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Summary

Called "everything a 20th-century war memoir could possibly be" by the New York Times, this national best seller by Colonel David H. Hackworth presents a vivid and powerful portrait of a life of patriotism.

From age 15 to 40, 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.

New York Times best seller. A Military Book Club Main Selection. A number-one Amazon.com best seller in Korean War Personal Narratives.

©2019 Colonel David H. Hackworth (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Try it.

Very interesting. Worth the time. But this 15 word review nonsense is tiresome don't you think.

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The best war memoir I've read. An important book.

This is a true epic but doesn't feel too long, I blasted through this pretty quickly. It reveals what combat was like through the ranks and through the decades, it also has some warnings for the future which since publication we have seen begin to come to fruition. The book really does have everything and I recommend it to all, especially action fans and history buffs and anyone wanting to be inspired by this true legend and hero.

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excellent

great true accurate , compelling
you will not be disappointed with this epic story , value for money

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Real insight

Great historic accounting of the USA war middle management political ladder climbers that seemed not to care about the average soldier an arrogant viewpoint looking at personal glory in a political power hunger country bordering on facist state pretending to be a democratic one

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More than a blow by blow account of war.

Listened to completely, this book is gem of pragmatic and moral leadership as well as a dire warning of the war machine and the supporting industrial complex.

Hack is a courageous and fine human being and with a message very relevant in todays world.

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how is this the story of one man!

Hackworth truly did it all. If you are in the military this should be essential reading.
Great lessons on leadership and life.

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Best book I’ve ever read.

It’s not just a chronicle of Hackworth’s military career but a constant bombardment of tales of courage with a conclusive ending of standing up for what one believes in despite the costs.

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truley studdley

you must read this if you want to have a rounded insight into the vietnam war.. also too note the still unresolved korean conflict.
a true soldier.. and a great leader of men, hack is up there with the pantheon of patriots. . get it done..

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attitude changing for the better

could be the best film ever made, if they made it.
so much honesty, humour, excitement, life skills and leadership out of it. somehow its matured me as a person by reading it

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About Trust

About Face is all about the trust. Trust is the highest form of capital that we know about. When all other capitals are gone you can always use trust. In short always use trust. Highly recommended book

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  • Tom Rogneby
  • 18-07-19

An excellent adaptation of an excellent book

I discovered About Face: The Odyssey of an American Warrior as a private in 1990. I saw Colonel Hackworth do an interview to support the book, and I was fascinated by his quiet demeanor as he talked about a lifetime of service and combat. When I saw the book on display at the PX, I scooped it up and devoured it. It's been on my "Read This Often" reading list ever since.

About Face is a memoir, but it's one that's been tempered with the viewpoints of many of the people it talks about. Colonel Hackworth and Julie Sherman did a good job of coordinating his recollections with those of his friends and comrades from 3 decades of Army life. The book is made up of in-depth discussions of Hackworth's views on politics, the military, and leadership, all punctuated by mesmerizing tales of combat and the men he served with.

The final chapter, in which Hackworth talked about his views of the United States and her military circa 1988, is, to me, the most interesting of all. When the authors wrote those words, we were on the brink of the Berlin Wall falling, but were still poised for World War III starting somewhere in the Fulda Gap. The First Gulf War, Somalia, the Balkan War, 9/11, and the War on Terror were still in the future. Hackworth's insights are a remarkable look back at where we were. They lead me to look at where we've come and how the Reagan military he discusses were and were not prepared for the world we fell into in the years after his writing.

The narration by John Pruden is spot on. The book is liberally salted with military jargon, and it was very rare that it wasn't used or pronounced correctly. Pruden paced the story, over 40 hours long, very well. You could hear the emotion come through where it was appropriate, and his characterizations during the combat sequences painted a vivid picture.

If you already know Hackworth and Sherman, you'll enjoy this opportunity to experience this seminal work again. If you haven't read About Face or any of Colonel Hackworth and Ms. Sherman's other works and you enjoy good living history, you're in for a treat.

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  • Jacob Smith
  • 02-01-20

This is by far the best book I have ever read/heard

This book is both an amazing leadership guide for civilians and military. The stories within this book are relatable and can be seen in the evolution of the US Army. Thank you Col. David H. Hackworth for your contributions to the Army, our great nation, and the world. Rest In Peace in Heaven where you will remain a warrior in our hearts.

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  • DesmoProfundis
  • 22-10-19

Wish I read it when I was a Pvt.

About Face: Odyssey Of An American Warrior -by Col. David Hackworth was an eye opener. Having been a Soldier my entire life, this book was a hard pill to swallow. Like most good medications however, it was necessary. If you were against the Vietnam War, please read this book. If you defend our actions in that war, please read this book. Either way... my God... either way it will touch you.

Hack was a warrior, a superhero on the battlefield, a force of nature. He was also an outspoken, down to earth NCO made Colonel that took no shit, nor put up with less than perfection from his subordinates or his leaders.

He was a whistle blower on the institution he loved so dearly. Was he wrong for that? Maybe. Is it a Hell of a story and a shit ton of lessons learned in the reading? Ab-so-lutely !

I thought about conversation I've had with Margaret Helveston, and with Susan Emshwiller 's husband Chris while I read this. I recommend this book to every American that is interested in what their military is doing with their sons, their daughters, and their taxes.

Having served in two wars after Hack's time, I can't say much has changed. I wonder if, in hindsight, the best lesson here is the futility of it all.

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  • Jojo
  • 13-09-19

Eye opening take from the front lines

Hackworth's story of his time in the military teaches you about many things. Leadership, courage and how to think for yourself inside a burocracy. Required reading for anyone who cares about being a leader.

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  • NYHikerJohn
  • 23-08-20

Very interesting but just too long.

This book details the author's experiences in WW2, Korea and Vietnam. He is a true American hero. I'm a fan of military history books but this one taxed even me. The author describes seemingly every experience he had in the military from the time of his enlistment to his retirement. It is quite interesting but just too long.

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  • Aaron Fidler
  • 10-02-20

Overrated and Boring

I asked for this book based on Jocko Willink’s mentioning in each of his books. The message could have been relayed in half the hours.

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  • tbrooks302
  • 24-11-19

Great book

I enjoyed every minute of this book. It was entertaining and informative. Col Hackworth is a true American hero and a brave man. The narration is the best I’ve heard and I have an extensive library of audiobooks.

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  • Kaylese
  • 14-11-19

Exceptional guide to Leadership and the US Army

This was written by a warrior, about warriors, but is meant for a much larger audience. it'll appeal to military men and women since they'll be able to glean a multitude of leadership principles herein, already tailored for those in uniform. while the author is a self-apologist, history certainly has backed many of his claims and ideas. a very worthy read for those who wish to understand the Army as well. hopefully the nation, or politics and military have come a long way since this was written!

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  • Alex
  • 19-01-20

Very long, but worth it!

About face can be an expression that means to take the opposite opinion. Very true with this book. Recommended by Jocko, approved by thousands of happy listeners. Many lessons, war stories, and critiques throughout the book.

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  • Ian H.
  • 11-12-19

Amazing story

The story of David Hackworth is an amazing story. The reader does an awesome job. Just have a large amount of time to hear the full story.

2 people found this helpful