days exactly.Overall, this was excellent, but not among the very very best.
Jiggarelli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Ambrose works, and I like Ike, so for me well worth the heft of this book. Biased as some biographers tend to be, but not awkwardly so. Arguments and re-thinking is included in the text, although dare I say a little on the scarce or under thought side. Perhaps purposely.A very enjoyable read, like I said above, it is a thick book 650+ pages. Even those people wishing to familiarize themselves with Dwight Eisenhower for the first time will enjoy this book and find it informative and pleasant. All the acronyms in the book could easily get confusing for people with no military or war history experience, so be sure to pay close attention and familiarize yourself with them early when they are introduced. Be sure to enjoy this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago