Top positive review
Fascinating and Entertaining Autobiography of Our National Hero
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.