About Face: The Odyssey of an American Warrior

About Face: The Odyssey of an American Warrior

by David H. Hackworth, Julie Sherman
     
 

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Called “everything a twentieth century war memoir could possibly be” by The New York Times, this national bestseller by Colonel David H. Hackworth presents a vivid and powerful portrait of a life of patriotism.

From age fifteen to forty David Hackworth devoted himself to the US Army and fast became a living legend. In 1971, however, he appeared

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Overview

Called “everything a twentieth century war memoir could possibly be” by The New York Times, this national bestseller by Colonel David H. Hackworth presents a vivid and powerful portrait of a life of patriotism.

From age fifteen to forty David Hackworth devoted himself to the US Army and fast became a living legend. In 1971, however, he appeared on television to decry the doomed war effort in Vietnam. With About Face, he has written what many Vietnam veterans have called the most important book of their generation.

From Korea to Berlin, from the Cuban missile crisis to Vietnam, Hackworth’s story is that of an exemplary patriot, played out against the backdrop of the changing fortunes of America and the American military. It is also a stunning indictment of the Pentagon’s fundamental misunderstanding of the Vietnam conflict and of the bureaucracy of self-interest that fueled the war.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A battle-scarred veteran of Korea, Hackworth served successive tours in Vietnam, becoming increasingly alarmed by declining standards in the Army and the dead-end policy in Southeast Asia. Matters came to a head during a 1971 television interview in which he criticized Army leadership, training and tactics in the field. For this the colonel was shamefully hounded into premature retirement, a potential Army superstar who was suddenly perceived as a dangerous renegade, according to this memoir written with freelancer Sherman. The engrossing autobiography of a fierce and fiercely outspoken warrior, it is also an inside account of the demoralization of a once-proud army during a period when ``no one could afford to tell the truth, make an error, or admit to ignorance.'' The colonel makes sweeping condemnations in this passionate, profane, sometimes intemperate book (admirers of military historian S.L.A. Marshall will cringe at Hackworth's savage attack). In the end he calls the army ``this rotten whore I'd been in love with for twenty years.'' Photos. Military Book Club main selection; author tour. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Authentic combat leaders--the real warriors--are apt to be professional misfits, especially off the battlefield. In this book America's most decorated living soldier tells his life story in formidable detail with outstanding battlefield realism. Colonel Hackworth left the Army and went into exile over the conduct of the Vietnam War. Like all good autobiographies, his often tells more than he intended. This is as earnest and self-revealing as Anthony B. Herbert's Herbert: The Making of a Soldier (LJ 9/1/82), but less laconic. A rousing good book which will be useful to military professionals as well. Military Book Club main selection.-- Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog., Los Angeles

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671695347
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
04/28/1990
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
896
Sales rank:
190,095
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.90(d)

Meet the Author

David H. Hackworth (Col., U.S. Army, Ret.) spent almost five years of combat duty in Vietnam, as well as twenty-five years in the service of our nation's defense. His previous two nonfiction books, About Face (available from Touchstone) and Hazardous Duty, and his novel, The Price of Honor,The Price of Honor, were national bestsellers. Eilhys England produces feature films and writes with her partner and husband, David Hackworth. They live in Connecticut and Australia.

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