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Heart of a Patriot: How I Found the Courage to Survive Vietnam, Walter Reed and Karl Rove Hardcover – October 6, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439126054
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439126059
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,205,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cleland's memoir details his remarkable journey from smalltown Georgia to Vietnam to a U.S. Senate seat, his trajectory serving as scaffolding for a withering critique of the Bush administration's handling of September 11. America sends the flower of its youth abroad to fight its wars, he writes, describing losing both legs and one arm during his tour in Vietnam. From his friendship with fellow Georgian Jimmy Carter to a meeting with the young governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton, Cleland's life seems inextricably bound to the nation he has served. As such, the he and the nation share crises of confidence: both fall into bitter disillusionment over the Vietnam War, culture wars and political infighting, and Cleland is candid about his periods of depression and the counseling that renewed his faith in himself and his country. Concluding with a meditation on his frustration with the Iraq War—during which he helped to create, and later resigned from in protest, the 9/11 Commission—Cleland's life seems to once again be attuned to the national mood. Photos. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A powerful source of inspiration for generations to come." -- Martin Sheen

"This book is Max Cleland's tragic, gripping, uplifting, detailed personal account of how he clawed and willed his shattered body back to a useful life by 'standing tall' with an ever-present positive outlook.... He opens his heart so that we, too, may better understand and learn what never giving up, after life-changing physical wreckage and loss, really means." -- Lt. Gen. Hal Moore (Ret.), Vietnam and Korean War and infantry combat veteran, and coauthor of We Were Soldiers Once...and Young

"An intense message of duty, honor, and country that will inspire all who read it. Max is a personal hero and a true profile in courage for our time." -- Senator Ted Kennedy

"I have learned more from Senator Cleland than anyone I have ever met. Everyone who has seen how strong Max is...must completely change his definition of courage." -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

"Max doesn't flinch from revealing his most personal struggles in the hopes that it'll help some veteran, somewhere...This is a must read for anyone in search of strength and inspiration." -- Senator John Kerry

"Max Cleland is courage, honor, and duty personified." -- Douglas Brinkley, author of The Wilderness Warrior and Tour of Duty

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
14%
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See all 29 customer reviews
He tells us all this in his new book, "Heart of a Patriot."
David Hollar
As the political pendulum swung right with a popular President George W. Bush, Cleland loses his prized US Senate seat.
Dr. Wilson Trivino
It is sometimes very difficult to hang in there and read parts of it.
John Hagler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Richard C. Austin on November 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I wonder about the agenda of one review here. Can anyone seriously suggest that its less meaningful to lose both legs to a "friendly fire" incident in Nam instead of a NVA attack. Max Cleland was serving his country and in harm's way when he suffered an injury only those who have had similar can possibly comprehend fully.

Having said that, the present book does a wonderful job if establishing Max as a "typical" American kid who answered his nation's call and the result was truly a tragedy. Many, many vets try daily to overcome not just the physical toll of war, but the psychological ones as well. I think I would have given up, but he didn't. Far from "a personal pity party" he acknowledges the huge struggle and turmoil of his wounds, seen and unseen and gives inspiration that a person can overcome, can heal and can still contribute immensely to our great nation. Talking frankly about fear and PTSD is not seeking pity, its the courage to be public about issues that make most of us, those walking around on two legs and having never been shot at for example, uncomfortable.

I suspect Mr. Cleland's party affiliation has a great deal to do with any negative reviews. That's the most pathetic and hate-mongering pile of senseless stupidity I can imagine. It wasn't a democrat or republican that lost so much overseas, I think those useless labels go out the window the second real blood is left on foreign soil, American blood.

An American lost his legs and his esteem, not some liberal or some conservative, but a neighbor.

And if in the aftermath, Max has the guts to vote against putting other neighbors in harm's way for a suspect reason, god bless him.
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19 of 27 people found the following review helpful By David Hollar on October 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I returned from Vietnam in August 1970 after serving as an infantry Lieutenant. I was a platoon leader with the First Infantry Division with our battalion headquarters located at Dau Tieng. Max Cleland and I share the experience of serving in Vietnam.

That is where our commonality stops since I escaped even being woulded. He is a patriot of patriots. Having endured the life-altering injuries which left him missing parts of himself, he has inspired many of us and others dealing with life's difficulties. He tells us all this in his new book, "Heart of a Patriot."

The injuries suffered in Vietnam were only the beginning of his trials. Walter Reed did not give him the best care. Mr. Cleland goes on to become more that anyone ever dreamed.

An then there is Karl Rove, a man with two arms and two legs, whose greatness and patiotism fail to measure up to that of Max Cleland.

Author of: Mr. NewHeart - Heart Attack to Transplant and Beyond
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Stanley E. Hartzell on November 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I met Max when I worked at the Signal School at Fort Monmouth, NJ. You knew then that he was a go-getter. His book makes me ashamed of how our Congress and Presidents have handled our veterans and the conflicts around the world. This story is an inspiration to all who need support for their physical and mental defeats. Thanks Max for telling it like it is!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan McNamee on September 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was a wonderful story of courage and perseverance of a young man whose life was changed forever by war. My husband was discharged from Walter Reed a month after Max arrived but their paths never crossed. He had spent 14 months there experiencing many of the same things that Max had. The people Max referred to were the same and the double amputee that Max referred to was in the bed next to my husband for several months.It brought back so many memories some good and some not so good but all memories nevertheless. When our presidents and congressmen are discussing sending our boys off to war Max's book should be required reading so they know what does happen. Max was one of the lucky ones he got to live. So many didn't get the chance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Ridgeway on May 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book demonstrates how a man that has dedicated his life to service for this country, both in the Military and in Government, only to find his service dismissed and his reputation damaged by the Right Wing fascists of the wantabes in Government. Their desire was not to Service this county but to Rape and Pillage it.

His sacrifice in Vietnam dismissed as if losing both legs and his right arm were not enough, by the likes of Carl Rove and Saxby Chameless (Shameless) dismissed that sacrifice and called him a coward.

I cried until I could not cry anymore. I cried for Max and this country.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kelly on February 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was required to choose a book on a Georgia politician for my Political Science class in college. I happened to pick this book out of a list given to me by professor because it looked to be one of the newer books listed. It was the greatest decision ever.

I read this book more for pleasure than for my class assignment. I couldn't put it down! Cleland is so honest with his audience and it's such a refreshing read. I loved every minute of it and I recommend it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daryl Inman on August 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When the Vietnam War ended many of us still serving heard about Max Cleland when he was heading the VA. We servicemen were pleased to hear that he was cleaning up the agency for the Vietnam Vets especially. His book tells his story and about the courage it took to get through this life after his war experience. His story should be read by every American!!! I salute Captain Cleland.
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