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Reluctant Warrior [Kindle Edition]

Michael Hodgins
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.00 (25%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

"ONE OF THE BEST VIETNAM WAR STORIES I'VE EVER READ, one damn good, compelling read. It's almost something out of a Clancy novel, yet it's true. The best thing I can say about it is I didn't want it to end."
--Col. David Hackworth, New York Times bestselling author of About Face

By the spring of 1970, American troops were ordered to pull out of Vietnam. The Marines of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel "Wild Bill" Drumright, were assigned to cover the withdrawal of 1st Marine Division. The Marines of 1st RECON Bn operated in teams of six or seven men. Heavily armed, the teams fought a multitude of  bitter engagements with a numerically superior and increasingly aggressive enemy.

Michael C. Hodgins served in Company C, 1st RECON Bn (Rein), as a platoon leader. In powerful, graphic prose, he chronicles his experience as a patrol leader in myriad combat situations--from hasty ambush to emergency extraction to prisoner snatch to combined-arms ambush. . . .

"THIS MEMOIR IS GRIPPING."
--American Way


From the Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Formerly an enlisted "grunt," Hodgins became a Marine Corps commissioned officer in 1969. He was then charged with leading an infantry platoon as part of a mission to help cover the withdrawal of the 1st Marine Division from I Corps in the northern portion of South Vietnam. Even for trained warriors, it was a treacherous job, albeit one that, as Hodgins suggests, provided ample opportunity for a young man to learn much about himself. In a promising prologue filled with clearheaded and impassioned prose, Hodgins proclaims his pride in having served in Vietnam and offers a summation of the narrative to come. His is not a war story, he writes: "It is not even about Vietnam, although the events recounted occurred there." What follows, though, is at odds with this introduction, in both style and content. For this memoir is very much a war story, replete with detailed recountings of Marine life and missions as experienced by a warrior who, despite the title, shows no sign of having been "reluctant." The combat episodes are related with suspense and, at times, startling honesty. In one instance, a gung-ho Hodgins is in charge of a patrol that has captured some Vietnamese prisoners. As the rest of the team departs, he is left alone with a wounded captive. "He smiled up at me, the cigarette dangling from his lip," Hodgins writes. "I smiled back, and pulled the trigger." Moments later, the young lieutenant coolly rolls the corpse atop a grenade and pulls the safety pin. This and Hodgins's other close-up war stories will appeal to action-adventure buffs, but those looking for a larger perspective will have to look elsewhere. Photos.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA. The account of one lieutenant's tour of duty in Vietnam during the waning days of American involvement in the war. Hodgins does not attempt to provide any insights into why America was involved but only to tell what life was like for the common soldier operating in the jungles and rice paddies of Southeast Asia. Throughout, the author successfully conveys his pride in his men and what they accomplished. One of the great values of the book is its hidden lessons on leadership?especially on how to motivate people to do their best under adverse conditions. The book is fast paced and easy to read, but the use of many technical terms and military slang may turn off some readers.?Robert Burnham, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1368 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (December 29, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004G8OXVE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #437,138 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
(26)
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reluctant Warrior October 29, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Reading Reluctant Warrior was like stepping through a door into the jungle. For just a little while I was on patrol again with 1st Recon, 3rd Plt, "C" Company. I saw and smelled OP 425, ran through the jungle and listened to the 46s coming to extract our team when we got in the "S__t Sandwich". My friends lived again---Thanks Mike! Chuck Fenwick HM3 1st Mar Div, 1st Recon, 3rd Plt, "C" Company, RVN 69-70.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "Real" Vietnam April 4, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Michael Hodgins captures the real spirit of the place and time. As a former Marine who served with the 1st Recon Bn, I can testify Mr. Hodgins presents a true and vivid picture of life in the bush, on an OP, and in Camp Reasoner. With all the distortions about Vietnam presented in the movies and on TV, as well as the anti-war prejudice of public school history teachers, this book should be required reading in the high school cirriculum. I hope someday someone will write a book that will tell us more about Lt. Skibbe, Lt. Rathmell, and Captain McVey who gave lost their lives protecting their troops.