Medal of Honor: Profiles of America's Military Heroes from the Civil War to the Presentby Allen Mikaelian, Mike Wallace
Of the millions of Americans who have gone into combat in the past century, fewer than 1,300 have earned the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. military decoration, and many of those were awarded it for actions they did not survive. Their courageous and selfless feats in battle are barely conceivable. They plunged into heavy fire, ventured boldly behind enemy lines, and threw themselves on live grenades. But who are these people? Medal of Honor portrays eleven recipients of the award, from each branch of the military, and examines what drove them to go so far above and beyond the call of duty. The book tells not only of astonishing military actions but also, significantly, of the recipients' lives before and after their wartime experiences. In his moving commentary, acclaimed 60 Minutes reporter Mike Wallace places these actions in historical context and relates his own personal experiences in WWII and as a reporter covering recent wars. He also meditates on the meaning of courage and shows what we can all learn from these extraordinary individuals.
- Hachette Books
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- First Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.62(w) x 9.62(h) x 1.25(d)
Meet the Author
Allen Mikaelian received his M.A. in history, with distinction, from the University of London's Institute for English Studies. He lives in Washington, D.C., and serves as a board member and adult literacy tutor with the Washington Literacy Council.
Mike Wallace is a leading force behind CBS's 60 Minutes, which has ranked among Nielsen's top ten highest-rated primetime programs for twenty-three consecutive seasonsa record no other program has approached. He has won nineteen Emmy awards and countless other professional honors. He lives in New York City.
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I found this book fascinating and well-written. It's not meant to be a reference book, or an exhaustive listing (whether of Latino recipients or any other ethnic group.) But it does provide detailed accounts of how ordinary soldiers rose to greatness and performed acts of amazing courage. The battle scenes are especially gripping, but the author also brings in much background material to describe where such unlikely heroes came from, and how their lives unfolded afterward. Very few of them came home to honor and/or glory. He also describes the politics and strong emotions behind the awarding of the MOH, and offers some insights into the racism, sexism and classism which often controlled who was awarded the medal.
The author chooses from some of the forgotten and obscure receipients and shares with his readers their tales of almost unimaginable courage. Do not expect a reference book for this book is a portrait of just few of the thousands who have received the medal of honor. No book could offer anything but a cursory portrait of all of the extraordinary winners of the Medal. I liked who the author chose and I enjoyed their stories.
I found this book to be a major dissapointment. If you are looking for the exciting heart-pounding and tear-jerking tales of the bravest of the brave, sandwiched by their pre-combat and post-combat livihood, look elsewhere. The author presents the lives of several MOH recepients whose stories pale in comparison to other MOH recipients of whom I've read. Their stories are told in shades of grey, the blandness disrupted momentarily by the actual combat tales which are unfortunately given little more attention than a footnote. The worst injustice however is the author portraying some of these MOH recipients as using their medals as a vehicle for arrogance and boastfulness, something I've never found reading of other recepients'. I will not reccomend this book to anyone, particularly not to any MOH recipients as it taints the Value of Valor.
This book portrays fifteen Americans who have earned the Congressional Medal of Honor. If you buy this book expecting profiles of Medal of Honor winners like Everett Alvarez, Eugene A. Obregon, Roy P. Benavidez, Daniel Fernandez, Silvestre S. Herrera, Jose Lopez, Alfredo Gonzalez, Harold Gonsalves, Louis Rocco, Jose M. Lopez, Rodolpho P. Hernandez, etc--you won't find them here. This book would be much better if it were more comprehensive. Unfortunately, it's somewhat disappointing.