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on November 20, 2016
Excellent perspective from one who served. Seldom do I condemn other reviewers in their stance, but this is the rare exception. To all those who thought or think this is American propaganda, then you either did not read the book, your mind was made up before you started or you have not read any other memoirs from any other conflicts in the world.

This is the insight of a man who was on the ground and answered the call of his country and performed to exemplary levels of honor, bravery and comradeship. You will find the same type of writing in “Last Dead Hero”- Robert Lamon, “Blood Red Snow”- Gunther K. Koschorrek, “The Forgotten Soldier” Guy Sajer “Patton” Ladislas Farago and a host of others. These men fought for their country and sought to defeat and destroy the enemy. Plain and simple, waris about killing people to win. It’s not a walk in the park and handled through diplomacy where everyone holds hands and smiles. War is ugly, destructive and dehumanizing. Ask the Russians how many they lost during World War Two. Ask the British if they had, as Neville Chamberlain proclaimed, “Peace in our time.” You win by killing your enemy!
Chris gives the reader a frontline look at how the battle in Iraq was fought. Does he come across as inhumane? Perhaps. But as a sniper, his job isn’t to sit back and observe, it’s to protect his fellow soldiers in harms way. And he does this by killing the enemy.
I have talked, not interviewed, many men who served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan. The common thread all of these men and women hold is, they are fighting for the man/woman by their side. Politics and grand strategies are the farthest thing from their minds. Protecting their fellow soldiers is front and foremost.
His insight to his commanders is a common theme you’ll find in most biographies-incompetent. His description of one of these, “0% casualties, 100% effectiveness.” galled him. How do you go out in the field to ambush or become a target for your foe and not expect to incur casualties? I’m sure those were the words Eisenhower, Bradley, Montgomery, Patton, Truscott, Roosevelt, King, Schwarzkof and Franks told their men as they were going into the frey. No!
The other side of this tribute is his family life. Was it all rose gardens and happy-go-lucky? Far from it. His wife Taya had her own battles to fight. She was responsible for raising their two children while he was off fighting. Her insights to their fiery, troubled relationship are well timed and placed through this work. She does not hold back how much she despises the military but also understands that her husband is bound and determined to keep the bad guys from coming to the states and making sure he does everything in his ability to make that happen. For her, it is a Catch-22. She loves her husband and is proud of his service, but sooner or later, he’s going to have to make family number two on the list. When Chris realizes that he’s not immortal during his last deployment and reenlistment is coming up, he will have to decide if he wants to continue his service which could result in him losing his family. He chooses the later. This alone is an excellent testament of two people not taking the easy road. They overcame their differences and remembered why they fell in love in the first place.

I recommend this warrior’s story to anyone who wants a glimpse into the day to day life of a man who is dedicated to his God, Country and Family.

Five Stars
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on February 6, 2013
When I first posted this review, there were roughly 3000 other reviews and many 1 and 2 star reviews. Most of the low rated reviews were from folks posting negative comments that had not even read the book. They were obviously against the war, didn't like the military, etc. Some of these comments are offensive, at least too me they were. I made a point to bring this to the attention of potential buyers of Chris's book so they wouldn't let the low ratings affect their decision to read, what I think is a very good story. I think this is important to point out and that's why I am including it here. The point here is to be helpful to others. So, with that said, I'd like to update this review a little bit now that over 5000 folks have had the opportunity to read it and leave their reviews, which seem to be a little more objective. I still disagree with others that claim this book is "poorly written". I think Chris, with help of course, did a pretty darn good job describing his experiences. This book was written by a Navy SEAL. Not Tom Clancy. This book is written in what I would call a sort of "conversational style". In other words, he writes like he talks. He is telling you a story or collection of them. I found his honesty refreshing. He makes no bones about the fact that he loves his job. He wasnt the best father or husband at times. He doesnt like politics, etc. I liked his sense of humor (I caught myself laughing out loud at times). I especially liked his discussion on his gear and weapons. It's interesting to read about what sort of equipment someone needs to survive in that kind of environment. He put things in his book that he was constantly asked about. Thats why they are there. The book also has some decent maps and photographs. This is not a book for everyone. One reviewer said the book was too "technical" and he couldnt follow it. Another said it was written by someone in "grade school". You can see by those two comments how differently this book will be viewed. This is a story of a man that goes to war, as he was trained to do. He had to make life and death decisions almost everyday. It's easy to sit in a nice comfortable home, and second guess him but the bottom line is that I am quite sure the men that served next to him were glad he was there. So all I can say is if you are interested in the life of a Navy SEAL, grab it. If not, why would you condsider it in the first place? Chris Kyle, rest in peace and God bless the men and woman who serve, and have served, this country.
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on August 30, 2015
I had intended to read this book and see the film but was immediately moved to do so after listening to an interview with the screenwriter on The Rich Roll podcast. The intro to the book states that it was submitted for review to the military prior to publication in accordance with their standards and that there was quite a bit that they didn't like. What that tells you is that this is a pretty raw account of serving as a dedicated Navy SEAL sniper. It is not an overly romanticized tale of a hero or a legend as Chris Kyle has come to be known. He definitely expresses his 100% dedication to his SEAL profession and in that regard is probably a Navy recruiters dream poster boy but he also shares the toll that a decade of commitment took on him physically, emotionally and in regards to his family. He really seems to have put it all out on the table. A great addition to the book are brief submissions from his wife on how this life was affecting their relationship and children. Without her contribution it would have been easy to view this story with a neat and clean arc of enthusiasm and excitement to action to a slightly rough but ultimately successful re-entry to civilian life. Instead we get a real sense of the fact that coming home entails much more than merely adjusting to indoor plumbing and quiet nights. This is a very complete view into the challenges this type of commitment ultimately entails for the individuals as well as their families.

