With Stephen E. Ambrose's untimely death in October of 2002, America lost its most popular historian. He breathed fresh life into topics that remained obscure to the average person, and injected passion into the events from which history textbooks so often drained the drama. Ambrose's final book is a stirring collection of reflections that covers such wide-ranging subjects as the Battle of New Orleans, the transcontinental railroad, Crazy Horse and Custer, sexism and racism, the author's personal ruminations on what it means to be an historian, and so much more. Throughout the book, Ambrose is candid while assessing himself, legendary historical figures, and the entire nation. Discussing the Vietnam War, the author recalls, "I was a dove, not very active in the antiwar movement but very much an outspoken critic." Concerning Thomas Jefferson, Ambrose says, "His writing showed that he had a great mind and a limited character." About Americans he believes, "We've made the world a better place and we will continue to do so." While occasionally a critical examination of American policy, past and present, this book remains primarily a celebration of the indomitable spirit that makes the United States a great nation. It is a deeply admired man's final gift to the country he so dearly loved.