So, I’ve decided for the next couple weeks, I am going to talk about Band of Brothers. The book, and the miniseries. I’m currently reading the book, finally, and it has some really interesting points! And since this ins’t the type of book I usually read and review on this blog, I have decided to mesh it with my sometimes historic posts. My plan is to give a little recap of the segments that stuck out to me most from what I read that week.
I need to give you all a little warning of sorts, I’m infatuated with Band of Brothers. Part of it is an element of nostalgia, when it came out in 2001 my dad was stationed at Ft. Campbell and we were part of the 101st Screaming Eagles, and from my experience that unit has a strong camaraderie and great sense of unity (it’s the only unit song I know, which I think says something). It was also right after September 11, and my dad’s unit was the first to deploy after that event, so while he was preparing to go to war again, we were watching this – a chronicle of one company and it’s experiences in WWII. Now, the brigade we were with was full of amazing people, and dad’s brigade commander and wife would have us and all of the battalion commanders and brigade staff over to their house all the time, they became surrogate parents to me, and I still have that connection with them today – this I think is the core of what a military family is, and BoB illustrates that idea.
Anyway, every Sunday, when this would air, we would all go over the the brigade commanders house, have dinner, then settle around to watch BoB. Now, I was 11 at this time so I wasn’t allowed to watch some of it, and I didn’t really understand it all. But when I got older I began watching it more regularly, and I now watch it annually. I basically have it memorized, I can tell you what episodes things happened, I know all the characters, and newbies to the series are probably annoyed by my stating the line before the character.
Now, as a historian, this series also has a lot of interesting cultural points to it that I find fascinating. I think one of the reasons I am so intrigued by this interpretation of WWII is because it isn’t political history looking at Eisenhower, or FDR, or General Taylor, it isn’t strictly military history – focusing on the movements and battles, it’s a nice balance between military and social history – looking at the everyday people who fought and lived through the war in Europe. I find the cultural observations fascinating, the level of patriotism of the soldiers inspiring, and the belief in the American idea of freedom a fuel for the soldier’s mission and a coping method for their actions.
Basically, it’s amazing.
So starting next week I’m going to start my ten week (in homage to the miniseries) discussion about each episode and its corresponding chapters. I’ll talk about the episode first, what stands out most to me, and then move to the book and talk about any big thing I thought it left out from the show or just the interesting things that ended up being left out.
I hope you all enjoy this historic run, and that it gets those of you who haven’t seen BoB watching (it’s on Amazon instant and is free if you have Prime!).