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Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 12, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


“General Shelton is a man from another time, when honor and one’s word were more important than personal gain and the fiscal bottom line. I hope there are more like him out there. We need them now, more than ever.” —Tom Clancy

“Unfailingly honest and unflinching in judgment. Without Hesitation tells the story of a man who earned every break he got, kept his integrity intact, and never let the pressures of the job outweigh the strength of his convictions.” —President William Jefferson Clinton

“A great American story of humble beginnings, fierce determination, patriotism, and honor. He’s been a warrior’s warrior, a general’s general—and always a truth teller. Without Hesitation is a book for our times.” —Tom Brokaw

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Born in North Carolina, GENERAL HUGH SHELTON served in the U.S. Army for thirty-eight years as a specialist in airborne operations and special operations tactics, was Commander in Chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command (including Delta Force, Navy SEALS, and other top secret Special Mission Units). Shelton was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under both Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush. He lives in North Carolina.

RON LEVINSON is a veteran film and television producer, director, writer, and studio executive. A past board member of the U.S. Air Force Public Advisory Counsel (where he counseled the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force on motion picture and television production), he currently lives in Los Angeles.

MALCOLM McCONNELL is the author or co-author of twenty-nine books, including the New York Times #1 bestseller, American Soldier, with Gen. Tommy Franks. McConnell lives in Queenstown, MD.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 3rd Print edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312599056
  • ASIN: B004Y6MUNQ
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.9 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,730,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By The Cashmere Bookworm on October 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In General Hugh Shelton's autobiography, the reader is taken through his thirty eight year career, starting with his days in ROTC as an undergraduate at North Carolina state. While it would have been tempting for General Shelton to focus only on his most noticeable position --namely his stint from 1997-2001 as the Chairman, he conveys to the reader that it was all the other positions where he learned, implemented and worked to refine the leadership principles that led him into that position. Readers of current history will find many insights into the leadership of President Clinton that has been continually debunked, and also that of Rumsfeld, which has been hopelessly overplayed. There's plenty of anecdotal stories here, but all pale in comparison of the man who deftly fielded challenges with a combination of brains, and tenacity while keeping not only Army values, but his own intact.

Coming in at just over 500 pages, Shelton covers a lot of ground in this account of his 38 year career in the Army. He covers his childhood in North Carolina, Vietnam, other wars, small posts, exotic ones, and insight about the difficulties in moving a family around twenty-three times. This is a much-examined life, and throughout he gives thanks to the support of his wife Carolyn, and their family. He does much to tell everyone about the sacrifices military families make, starting with his own, with much candor.

This is good reading for anyone who has ever wondered, "How does someone become the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?" or "What does a military career look like? What does it entail?" It's a valid question, since these men and women lead legions of warriors and also show up one day on our television screens. Younger readers will find the passages on Vietnam worth reading.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Rita Tisinger on October 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I was given this book as a gift and thought it was a strange choice since I'm neither a military nor history buff, and had never heard of General Shelton... but after reading the book, all I can say is WOW! Putting his awesome military career aside, I was blown away by his personal triumph - a complete recovery from a near-death injury in which doctors said he would be paralyzed for life. Not taking that as an acceptable answer, he battled back to a near-perfect recovery - according to the book, the only one in medical history to do so. Too bad his successors didn't listen to him regarding Iraq; for if they had, I'm convinced that thousands of our nation's finest would be home with their wives, husbands and children, rather than laid to rest at Arlington Cemetery. An important book about an inspirational leader.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Charles A. Krohn on October 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When the film Ben Hur was first released, stories circulated about movie goers who timed their arrival at the theater to coincide with the chariot race. For readers with a military background and for about the same reason, I recommend starting this extraordinary book at chapter 13, when General Shelton becomes chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His comparison of Defense Secretaries Bill Cohen to Don Rumsfeld is insightful, entertaining and persuasive, candid almost beyond belief. If Shelton is no fan of Rumsfeld or General Tommy Franks, he sets forth the reasons and the context in the language of the street.

General Shelton may not be a great theoretician--nor does he claim to be--but he is a world-class observer of the first order.

His run-ins with Senator McCain weren't fun, but Shelton's recollections of professional encounters are entertaining and also insightful. (They're too hilarious to repeat here).

If chapters 1-13 are foreplay, they explains how general are born and bred. General Shelton is one of the top.

My only complaint is the length of the book, although the core is critical to understanding why the invasion of Iraq was pre-ordained to (you pick the word).
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nurse Ratchet in WH on October 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Grabs you from the first page, very interesting intercutting between the general's miraculous recovery from his life-threatening injury with a linear chronology of his amazing life. Don't think I've ever read as realistic accounts of the Vietnam War, and the behind the scenes scenario of what really played out in Haiti is enough of a reason to get the book in and of itself. After a few middle chapters that didn't seem to have quite the pace of the rest, it kicked back into high gear when the general got his 4th star and headed Delta Force and Navy Seals -- amazed that these stories cleared the government security censors - VERY COOL indeed!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Miller on February 24, 2011
Format: Unknown Binding
Having only had an exposure to Gen Shelton through the television and news broadcasts, I didn't have any idea of his character and background. I was impressed with the humbleness of this great leader and moved by his compassion for the soldiers. His background obviously shaped his future and destiny. It was an inspiration to read the story and I can understand where he found the strength to overcome his horrific accident ! I appreciated his honesty in revealing the politics at the very top, which I had long suspected were issues. He dealt with matters head on and didn't "sugar coat" the facts. I appreciate his willingness and moral courage to tell this story without hesitation ! A powerful and inspirational book ! A study in Leadership and personal sacrifice !
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