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135 Reviews
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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite a book!!!
Beautifully written, touching, disturbing, encouraging, spiritually enlightening, and tremendously upsetting, this account of a true American Hero's 7 1/2 years of imprisonment in Vietnam will exhaust every human emotion that the reader possesses. I read this book from cover to cover without stopping to breathe. I was shocked by every page. I never allowed myself to...
Published on February 20, 2001 by Andrea Miller

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
The horrors of being a POW in VietNam are spelled out in great detail in this book. It's a story of llving by hope, sometimes beyond hope. The book is well written and contains an indepth detail of his life as a POW. I can't say I enjoyed reading the book as it was heartbreaking to read about the atrocities placed on the POWs by their captors. It chilled me to the bone...
Published 5 months ago by TheWoz


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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite a book!!!, February 20, 2001
By 
Andrea Miller (Mobile, Alabama) - See all my reviews
Beautifully written, touching, disturbing, encouraging, spiritually enlightening, and tremendously upsetting, this account of a true American Hero's 7 1/2 years of imprisonment in Vietnam will exhaust every human emotion that the reader possesses. I read this book from cover to cover without stopping to breathe. I was shocked by every page. I never allowed myself to believe that human beings could treat each other the way that Admiral Denton was treated by the North Vietnamese. I have the utmost of respect for him, considering the pain that he lived with, not only during his imprisonment, but during the writing of this book as well. A lessor man would make all effort to block these years from his memory, but Jeremiah Denton relived the horror everyday that he spent writing this book. He did this for me, you, and all Americans so that we might begin to fully understand, not only how he was treated and how his faith in God, his family, and his country got him through this ordeal, but the necessity of this badly misunderstood war as well. This is a "must-read" book for any American who hasn't taken the time to stop and thank a Veteran for our freedom. Without the courage and loyalty of men like Denton, our country would not be the wonderful place that it is. I thank God everyday for these men who risked their lives for people like me, whom they don't even know. What greater hero is there?
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61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Work, December 9, 1999
About five years ago, I picked up Denton's book with intentions of quickly skimming through it- I was hoping to grasp enough of it to write a report on it for my high school history class. But after reading just the first chapter of it, I knew that there was no way I could just skim through it. Denton's experience is rivoting- absolutely gripping and heartwrenching that at times I read through it with eyes blinded by tears. I could not put it down. Upon completion, I was left with a feeling of overwhelming pride and passion for my country, and with a sense of awe and admiration for our Vietnam POWs. Jeremiah Denton is a courageous man and an extraordinary role model- even in dire circumstances he stood by his country with so much love and determination that even in the face of death, he did not falter. I have read his book many times (since that first time five years ago), and every time I read it, I find something new- some glimmer of hope in the terror that held him captive for so many years. Denton's book is truly a masterpiece- a song of freedom and a narrative of patriotism so strong that it challenges the hearts and minds of it's readers to remember that we live in a such a blessed country- the land of the free.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumph of human endurance......., March 23, 2003
By 
Kyle Tolle (Phoenix, Arizona USA) - See all my reviews
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In July of 1965, Naval aviatior Jeremiah A. Denton was shot down over North Vietnamese territory and taken as a prisoner of war. When Hell was in Session details the harrowing experiences faced by Denton and many other United States prisoners of war in Hanoi.
During his seven and a half years in captivity, quite a bit of that time spent in solitary confinement, he was subject to horrific tortures and treatment that the average person could only experience in their very worst nightmares. It is readily apparent that Denton was a very brave and honorable man with an iron will when he resisited his jailors at every turn. Furthermore, it is a testament to his courage and character that he chose to relive those horrifying years in his mind to be able to write this book with so much detail.
