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Late historian Stephen Ambrose under fire


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by Paul Harris

The Observer

Sunday 25 April 2010

Band Of Brothers author accused of fabrication for Eisenhower biography

US academic world shocked as respected historian is said to have 'made up' meetings with 34th US president

His book Band of Brothers – which chronicled the exploits of one company of US airborne troops in second world war Europe – was turned into a highly praised TV series.

But now American historian Professor Stephen Ambrose, who was President Dwight D Eisenhower's official biographer and wrote or edited more than a dozen books about him, is embroiled in a posthumous controversy. It is alleged that he invented many meetings he claimed to have had with Eisenhower, and even fabricated entire interviews with him. The revelations have sent shock waves through the scholarly community in the United States.

The books written by Ambrose, who died in 2002, brought him popular acclaim, and director Steven Spielberg used him as a military adviser on his 1998 Oscar-winning film Saving Private Ryan. Band of Brothers became a cultural milestone when it was turned into a TV series on which Ambrose was a producer. It was hailed for educating an entire generation about the sacrifices of their forefathers. But it appears that Ambrose indulged in some sort of fantasy about the extent of his relationship with Eisenhower. In TV interviews, he claimed to have spent "hundreds and hundreds of hours" with the former president. He even once said he would spend two days a week working with Eisenhower in his office....

Full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/2...ography-scandal

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