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Extended Audio Sample To America: Personal Reflections of an Historian Audiobook, by Stephen E. Ambrose Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.93 out of 53.93 out of 53.93 out of 53.93 out of 53.93 out of 5 3.93 (27 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen E. Ambrose Narrator: Jeffrey DeMunn Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2002 ISBN: 9780743549271
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Reflecting on his career, Stephen E. Ambrose -- one of the country's most influential historians -- confronts America's failures and struggles as he explores both its moral and pragmatic triumphs. To America celebrates the men and women who invented the United States and made it exceptional.
Taking a few swings at today's political correctness, Ambrose grapples with the country's historic sins of racism, its neglect and ill treatment of Native Americans, and its tragic errors. He reflects on some of the early founders -- great men such as Washington and Jefferson -- who, while progressive thinkers, lived a contradiction as slaveholders. He contemplates the genius of Andrew Jackson's defeat of a vastly superior British force with a ragtag army in the War of 1812. He describes the grueling journey that Lewis and Clark made to open up the country, and the building of the railroad that produced great riches for a few barons.
Ambrose explains the misunderstood presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, records the country's assumption of world power under the leadership of Theodore Roosevelt, and extols the heroic victory of World War II. He explores women's rights and civil rights, immigration, museum and nation-building.
Most importantly, Ambrose tells us about writing history, and about what an historian's job is all about. As he says, "The last five letters of the word 'history' tell us that it is an account of the past that is about people and what they did, which is what makes it the most fascinating of subjects." As he reflects upon American history, Ambrose shares his own personal history. To America is an instant classic for those interested in history, patriotism, and the love of writing. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Stephen Ambrose is that rare breed: an historian with true passion for his subjects.”

    Ken Burns, New York Times bestselling author

  • “An exciting classroom lecture by a well-beloved teacher.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “In this brief yet satisfying book, Ambrose moves seamlessly from one topic to the next with contagious enthusiasm and unapologetic optimism…Ambrose’s undying faith in his country and his fellow citizens is inspiring.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “An excellent read…a must for history fans…To America is a love letter to the nation.”

    Knoxville News-Sentinel

  • “Stunning…Stephen Ambrose should be assigned a special, honored place among modern historians…All of us who write or read history are in his debt.”

    Fort Worth Star-Telegram

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colette | 2/16/2014

    " For anyone that loves Ametican history and wants to uncover a few of the mysteries of recording of history in a non-biased way. It might be interesting for this who love Band of Brothers, but do not care too much for Jefferson (me). Many may not like Ambrose, but this is a heartfelt journey of an aged historian and could change your mind about him. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peter Mayeux | 2/16/2014

    " Ambrose offers an eclectic set of historical profiles and his opinions about each topic or event. I enjoyed his writing style. His casual source citations detracted from the work. For my tastes, I tired of his constant references about his academic background, research activities, and teaching experiences. Since this was Ambrose's last book, I should not pass judgement on his selection and presentation of these historical events. I would like to read another of his books, especially one of the biographies he published early in his career. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marc | 2/13/2014

    " Patriotic words from one of the greatest members of the greatest generation. This is his final will and testament, written with love and respect for all kinds of readers. It's his vision for all that America is--and could be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 AGC | 1/31/2014

    " I really adore Ambrose's writing style. Very clear and crisp, and he's a great storyteller. This was one of the books that got me interested in history (although the subject is now buried in my mind because of the intense amount of science). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Josh | 1/17/2014

    " Fantastic book on History and an incredible recorder of history. Highly recommend! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Korrin | 1/12/2014

    " Another "textbook" for Post WWII History. It gave a good insight from a widely-known and intuitive historian, but there were some things that were wishy-washy and things I thought were bit vague. But in general, in interesting overview of certain events in our nation's history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott Whitney | 1/7/2014

    " I enjoyed this look into the mind of one of the best known author/historians of our age. In this book he has helped me discover the thoughts and feelings of many of the most influential men our country has produced and their impacts on this country I love and for which I have fought. Probably my favorite book by this author to date since it discusses his thought, feelings and relationships rather than what he has researched. This book, and Comrades has helped me know this author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 1/5/2014

    " Very interesting views on different parts of American history... Not your usual boring textbook -- Stephen Ambrose has a way of telling history in stories... It's a great read, although I must admit that there's a chapter or two at the end that he could have left out... :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 michelle | 12/1/2013

    " very inspiring - made me want to study history more fervently. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 10/28/2013

    " Probably the best history book I have read. Profound insights from a man who spent his life studying and writing about history. You have to read his spot on assessment of our founding fathers. GREAT book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darlis | 6/7/2013

    " This is much more of a historiography than a history. But very interesting how the author gets into his subjects and how he researches them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greg | 4/27/2013

    " This book is like having several conversations with Stephen Ambrose (a well respectred historian and author) about his views of America, from WWII to race relations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly Applegate | 4/10/2013

    " Great read... each chapter covers a different (yet important) event in US History. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karola | 1/28/2013

    " Serious history lessons from this person's point of view and experience. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Derrick | 10/13/2012

    " this is probably only for the historians at heart. If you like Ambrose, you'll appreciate this book. It's like getting to sit down and interview him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 10/6/2012

    " Excellent content covered in this book. Lots of pros and cons on each President and political person he discusses. Just when I think he agrees with my historical reflection of a person, he finds another side to present...so it isnt a skewering or a pedastal for anyone! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Glenn | 5/6/2012

    " A (too short !!!) great review of many topics in American History -- from the Revolution to the Transcontinental Railroad to Vietnam to Nixon. Wonderful read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J | 3/20/2012

    " Interesting glimpse into Stephen Ambrose's perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 2/23/2012

    " A great selection of the figures from American history that Ambrose thinks are important. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 1/11/2012

    " A quick history lesson from a great writer, worth every minute of time spent reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 1/9/2012

    " I love this book... I used parts of it to teach a comparative history course. Amrose is at his best... chewing on issues that produce great discussions about what makes America what it is. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tony Randall | 11/15/2011

    " Sad that we had to come to the end of Stephen's books. Well done and thank you! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rachel | 7/20/2011

    " I really enjoyed the beginning of this book, but near the end I felt it became less about America and more an autobiography. It was required reading for school so I had to finish it, but I was definitely dragging through "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josh | 2/2/2011

    " Ambrose is so far my favorite modern historian (Mormon is my favorite ancient one) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 1/16/2010

    " Probably the best history book I have read. Profound insights from a man who spent his life studying and writing about history. You have to read his spot on assessment of our founding fathers. GREAT book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 12/24/2009

    " I love this book... I used parts of it to teach a comparative history course. Amrose is at his best... chewing on issues that produce great discussions about what makes America what it is. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alberta | 8/27/2009

    " This is the last book written by this author, before he died. He went over subjects ( history)that he had written in previous books.He wrote a lot about the Wars and the past presidents. "

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About the Author
Author Stephen E. Ambrose

Stephen E. Ambrose (1936–2002) was the author of Citizen Soldiers, Undaunted Courage, and D-Day, as well as biographies of Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon. He also founded the Eisenhower Center and was president of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. His book, Band of Brothers, was the basis for the HBO miniseries.

About the Narrator

Jeffrey DeMunn is an American film, television, and stage actor. He graduated from Union College in 1969 and then spent two years at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre school in England. He is best known for his roles in several Frank Darabont films, including The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Majestic. His is also featured in numerous television roles, most recently in the adaptation of The Walking Dead comic book series. In addition to his film and television performances, DeMunn has lent his voice to several audio books, including The Colorado Kid, Dreamcatcher, and Letters for Emily