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Heart of a Patriot: How I Found the Courage to Survive Vietnam, Walter Reed and Karl Rove Hardcover – October 6, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Cleland's memoir details his remarkable journey from smalltown Georgia to Vietnam to a U.S. Senate seat, his trajectory serving as scaffolding for a withering critique of the Bush administration's handling of September 11. America sends the flower of its youth abroad to fight its wars, he writes, describing losing both legs and one arm during his tour in Vietnam. From his friendship with fellow Georgian Jimmy Carter to a meeting with the young governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton, Cleland's life seems inextricably bound to the nation he has served. As such, the he and the nation share crises of confidence: both fall into bitter disillusionment over the Vietnam War, culture wars and political infighting, and Cleland is candid about his periods of depression and the counseling that renewed his faith in himself and his country. Concluding with a meditation on his frustration with the Iraq War—during which he helped to create, and later resigned from in protest, the 9/11 Commission—Cleland's life seems to once again be attuned to the national mood. Photos. (Oct.)
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"A powerful source of inspiration for generations to come." -- Martin Sheen
"This book is Max Cleland's tragic, gripping, uplifting, detailed personal account of how he clawed and willed his shattered body back to a useful life by 'standing tall' with an ever-present positive outlook.... He opens his heart so that we, too, may better understand and learn what never giving up, after life-changing physical wreckage and loss, really means." -- Lt. Gen. Hal Moore (Ret.), Vietnam and Korean War and infantry combat veteran, and coauthor of We Were Soldiers Once...and Young
"An intense message of duty, honor, and country that will inspire all who read it. Max is a personal hero and a true profile in courage for our time." -- Senator Ted Kennedy
"I have learned more from Senator Cleland than anyone I have ever met. Everyone who has seen how strong Max is...must completely change his definition of courage." -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
"Max doesn't flinch from revealing his most personal struggles in the hopes that it'll help some veteran, somewhere...This is a must read for anyone in search of strength and inspiration." -- Senator John Kerry
"Max Cleland is courage, honor, and duty personified." -- Douglas Brinkley, author of The Wilderness Warrior and Tour of Duty
Top customer reviews
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I read this book more for pleasure than for my class assignment. I couldn't put it down! Cleland is so honest with his audience and it's such a refreshing read. I loved every minute of it and I recommend it!
His sacrifice in Vietnam dismissed as if losing both legs and his right arm were not enough, by the likes of Carl Rove and Saxby Chameless (Shameless) dismissed that sacrifice and called him a coward.
I cried until I could not cry anymore. I cried for Max and this country.
It is an informative, enjoyable, and personal read.
As a friend, I would like to address some of the points mentioned by others. First, military crediblity. There are lots of people who say that one who has never served is not allowed to have an opinion on some war or another. Amazon is full of reviews written by just these people. Max would not agree, and I don't either. Perhaps it is in a part of the Constitution I missed. Be that as it may, we will use their standard and review Max's record. Max Cleland volunteered for the Army (not drafted), volunteered for service in Vietnam (against the wishes of his superiors), and volunteered for combat duty before returning home (again, against the wishes of his commanders). In a handful of days, he had earned a Bronze Star, Silver Star, and a Soldier's Medal. If you don't recognize that last one, look it up. It ranks above the Bronze Star on your ribbon bar. He lost three limbs in the defense of Khe Sahn, to a US hand grenade. There are pleny of jobs in the military where someone can serve for years without ever seeing foreign soil. Also, lots of REMFs have jobs in a war zone without real danger of seeing an enemy. Max did not want to be one of those. He showed his personal heroism and almost died.
Max Cleland was friends with people such as Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton before they appeared on the national stage. Would it surprise anyone that he is a life long Democrat?
Finally, if you do not think that Max Cleland got a bad deal from the Republicans in his 2002 relection bid, perhaps you should fisrt give John McCain a call, since he campagined on Max's behalf in protest against his own party.
Max Cleland has devoted his life to public service. For over thirty years, he blamed himself for dropping that grenade, only to discover that it was not his. Several Americans are alive because he bent over. I feel honored to have Max Cleland as a friend, and I hope that you will discover why in his book.
Most recent customer reviews
While reading "Heart of A Patriot," I kept turning to discuss certain points with my father, as I was continually inspired and amazed...Read more