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best day-to-day account of a year in VietNam September 14, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Small unit leadership at its best. A compelling tale of the physical, mental, and moral challenges faced by a new `butter bar'. Forget the blood and guts. It's about map reading, fire control, long `walks in the sun' , elephant grass, insect bites, fatigue, surmounting the stigma of being the `FNG', and displaying leadership rather than demanding it. An excellent case study for junior officers and NCO's. An overlooked gem by a real pro.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Semper Fi September 21, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Semper Fi is about all that can be said. This was the life of the grunt. No amplification or heroism that was not there. This is the best book I have ever read discribing the life. Also the excerpt on page 299 and 300 "These Good Men" by Micheal Norman is the first and only explanation of all of us that have ever served and our feelings forever to our comrades. I wish Micheal could write another book, I don't think he will. It was all in this one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Average Joe June 30, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Only those who experienced 'Nam first hand will ever understand how it was. My husband was a door gunner on a huey in the Marines and paints Vietnam War folk art. He does not talk much about what he did so I have to look for answers in his paintings and read war books.
I must say that Reluctant Warrior did all a book could do to transport me to the field and into battle.
Great book! We need more like it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reluctant Warrior August 4, 2001
By Mason
Format:Hardcover
This book is an outstanding account of recon battalion actions in Vietnam. It is well worth reading. I served with Mike before the war. He was a straight shooter then, and a straight shooter in Vietnam
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book September 9, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Excellent book about Recon operations in Vietnam. I served with Mike in OCS before Vietnam. I highly recommend the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read! March 19, 2000
By Biff
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've never written a book review before, but I believe that this book deserved one! "Reluctant Warrior" was intelligently written and well thought out. Michael Hodgins makes one actually "live" the patrols with the "recon teams" and describes the fears, terror, and concerns that they faced. This is an excellent read, a microcosm of the war, which I highly recommend...As a personal note, I am very critical about books, especially ones that can't hold my interest and/or attention. With "Reluctant Warrior", I found that I could not put it down!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like to read about courage beyond the call of duty ...
Fabulous step back in time. If you like to read about courage beyond the call of duty read Reluctant Warrior. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Through My Eyes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book.
This book was easy to read, contained factual and consistent information, and gave me a new insight about Recon Marines. Recommended reading.
Published 4 months ago by Ronald K. Estes
5.0 out of 5 stars Reluctant Warrier
I have over 400 Vietnam war books, this is the best one. I read it in paperback, but had to have a hardbound, just great.
Published 5 months ago by J. C. Wolff
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Deal
For those who never served in combat and want to know what it smells like... it doesn't get any better - Michael captures what it was like to be in Indian country... Read more
Published 9 months ago by joseph derer
5.0 out of 5 stars Good detailed account of a Marine Leader in a combat situation
A good read particularly for anyone who served on operations with the military, the lessons in small unit tactics espoused in this book are still used today by Recon teams. Read more
Published 10 months ago by dj8652
5.0 out of 5 stars Reluctant Warrior
Having served two tours in Vietnam and some time up in the I Corps area this is one hell of a great combat narrative. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Cold Warrior
5.0 out of 5 stars Startlingly Accurate Reflection of the Time!
Not a "pretty book" as some would like, but a story that brings the smells, sweat, and pain to the reader. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jag
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book to read
Outstanding
Kept me reading until the end.
The author has a way of making you feel you are there with him.
Published 21 months ago by Holly
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT BOOK!
THIS IS AN EXCELLENT ACCOUNT OF DAILY LIFE IN THE 1ST RON BATTALION, 1970. I WISH THERE HAD BEEN A THOUSAND MORE PAGES!
Published on July 10, 2012 by doctordog
1.0 out of 5 stars I "deduced" it was boring
I have to commend people who waded their way through this poorly written account. I made it through two whole chapters before his "I deduced" wore me to a frazzle. Read more
Published on December 25, 2011 by oldboldpilot
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