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Heart of a Soldier Paperback – June 2, 2003
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Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The best nonfiction book of 2002. (Time)
Engaging and illuminating. (Jonathan Yardley The Washington Post Book World)
Humming with tension, foreign adventure, and the clash of arms, Heart of a Soldier has all the ingredients of an Indiana Jones movie. (The Baltimore Sun)
Top Customer Reviews
I didn't know the name of Rick Rescorla, although I have since found that I have a friend who fought with him at Ia Drang and thinks highly of him. When I heard the news stories describing a man who had been a hero in that battle and then died saving others on 9/11 I wanted to read more about him. I think you not only enjoy this book, you will be moved by his story.
It isn't a fairy tale, but it reads like one. Here is a poor kid from Cornwall, UK who heads to Africa to fight, becomes friends with an American soldier. He then joins the US Army, fights in Vietnam, becomes a US citizen. His life ends in the fall of the South Tower.
Mr. Rescorla's life, like ours, had its peaks and valleys. He was a hero, no doubt about it. But he also had parts of his life that didn't work out as well as he had hoped with ordinary failings (again, just like us). The difference is, that when the call came, he heard the call to duty, and putting others first, went back into the building when he could have gotten out. In doing so, he perished. As you read this book it will be clear why.
What is especially nice about this book is that the reason you will know why he tried to save others isn't a comic book version of heroism. It isn't just Mr. Rescorla's nobility and intrinsic heroism, though there is plenty of that in my view. It also came out of his own sense of who he was and his sense of what he needed to do.Read more ›
But after this backfill, the book really supercharges. Over half of the book covers Rescorla and Hill's military career, from work in Africa to rejoining the Army in time for Vietnam. In Rescorla's case, he wasn't even an American. They are both exceptional heroes and reading of their battles is very inspiring. It's also interesting to watch their views of the war change as they view the carnage. Although I had read "They Were Soldiers Once...", I did not remember Rescorla's name so it was fascinating to revisit his involvement and performance.
When the book leaves the military section but prior to the 9/11 event, there is an interesting section where Hill and Rescorla struggle with their identity as veterans of Vietnam, Rescorla particularly. But possibly the most fascinating part of this book is Hill's prediction of the next wave of terrorist attacks and what they would target. Hill participated in the Muslim religion including trips to Afghanistan and presented the FBI with an interesting proposal about Osama Bin Laden prior to 9/11.
And that's what makes this book so compelling. These two men touched four continents but seemed to always be involved in fascinating history that concludes with 9/11.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I listened to the audiobook on CDs. Delightfully well-written, and captivating book. Reminds me of "Unbroken" in that the stories are so compelling, and dramatic, they... Read morePublished 2 months ago by David Deehl
Excellent reading. A near unbelievable story of a very real and very believable man. Loved it!Published 4 months ago by mugs82
Having a father, husband and 2 sons in the military, I have read several military stories in the past. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dotty
My friend Rick. This is a bio of a man who led one of the most interesting lives of anyone I ever knew. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dennis Deal
Good book about an american hero. My particular book was in rough shape when it arrived.Published 7 months ago by jgillenwater
According to Amazon, I bought this item 5 years ago. Actually that was much later as previously I purchased multiple copies and gave then away. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Timothy P. Meehan
The seller was great, item arrived on time as described and the book was AMAZING! I loved it!!!Published 10 months ago by Bean
This is a good book. It is written well and really gives you insight on the characters and their life long relationship. Read morePublished 10 months ago by GE