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A Vietnam Experience: Ten Years of Relection (Hoover Institution Press Publication) Paperback – November 1, 1984

ISBN-13: 978-0817981525 ISBN-10: 0817981527 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Hoover Institution Press Publication (Book 315)
  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Hoover Institution Press; 1st edition (November 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817981527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817981525
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #862,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An uncommon man with much to teach every generation of Americans....Contact Hoover Press and invest the time it takes to read 147 pages by Admiral Stockdale."

From the Publisher

The decade that followed James Stockdale's seven and a half years in a North Vietnamese prison saw his life take a number of different turns, from a stay in a navy hospital in San Diego to president of a civilian college to his appointment as a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution. In this collection of essays he offers his thoughts on his imprisonment. Describing the horrors of his treatment as a prisoner of war, Stockdale tells how he discovered firsthand the capabilities and limitations of the human sprit in such a situation. As the senior officer in confinement he had what he humbly describes as "the easiest leadership job in the world: to maintain the organization, resistance, and spirit of ten of the finest men I have ever known."

His reflections on his wartime prison experience and the reasons for his survival form the basis of the writings reprinted here. In subject matter ranging from methods of communication in prison to military ethics to the principles of leadership, the thirty-four selections contained in this volume are a unique record of what Stockdale calls a "melting experience"--a pressure-packed existence that forces one to grow.

Retired Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale, a Hoover Institution fellow from 1981 to 1996, was Ross Perot's 1992 presidential running mate and a recipient of the Medal of Honor after enduring seven and a half years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. He died in 2006 at the age of 81.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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"It makes me want to stand up and cheer."
Hayduke
Jim Stockdale makes clear throughout this book the differences between enlightened leadership and the business ethos permeating the Pentagon after Eisenhower.
Gene Cisco
I read Vice Admiral Stockdale's obituary and became interested in his writing, given what I learned about him in the outline of his career.
Robert G. Zimmerman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Zimmerman on September 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I read Vice Admiral Stockdale's obituary and became interested in his writing, given what I learned about him in the outline of his career. It was truly tragic that his moment in the national spotlight made him seem a confused old man, as anyone reading any of his writing will quickly discern.

This book could well serve as a 150 page handbook on the true meaning of manhood and ways of attaining it. Stockdale had a classical education and put it to excellent use during a long public career and an unbelievably difficult eight year period as a prisoner of war. He has important things to say about character and courage and leadership and adversity and history. The breadth of sources from which he draws his observations is breathtaking.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Peter Mellon on July 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
It is an honor to review this book. Vice admiral Stockdale reflects on his personal experience as senior officer in a POW camp in Vietnam during 8 years. This is one of the most remarkable example of human fortitude I have ever heard of told by a man of supreme intelligence and culture.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gene Cisco on April 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These are the reflections of a well-educated leader for any age, yet an experienced Navy pilot in his post-captive years as a POW during the Vietnam War.Jim Stockdale makes clear throughout this book the differences between enlightened leadership and the business ethos permeating the Pentagon after Eisenhower.He even reveals early censorship and manipulation of "facts" by TV and print media decades ago. Throughout this philosophical lecture-filled book, this decorated Vice Admiral sprinkles historical naval decisions to underline his points.This is recommended for those who believe in the careful study of history and the wisdom of those who pass them down.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Crouch on November 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We all need a moral compass in life. VADM Stockdale is such an example, worthy of emulation. A collection of speeches and papers he wrote about character, moral courage, physical courage and ethical choices. I read it almost each year just to try and keep my own moral compass in calibration.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Hayduke on August 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Being interested in history, military history, and philosophy, I bought this book some twenty years ago. Suitably dog-eared, highlighted, and underlined, it found a place in my library. A few days ago, (and older now) I took it up again and found it even better than I had remembered. Admiral Stockdale shows the true value of a classical education and timeless values in a world that denies the possibility of truth or virtue.

"It makes me want to stand up and cheer."
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More About the Author

Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale served in the navy from 1947 to 1979, beginning as a test pilot and instructor at Patuxent River, Maryland, and spending two years as a graduate student at Stanford University. He became a fighter pilot and was shot down on his second combat tour over North Vietnam, becoming a prisoner of war for eight years, four in solitary confinement. He was tortured fifteen times and put in leg irons for two years. As the highest-ranking naval officer held during the Vietnam War he organized the POWs in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" to provide them with a sense of hope and empowerment. Disabilities from his combat wounds brought about Stockdale's early retirement, he was the only three-star officer in the history of the navy to wear both aviator wings and the Congressional Medal of Honor.

His books include Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot (1995, Hoover Institution Press), A Vietnam Experience (1984, Hoover Institution Press), Courage Under Fire (1993, Hoover Institution Press) and In Love and War (second revised and updated edition, 1990, U.S. Naval Institute Press), coauthored with his wife, Sybil. In early 1987, a dramatic presentation of In Love and War was viewed by more than 45 million viewers on NBC television.

As a civilian, Jim Stockdale was a college professor, a college president, and a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution. His many and varied writings all converge on the central theme of how man can rise with dignity to prevail in the face of adversity. He died in 2005.

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A Vietnam Experience: Ten Years of Relection (Hoover Institution Press Publication)
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