Band of Brothers is a cult classic around our house, and I've bought the DVD twice (lost the first set) and the BluRay after that. I have read the book on which it is based, but don't recall much about it, so when I saw that there was a biography of Easy Company's commander Major Dick Winters, I wanted to see what it could add.
As BoB viewers know, Winters is the almost superhuman leader in the series, and from training camp through the end of the war and beyond he's the character you want to see. The book is refreshing because it both enhances that impression by providing even more instances of Winters' leadership, while simultaneously humanizing him a bit. In the series he appears a bit old-maid-ish at times, and at least initially appears as a bit of a religious pacificist. He was religious, but rejected the idea of avoiding service as a conscientious objector based on his religion, and in combat and in his postwar comments appears to have had no qualms about killing, profanity (sexual profanity did bother him, at least in the context of the TV series), the looting of Nazi assets, etc. Nonetheless he was correctly portrayed as a straight arrow, avoiding alcohol and womanizing.
The books tells many interesting stories about his service, and essentially covers everything you see in the series, but with additional detail and context. After the war ended, Winters had some trouble adjusting to peacetime life, and it wasn't until middle age that he seemed to hit his stride, heading into a magnificent retirement that including managing the Easy Company veterans' stories from his home office at his farm. It was then that he met Stephen Ambrose and persuaded him the the story of Easy Company was worth telling, after which he became famous – especially when Tom Hanks turned the book into an award-winning TV mini-series.
After the series won an Emmy, he went on stage and thanked the audience for recognizing the soldiers' story and then saluted them for their support. Easy Company's surviving veterans were watching his remarks in a nearby ballroom.
The book begins with that story, and it's a great one. The book also has materials that Ambrose and Hanks didn't, which adds more detail to the story. If you're interested in the story of Easy Company, this is a must-read.