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HAPPY ODYSSEY Paperback – September, 2007


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Duty by Robert M Gates
Duty
Memoirs of Robert Gates, American statesman, scholar and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Learn more | See similar books
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pen and Sword Books (September 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844155390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844155392
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matt Gilbert on July 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are an Anglophile with an appreciation of English lit and wit; a war buff with a romantic side well...you will love this book. de Wiart is simply a classic English solider in the old mode before political correctness. It's a great read. I hope they make the movie and/or some enterprising young writer turns this fellow's life into historical fiction as highly readable as his own non-fiction. Oh, and Churchill loved this guy. Nuff said.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Colin Povey on June 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
Most military commanders are not shy, retiring people-calling most of them Type A personalities is an understatement: Think of Napoleon, McArthur, Halsey, Grant, Sherman, etc.

Sure, there are a few more reticent ones; Eisenhower and Jackson come to mind. But Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart must surely lead the list.

How can I say that:
Sir Adrin won the Victoria Cross in WWI, his second war, and NEVER mentioned it in the book.

In the Boer war, he was wounded twice, and barely mentions it.

In the first World War, he was wounded 8 times: He was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear. Barley mentions them. Describing his experiences in World War I, he wrote, "Frankly, I had enjoyed the war."

In the second World War, he survived two plane crashes; was captured and made a POW, and after four previous escape attempts, he tunneled out of the POW camp. After finally getting out of the POW camp, he ends up as the UK military representative to China

He ended up as a three-star general, while starting from a private in the cavalry.

A life few people could survive, let alone enjoy, but he did, and wrote a very good book about it. Recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By AngloHistory on October 28, 2013
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I would recommend this book to all with an interest in WW2 and even before that.

Biographies like these aren't written any longer. The language is clear and simple, but I kept noticing how the book rarely give negative critic of anyone, maybe except the Bolsheviks and the Jap. Other than that it is all positive.
It goes from great to fantastic to magnificent to speechless and beyond.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cologodan on November 25, 2013
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The earlier reviewers point out that Carton de Wiart served his adopted country long and bravely. He suffered the loss of an eye and a hand in battles before it came to official attention that this Belgian aristocrat was not technically a British subject. No matter, he soldiered on. True, there is little technical information about his campaigns. His straightforward comments about places and people do not "grate" on my ears; they are harmonious and welcome in these days of imbecile political correctness and other contrived sensitivities. His comments on India, for instance, apply still today, only everything is worse. A noteworthy failing is that while he served in China as the official British liaison in the rank of Lieutenant General, he makes no mention of the gross levels theft and corruption that wasted so much of the military supplies brought to China at the cost of many Allied lives and much treasure. The vendor, SuperBoookDeals, waited seven days after the order was placed to dispatch the book, and USPS media mail took five more days to deliver it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wow, what can you say about this man? Truly the "unkillable soldier" and his autobiography is, to say the least, delightfully British. His humor is direct and brusque, his manner self effacing and his entire career is understated in typical English style. This amazing person was truly a "man's man" and I found myself literally laughing out loud several times when coming across droll and understated phrases throughout the book. I would only imagine that having lunch with this gentleman would have been an amazing experience.

Don't read this book for a treatise on warfare. Don't read this book and expect deep analysis of tactics, his place and purpose in campaigns, etc. If you do you'll be disappointed (as evidenced by some previous reviewers). DO, however, read this book for a delightful look at the mind of a man who lived warfare to his very bones, who relished a good fight and minced no words about it. DO read this book for a glimpse at the life of one of the most interesting men I've ever read about.
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By MAC on February 9, 2015
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What a story! It's an autobiography, but a surprising humble and reserved book. Sir de Wiart largely relates his life from a macro perspective with some small stories, insights thrown in along the way. There is no analysis of what he was doing or why, no mention of his family which (I imagine) would lead most readers to assume he was a life-long bachelor (which he was not), and no mention of the numerous medals he was awarded throughout his career. Easy read on a fascinating individual, I would like to see a biography on his career to give me a better perspective on how he fit into the events he mentions and how he managed to become involved in the first place.
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I enjoyed reading the book and found the story very interesting. The story is of a soldiers career and not about his personal life. He does provide his personal view on events and some details of how he became a soldier He also tells of life events that impact his duty such as his time in Poland between WWI and WWII, but does not mention his wife or children. After reading the book I did some further checking and was surprised to find out about his wife, children, and relatives.

He was an exceptional individual and his story is well worth the reading.
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