Even though this book is only 182 pages, its contents are probably one of the best eye-witness accounts you will read of an American held in Hanoi's infamous Hanoi Hilton prison complex. I've read quite a few books on U.S. captives in Hanoi and this one is at the top. Highly recommended to anyone who is interested in this subject material.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It must have been hell, October 30, 2004
Here is yet another first rate tale of an American P.O.W. in North Vietnam. The prisoner is Navy pilot Jeremiah Denton, who was based on the carrier "Independence". His A6 aircraft was shot down in July of 1965. Denton spent the following 8+ years in captivity until the general release in the Spring of 1973. The title refers to the torture "sessions" Denton and his colleagues suffered at the hands of their captors. This reviewer has read several P.O.W. accounts. While all are similar in that they demonstrate great bravery and perseverance in brutal situations, each is also unique: WHWS focuses on the military command structures that existed in prison despite rigorous Vietnamese efforts to stymie them. The senior military commanders/prisoners like Admiral Stockdale, Colonel Robinson Risner and others obviously possessed a tremendous pride and strove to imbue that pride in all P.O.Ws. Denton pulls few punches. It startled this observer to learn that not all prisoners always agreed with the "program" and not all P.O.W.s were the best of buddies behind the walls. The author stresses the ubiquitous "tap code" that allowed communication within the prison walls. There is even an introductory chart to tapping! Denton glosses over his 4(!) years in solitary and concentrates on the other 4 years he was free to "mingle" with his fellow Americans. There is a noticeable lack of venom and bitterness toward the North Vietnamese in the text. The reader may suspect that Denton has come to terms with his years in the Hanoi Hilton and other garden spots of the North. WHWS is rated 5 stars with only 2 minor demerits: One is the absence of ANY maps. Most war books gloss over maps but surely the publisher could have inserted one! The other weakness is the appallingly small type in my paperback edition. Those interested in Admiral/Senator Denton's story may wish to verify before purchase how the many available editions of WHWS handle these issues.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable, July 16, 2004
By 
JOE-JOE BOOKS "JOE BOOKS" (CALIFORNIA United States) - See all my reviews
If there is one thing you can say about this book, it is that it is memorable. A friend of mine recently sent me a letter that mentioned this book and it brought back the memories of when I read it many years ago. The thing that I remember most about this book was Denton's deep faith in God, and how it sustained him through his ordeal in the North Vietnamese prison system during the Viet Nam war. Another thing I recall was the picture it painted of American servicemen keeping themselves united during an impossible situation. Denton's amazing courage and ingenuity by blinking his eyes to spell out the word "TORTURE" (in Morse Code) during a filmed interview is one of the most incredible events of the American POW chapter of the Viet Nam War. Denton's (and the rest of the Ameican POWs) ability to maintain sanity while suffering through such conditions is a testament to the American spirit, and it makes one think deeply about what it means to be an American. This book should be required reading for anyone who an interest in the Viet Nam War, American Military heritage, or just in American patriotism in the most extreme of circumstances. I highly recommend it.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When hell was in session, October 22, 2004
When I was 15 my father came into my bedroom and threw a small paperback book at a sleepy unmotivated teenager. He didn't say anything: just left me to think. I got around to reading this book when I was a searching young 18 year old and it changed my life and the direction it was taking. Mr. Denton hasn't written A literary work of art, but he has put down in words what every heart yearns to understand. He taught what honor is and how much the human spirit can endure. Courage is only a word used by those who do not entirely understand the concept. I never ask what is important in life, I do relish every second of my freedom not to think about that question, however. Thank you Mr. Denton for that freedom.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites, July 7, 2003
By 
R. Bounds "redd" (Mustang, OK United States) - See all my reviews
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This book was an eye opener. I respect every uniform I see now, and have the upmost pride that those that were POWs are one of my own and beam at their bravery. My favorite quote comes from this book. He states it at he end of the book after he has come home and went through hell on earth, EVEN then he still has pride in his country. It was like he justified his beatings, and starving, and psychological beatings in one statement, "A nation is only as strong as the collective strength of it's individuals." Blew me away! Great book, I'd advise anyone that has pride in being an American to read this book and appreciate he is one of ours. For that matter, I'd advise someone who doesn't have pride in the United States to read it and learn what that Freedom of Speech they use so often costs.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and Highly Emotional - Should be Must Reading, January 4, 1999
One tends to forget just how our country is different from others, what kind of backbone it takes to be a man that loves what this country stands for - and is principled enough to pay any price to keep our ideals alive.
I found this book to be very well written, timely in any period, and it renewed my faith in the character of the men and women in our armed forces.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a true american hero, May 26, 1999
this narrative by jeremiah denton jr.is not only inspiring but reenforced for me the belief that there always have and always will be true american hero's. but foremost it shows how belief in god along with doing what is right can and does give man the strenghth to persevere and survive extremely hellish condituons and do it with honor. god did in fact bless america with such courageous patriots.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What A Great Man, September 14, 2001
By 
Natalie (Tuscaloosa, AL) - See all my reviews
This book was the best book that I have ever read.In my opinion, Jeremiah was one of the greastest war heroes. He was strong and courageous in the eyes of the enemy and he never backed down. He endured the torture, agony, loneliness, and so much more for so long.I cannot even begin to imagine myself in any of those situations. I have such great respect for that man. My words cannot begin to describe the feeling that you will have while reading this book.
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When Hell was in Session
When Hell was in Session by Jeremiah A. Denton (Hardcover - November 11, 2009)
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