Most helpful positive review
41 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Good 'Primer' for Junior/Senior Officers
on January 29, 2012
This is the first book by Ms. Broadwell, a West Point graduate (1995) with advanced degrees in public policy, international security, and war studies. "All In..." grew out of her dissertation on transformational leadership and organizational innovation, using Gen Petraeus as a case study. In this book, Gen Petraeus is also a case study, as are other members of Team Petraeus.
I found the first half of the book the best half for my purposes, which were to learn how Petraeus leads, deals with difficult people, and balances work, family, and health. The author describes Petraeus as 'driven', but I think he is just very disciplined. He knows what works for him-staying busy, exercising to stay calm and on point, mentoring and being mentored, being upfront and truthful, caring about individuals, and succeeding.
This book, Ms. Broadwell's first book, has 'first book' flaws. The author spends too many pages on subjects of interest to her-details of battles, political matters, Team Petraeus members-rather than on the education of Gen Petraeus. There is little information on Petraeus' formative years -from birth to West Point- when his character was shaped. In the second half of the book the author jumps back and forth between the Iraq years and Afghanistan years. She does not discuss the Pentagon's decision not to promote Petraeus to Chairman of the JCOS.
"All In..." is a great 'primer' for active military who are working their way up the ranks. Petraeus demonstrated in Iraq and Afghanistan and before Congress how aspiring officers should lead and act. Reserve officers and retired military will enjoy this book as well. I will need to wait for D/CIA, General, Dr. Petraeus' autobiography to learn more about the early years which formed the character of this successful soldier/scholar/diplomat.