It is heart breaking to discover what ultimately claimed him after all that he and his family went thru. We can only hope that his story serves to shine a bright light on the issues surrounding combat veterans and that we are all much more conscious of the many sacrifices of the brave that serve us. I highly recommend his wife's book, American Wife, to get the full picture.

RIP Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield
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on June 7, 2016
Yes, I know that most of the numbers have been said to be wildly exaggerated. And yes, I've heard all the angles on how this was a piece of propaganda secretly designed as a recruitment tool. I'd heard all of that before reading the book and still loved it. Even if only 25% of this book is true, he's still 100% more of a bad*** than most of the men in this country. It's refreshing to read a book that isn't written to the soft-spoken, skinny jeans wearing, safe-space retreating hyper-feminine men that seem to be all you see through the media eye. The dude was a soldier, period, and soldiers represent one of the last pockets of self-sacrificing bravery in our culture (both men and women). This book represents the horror of war, the dedication of our military, the courageous families they leave behind, and the ignorance of anyone that threatens our way of life in America.
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on April 3, 2017
Book is a pretty detailed version of Kyle's experiences in Iraq, and it's a good read. Movie is more of a summary of Kyle's 4 tours in Iraq, and adds a lot of embellishments and untruths into the Kyle story (Hollywood does this for more dramatic effects). That being said, the book received a lot of criticisms about Kyle making up a lot of stories to turn himself into more of a "Legend" than he really was. Such criticisms included Kyle taking out Looters in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina; this was not discussed in this book. Neither was the criticism of the alleged Jesse Ventura episode, where Kyle supposedly punched the former governor in the face. None of this was discussed in this book or at least the version I read. Maybe the publishers took those stories out in this version due to the criticisms and the subsequent defamation lawsuit filed by Ventura. I don't know. Anyway, this book is a good read, and, in my opinion, a better depiction of Kyle than the Eastwood movie version.
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on October 30, 2015
It was a great book telling a great story that every American should hear. I got the book after seeing the movie, to see what else I could learn about this hero. The book doesn't offer a lot more than is in the movie, but it is written is Chris' words and the words of his wife Taya, so it comes straight from the source. He tells more between the lines than he actually says, I'd say because so much of his work was classified. He offers a glimpse though into a life of a SEAL which I found intriguing and exciting. He holds nothing back when talking about his distaste for how some things are handled by our military. Chris will always be remembered by me as a hero of America, a patriot to the end, and a decent writer as well. Having his wife also lend quotes to the book really brings home just how hard it is to lead a double life and keep it all together, and you'll find Chris had a hard time with that just as many other soldiers do. You'll have to read it to see how it turns out for him.
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on March 19, 2015
Really great book – I have a couple points, but first I served in Iraq in 08-09 as a gunner as a member of a combat MP team; being said, I have the utmost respect for snipers because of their overwatch capabilities. I mean, they all deserve a high five for keeping us ground pounders save over there. As for the book, I like it because Kyle writes in spoken word, not a verbage packed authoring kinda thing. He writes and talks like a SEAL. It’s well written, I enjoyed the tidbits form Taya – reminds me of when I describe my deployment and then my wife cuts in too. Very genuine book. As a soldier, I gotta pick on other branches as a requirement. Kyle calls SEALs silent professionals, I understand what he’s saying, but he can get kinda obnoxious and narsasstic sometimes, im not giggin’ the guy though, he’s a friggin’ SEAL, a horse of another color and im sure if I went through BUD/S and came out the other end, I’d be a cocky bad-a%% too! Anyway, God bless Kyle and his family, rest in peace brother, you earned eternity of it in heaven – thanks for you and all your brethren who watched our six, even when we didn’t know you guys were there.
