- Jun 13, 2009
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Band Of Brothers author accused of fabrication for Eisenhower biography | World news | The Observer
...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.However, recently studied records of Eisenhower's meetings contradict the notion that the pair had any lengthy face-to-face contact. "I think five hours [in total] is a generous estimation of the actual time they spent together. I personally would push it back to less than two or three," said Tim Rives, deputy director of the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas.
The discovery came to light almost by accident. The museum had been planning an exhibition exploring the relationship between Ambrose and Eisenhower. Rives found that the records showed that Ambrose and Eisenhower had met only three times, and never alone. He found that on seven occasions when Ambrose had claimed in the footnotes to his book Supreme Commander to have met Eisenhower, his subject was either elsewhere in the country or holding meetings with other people at the time. In one example, Ambrose claimed to have had an interview with Eisenhower in Pennsylvania, when Eisenhower was in Kansas. "The whole story kind of unravelled from there. It was quite a surprise. We were not looking for it, so it sort of happened almost by accident," Rives said.
Given that the lives of former presidents are meticulously detailed by their staff, there is almost no chance Ambrose could have held interviews with Eisenhower that went unrecorded.