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About Face: The Odyssey of an American Warrior Paperback – April 15, 1990
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Top Customer Reviews
Say what you want about Hackworth - you can't deny him his valor or experiences in the Army. "Hack" continues to thrive on controversy - one who is not afraid to stir the pot. This book was his first view on the public stage after his Vietnam exit from the Army.
As a young officer - I first read this book in the career stage of my commission - as a Major - and came away with mixed feelings about his views and attitudes. Hackworth's Vietnam experience - like that of John Kerry's, was a defining point of his life. Both came away from that service determined to change the way government uses the military. Kerry became an anti-military cynic; Hackworth lashed out at the systems' waste and stupidity - in an attempt to make the system better.
During war, Hack would be a leader one would wish to serve under. In peacetime - like so many other warriors - he'd be a disaster in the mindless training environment of a peacetime army. Like a fire extinguisher - keep under glass until an emergency demands his use.
The book is deliberately written to stir controversy. This IS Hackworth and what he is all about. Step on a few important toes to save good soldiers - this IS and always was his intent. When he drifts to politics - watch out! He has no friends in either political party.
If you have never served - and are thinking of signing up - maybe this will give you pause. If the world awaits you as a grand adventure - do what he did - and wear the uniform proudly for a majority of your adult life.Read more ›
A man is lucky to find his calling, and Hackworth was born to be a warrior. In a way, this book is an inspiration. It makes one want to be as good in one's profession as Hackworth was in his. And no matter what one's occupation is, one can identify with Hackworth's frustration with and anger at the "perfumed princes" who rose to the top in the Army he knew, and whos' equivalents exist in every field of endeavor. Don't you know people who don't give a grape-skin about the higher goals of their profession, and who live only to feed their ambition? Reading this book is like sitting down and listening to somebody who knows the score.
The second theme is the way in which he describes an Army sinking into the morass so common of militaries in peacetime. The most worrying thing for me was the parallels I could see happening in my own Army. An easing of standards in recruitment and basic training, decisions being made based on politics and finance, rather than on realities, increasing bureaucratisation and micromanagement, etc, etc, etc. Things seem to be the same all over. Unfortunately, neither Col Hackworth nor I can give any easy answers.
Overall, an excellent book,that should provoke a few thoughts.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best military memoires ever written. Darned shame it isn't available on the Kindle. A fascinating read, and a marvelous history of the evolution of the US Army from the... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Headhunter 6
The author is a born BS artist. I knew him in Nam, and the fact that he wasn't fragged amazes me. His incompetence got hundreds killed. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Lurch
One of the very best books I have read, EVER. David Hackworth was such an amazing American hero, and I can't believe Americans don't even know his story, his heroism, and the true... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mary Jo in Tucson
I read this book many years ago and had the opportunity to correspond with Colonel Hackworth while he was still in Australia. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Greg Rivers
This was one of the best books I ever read after my enlistment as an Infantryman. Hack, God rest his soul, helped me realize that I can be a Conservative and patriot while exposing... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Provo6