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on February 21, 2015
As I write this review, Kyle's story has made cinemagraphic history. According to some movie reviewers, it is the most popular war film ever produced. Having seen the movie and read the book, I concur that the movie accurately portrays the man and his mission. Possibly had Kyle lived to see how his story worked out (his life was taken by a possibly-deranged former soldier even as he was trying to help him overcome his mental problems), he would have just shrugged and said something like "That's how it goes." The autobiography reveals an unassuming Texan who grew up with good but simple values, was a rodeo rider for a time, and came from a family of hunters and outdoorsmen. His style of writing (with the assistance of a ghost writer) reminds me of Gary Cooper's portrayal in film of Sgt. York in World War I. Both were crack shots and both saw the killing of other men as necessary to saving the lives of America's soldiers. Kyle describes his training in the SEALs, and declares he was never the best shot in the outfit. Indeed, he makes clear all the things that go into the making of a good sniper, much of it having to do with a knowledge of maneuver, patience, and what might be called "the buddy system." His language will seem raw to some, but life among foot-soldiers is harsh, hardening, and even requires a peculiar sense of humor. As for Kyle's devotion to his wife and family, it is stated simply and believably. That he should die trying to save another soldier fits in with his values and beliefs. He is to the twenty-first century what Sgt. York was to the twentieth.
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on January 12, 2017
This is a great book that tells the story of one of the most lethal snipers in history. While the movie did take some liberties, such as inventing a competing enemy sniper, the book stick true to the verified military record. Chris Kyle was an outstanding man, the feats he accomplished were nothing short of legendary. Reading this book you not only get a feeling of what he went through but you also get a sense of the type of man that he was. While what happened to him while trying to help a fellow vet with PTSD it should not take away from what he accomplished.
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on January 25, 2015
People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. George Orwell may or may not have actually written those words, but the sentiment is widely held, as evidenced by the interest in Chris Kyle's life, as well as the lives of other rough men like fellow SEAL Marcus Luttrell. The late Major Richard Winter, he of Easy Company's Band of Brothers, notes in his book that he recognized several "killers" in his unit. Men who seemed utterly fearless and willing to do what was necessary to kill the enemy. Thank goodness that Chris Kyle used his abilities to save the lives of his fellow troops, because he was born with the ability to inflict massive damage when he chose to.
Although the book is an "as-told-to" autobiography, an authentic voice emerges. A complicated man, full of passion, energy, love and violence, sometimes in equal proportions. I read the book after viewing the recently released film about Kyle. In death, controversy swirls around him. As he points out, he didn't make the decision to go to war in Iraq, but once there he wished that the politicians and pundits would not interfere with the way he chose to perform his mission. Amen to that.
The undistinguished ex-governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, succeeded in convincing a panel of low information jurors that he was somehow defamed when Kyle alluded to an incident in which the burly and ignorant retired wrestler was allegedly knocked on his fanny by Kyle in a Coronado bar. Ventura was lampooned in a comic novel by fellow Minnesotan Garrison Keillor, who created a character named Big Boy Valente obviously based on Ventura. To my knowledge, he didn't attempt to secure any damages, probably because he would have been more embarrassed by increased attention to the book. Ventura, who has falsely claimed for years that he was a SEAL, no doubt felt his macho credibility was threatened by the smackdown, and saw an easy way to parlay his misery into a few extra dollars. Since his political gig he has managed to keep conning unsuspecting audiences with a potpourri of far out conspiracy theories, but no doubt he needs to keep paying for his lifestyle somehow, since the last thing he'd ever do is work for a living. Parasitically siphoning earnings from Kyle's widow and children seems right up his alley. If a few pennies of the purchase price end up in his pocket, I hope he chokes on his toast.
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