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If Not Now, When?: Duty and Sacrifice in America's Time of Need Hardcover – October 7, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover; First Edition edition (October 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425223590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425223598
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,200,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“It’s a privilege to call [Col. Jack Jacobs] a friend and an honor to recommend this remarkable life story.”
Tom Brokaw

“One warning: the book you are about to read, at its core, is a story about selflessness, sacrifice and service, and it collides loudly and rather violently with much of our current culture. We are presently a nation of 120 million blogs and bloggers. Put differently, 120 million of us are enthused enough with our own stories – convinced enough in our own wisdom and wonderfulness of self – to believe there is great utility in posting our every thought, desire and daily movement on the internet, presumably for the common good, the benefit of all. Jack was handed a weapon and told to use it on foreign soil to defend his brothers and his country. As you read this, ask yourself which of the two actions you find more heroic…I will never view my friend Jack in the same way again. I just didn’t think it was possible to admire him any more than I already did.”
Brian Williams

“Col. Jack Jacobs (Ret.) received a Medal of Honor for is heroism during the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War, vividly described in his new book,If Not Now, When? Duty and Sacrifice in America’s Time of Need. He offers a mix of no-holds-barred personal history and pointed observations about the demands (or lack thereof) the U.S. makes on its citizens today. Never self-indulgent or preachy, Jacobs takes an honest—and often brutally funny—look back at his own life and forward to the future of the military and the nation.”
Parade magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Jack Jacobs retired from the military as a full colonel in 1987. Today, he is widely regarded as one of the world’s most perceptive—and outspoken—military analysts.

Douglas Century is a New York Times bestselling author. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

It is very well written.
Bruce N. Whitman
Colonel Jacobs is a real American hero in the true since of the word.
Donna Deese
I thouroughly enjoyed this easy to read book.
S. P. Ostiller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Perry M. Smith on October 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is unique. No Medal of Honor recipient has ever written a book that is both powerful and hilarious at the same time. For five years I have been recommending Medal of Honor by Peter Collier as the ideal Christmas present for veterans, young people and students of history. I must add the Jack Jacobs book to my short Christmas list. With not a word of profanity, this book is a great read for children of all ages. What a role model of selfless service.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Rick Shaq Goldstein on November 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I believe that when you read an autobiography and the author has something in common with you... it adds to the enjoyment of the book. These commonalities can bring the reader happiness... sadness... longing... and it can also bring enlightenment... as it helps solve long unanswered questions... even though some of the questions that are answered... you didn't even realize you still carried within your very soul... more than forty-years later.

The author Jack Jacobs and I are both Jewish... both our Parents were born in Brooklyn... both our Grandparents immigrated/escaped Europe's anti-Semitic scourge... we both spent our early years in Queens... we both loved the Brooklyn Dodgers and the sacred ground of Ebbets Field... we both played stickball and stoop ball... we're both Honorably Discharged Vietnam era veterans.

BUT... Jack is five-feet-four-inches tall and I'm six-feet-two-inches tall... and Jack is a **MEDAL-OF-HONOR-RECIPIENT** **THE NATIONS HIGHEST MILITARY AWARD** Jack is truly a giant among men. It is an honor to read his life story and review his book. Jack's story is as much about the changing of a countries persona as it is about his life. He tells of his Father's military service during World War II and the fact that nineteen-million Americans were on active duty, and as a boy, Jack never even thought of his Father having been a soldier... he thought of him as an electrical engineer because "the ubiquity of military service in a time of peril made it unremarkable. In the forties and fifties, it was rare to encounter an adult who hadn't been in uniform." And that's one of the points that Jack drills home in his no-holds-barred writing, that current day America should have the same spirit of service to country.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Anthony J. DeToto on December 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Jack Jacobs is an extraordinary story teller. He recalls critical facts that help provide context to the reader and lessons learned to those looking for wisdom.

I was privileged to have dinner with Colonel Jacobs twice and both settings were surreal and are worth mentioning.

The first was in a busy, trendy Ian Shrager Hotel with our common friend who is a Purple Heart recipient. I remember afterward feeling sorry for those around us, thinking it was a shame those surrounding us were unaware they were in the presence of a couple of great warriors that had made countless sacrifices for the freedom all Americans enjoy.

The second was earlier this month. I was with an enthusiastic group of veterans in an unlikely setting, the back of a public open air restaurant in one of the 'Left Coasts' more liberal enclaves. I saw the heads turn at the closest tables, seemingly annoyed at first, at the roar of laughter from our crowd - interrupting their dinners; then curious, then envious, as Jack Jacobs entertained and shared valuable lessons.

I would encourage you to see/hear him live. In the interim I would recommend you to buy and read his book; then lend it to others.

He lays out a blueprint for:

* universal service

* who to target if you are courageous enough to mentor

* who should question authority

* why the civilian/military power hierarchy is inherently conflicted
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Rosensweig on October 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I enjoy hearing Jack Jacobs during his frequent national TV commentaries. He is witty, clear, concise, brutally honest, and always informative.
But, could this true American hero display such compelling clarity and wit in a book? It is much harder to be funny on the written page. Colonel Jacobs pulls it off brilliantly. I kept writing "HAH!" in the margins. I also kept highlighting passages that were profound and to be used as guides for a life of meaning.
Jack Jacobs in unique: wonderfully humorous, but deadly serious. Serious about honor, ethical leadership, honesty, and most of all the need for so many more Americans to sacrifice if we are to remain both free and excellent. Show your friends, family, clients, and co-workers you respect them -- buy them this outstanding book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JW on October 25, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition
1. Agree that COL Jacobs' book merits a bunch of stars. Almost every page had a amusing dig at himself, although I wasn't inspired to LOL, like some of the other reviewers. Found other virtues, as well.
2. COL Jacobs is a very strong man. Many people were beaten down or broken by similar experiences. Jacobs was able to continue on, ostensibly unaffected by his first combat tour. Award of the medal may have helped. A couple of other recipients I have known said that they "grew into the medal." In any case, the man lives an exemplary life and is a credit to himself and the military profession.
3. At it's heart, I found the book to be a lamentation. COL Jacobs iterates the military virtues: honor, devotion to duty, sacrifice for a greater good. He compares them to widespread greed, dishonesty and selfishness practiced and even encouraged in America. He wonders what end our behaviors will deliver us to.
4. Any one who is inclined to pick up a book of this sort will understand and agree with the author(s). Based on my experience, the people who need to hear what Jacobs is saying will not understand, even if they hear the words.
5. Apart from the obvious, COL Jacobs' most valuable service was probably teaching about morality and responsibility in the inner city middle schools. That's picking up your ruck and rifle and soldiering on.
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