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Showing 1-10 of 250 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 313 reviews
on May 15, 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed reading of Schwarzkopf's long and varied military career. Though a very long book, it never got boring. He actually visited Iran as a child while his father was working there, and was so fascinated with the country and the culture that he vowed to return some day. He barely made it into West Point (it was difficult to secure the necessary recommendations due to his father's position), but thrived while he was there, and went to USC for a post-graduate course, his first time at a co-ed school! From Vietnam to Washington D.C. to Alaska to the Middle East, and many other duty stations, Schwarzkopf rose steadily through the ranks, sometimes taking lateral moves when he was needed somewhere, even if it didn't move him up the career ladder. Along the way, he had the support of a very devoted wife and managed to raise 3 children.

The highly detailed retelling of Operation Desert Storm was, by far, the most interesting part of the book. Somehow, the story of troop buildup, moving massive amount of personnel and materiel from the U.S. to the Gulf, communications, strategy, daily interface with Colin Powell and sometimes President Bush, and interfacing with the Saudis and Kuwaitis added up to a fascinating story. Of course, it helps that we already know the successful outcome!

Among all the detail of war strategy, political pressures, technical issues and the mundane aspects of military service, Schwarzkopf talks frankly about honor, conscience, the ideal of service above self, and a longing for moral clarity. Ever aware of the responsibility and influence of the U.S. military machine, Schwarzkopf comes across as a humble and dedicated soldier. He retired immediately following the conclusion of Operation Desert Storm, and was revered as a true hero.
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on August 4, 2014
The General writes like a professional. It seems as if you are listening to him tell you what his feelings are each moment of his story. He's not a complex person. He grew up with the dream of going to West Point and making a career in the army. He also dreamed of a wife and family, but that was a secondary goal and he wasn't sure it would fit well with life as a professional soldier.

Of course, when love happens, it's unexpected and more than he'd ever hoped. He covers his entire military career, along with his personal life and it may surprise you how he discloses the gritty and, sometimes dirty, underside of Army life. He is candid about White House decisions he disagreed with, while maintaining respect for the White House and offices held by key players.

Altogether, a pleasing, fast read.
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on January 15, 2015
This was a very interesting story.

I got and read this book in winter 2014-2015. There were some deep ideas about the Middle East that come from the subject's life of experience as an American abroad. I probably learned more about the Middle east from this book than I did from the last 100 NY Times stories about that region combined.

Also, the personal story is profound. Schwarzopf was occasionally dropped in to very difficult situations (a mismanaged unit in Vietnam for example). I felt like I learned a lot from his descriptions of the attitudes that he took to these problems.

The most striking passage to read in 2015 was his description of why they never considered invading Iraq after Desert Storm. I will leave it to you to read, but it definitely resonates in the aftermath of the Bush-Cheney administration.
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on February 20, 2015
This is one of the best autobiographies I have ever read. My husband and I read it together and he concurs. It was so well written - very "conversational" - and presented such a candid, balanced viewpoint. He related his personal life as clearly and honestly as he did his military life. We both enjoy auto- and biographies, we both love history, and this book represented our OWN era of history. We remember watching the press conferences during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. My husband served in the Marine Corps in Viet Nam (not long after Schwarzkopf was there) so could relate to some of the experiences in the book. We both have a deep respect for our military and an undying love for our country. This book did not disappoint, and is hands-down one of the best we have read. I feel like I'm "gushing", but it was just a great read!
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on August 26, 2014
I really enjoyed this book. It is an autobiography of a contemporary man. So there will be many revisions or re-tellings of the story as the future becomes the present, but for now 20 years down the road the story rings true. I would have liked a chart of the different levels of generals. I'm not up to speed on who answers to who at that level, and I was confused but not to the extent of interrupting the story. A diagram of the command structure in CINC COM, with names and military units would have been helpful too. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in contemporary history, military history, or male biographies.
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on November 17, 2014
Excellent book. Very well written by a man whose morals and beliefs should be an example to all. I may not have agreed with the politics behind the war in Iraq but I agree 100% with the way General Schwarzkopf conducted himself and led his men through a war nobody wanted with as few fatalities on the part of the Coalition forces as possibles. I live and work in the Middle East so I respect the way he dealt with the Arabs and understood the best way to deal with such vastly different cultures. It may not take a hero to win a war but it does take a hero to pull all those nations together to do what is right. Norman Schwarzkopf is that hero.
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on December 6, 2016
This is a great book. For any that lived during the Gulf War of 1990-1991, it is especially rewarding, as the author gives many revealing, behind-the-scenes stories. It might be useful to leaders as well, for he cites many examples of poor leadership and how he tried to make changes in the Army. The lessons could easily be applied to business, sports teams, etc. Some might find sections about his family a touch boring or slow, but in general it is a solid book.
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on February 19, 2016
Even though I am a Marine and spent from '65 to '06 on active and reserve service I enjoyed this book. A friend gave me a paperback copy and after reading about 15 pages, I went to Amazon and bought the ebook for my Kindle. This books is not just about the Gulf War, it takes us from the General's early days up through his retirement. His writings about what he saw from a general's viewpoint was especially interesting as well as his insight into the Arab mind. I truly enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the military and, especially, the Gulf War.
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on September 22, 2014
It's a very good autobiography of General Norman Schwarzkopf. If the President had followed his advice on how to deal with the countries in the Middle East then. We wouldn't have any problems now. Also if Obama was any kind of an effective President we wouldn't have any problems in that part of the world now or ever, and never lose anymore of our boys, and girls in a war defending other countries. General Schwarzkopf had a very interesting life, he was a real American Hero, and God fearing man. He tells it like it was, so if your looking for a book that tells what our country once was, and how it can return to that kind of country again, that everyone loves, respects,and fears, then read this book! God Bless America!
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on May 19, 2016
I was in the 173rd Army paratroopers around the same time Norman was in Viet Nam and I could really relate to his story. God bless him for fighting the political people who wanted to run the Kuwait war from Washington. Kuwait was saved because this man new what he was doing and won that war hands down. The war in Vietnam was lost because it became a political war and may all the KIA rest in peace. ...... Great book, hard to put it down.
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