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4.8 out of 5 stars35
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 10 August 2008
A brilliant, very personal, brilliantly written book about a leader's role. A very interesting look into a good leader's head and his thoughts, doubts, concerns. If you look for a good leadership book - this is the one. Balanced, yet very personal. If you look for a good memoire from Vietnam - this is the one. The real tragedy of that war in his own words, in personla experience. No big glory, no medal of honor, yet a humble but very respectful personality. Touching.
A book I think I am going to read again - this is just how good it is.
Absolutely recommended.
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on 19 June 1999
I can't forget the characters in this book: Killigan, Nail, Donne, McDonough himself, and all the others. The prose is sparse but muscular. The author's passion for integrity in leadership and for his troops drips from the pages like tears shed at the Wall in Washington, D.C. The center piece of this unforgettable tale is the tragic truth that America would never know what good and honest and selfless men served their country in the Nam. I will use this book in my high-school English classes to teach new generations about the war, about the men who served, and about the strength of character that once existed in America and that made this country great. My favorite line occurs toward the end when Lt. McDonough, attempting to save the life of one of his troops, writes "I would not let him die. I would rip the world off its axis first." It's a powerful read and one you will not easily forget.
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on 25 February 2013
Excellent book about command. Made a change to get the officer,s viewpoint rather than the grunt. Would recommend to anyone interested in Vietnam War.
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on 29 October 1998
It is not easy to be a leader if you are young and inexperienced. The book describes how a young officer established his leadership among a group of veterans. He faced a lot of difficulties at the beginning as the veterans perceived him just a "college boy" but they had to put the whole platoon fate to this "boy's" hand. Eventually, Lt. McDonough became a successful leader after he had devoted himself entirely to his platoon and his job.
The inside world of Lt. McDonough had a lot of similarities to mine when I was a probationary police inspector - similar capacity of a Lt. who normally leads a platoon or similar team size of policemen in the Hong Kong Police Force. We both experienced similar things for gaining the trust from our subordinates, we both needed to participate and devote ourselves in order to set good examples to others. We both needed to show firm and strong leadership in order to convince our men of our competence. I will recommend this book to my friends in the Force and I think they will like this book too.
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on 12 August 2012
To date this is the best Vietnam book I have read, once i started to read it I could not put it down. The authors honesty and attention to detail are a credit to a man that lived through one of the biggest and most shocking events a soldier should witness.
I can not recommend this book enough if you have an interest in the Vietnam War Era then this book should be at the top of your list, you will not be disapointed.
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on 14 February 1999
"Platoon Leader" does more than provide a reader /soldier with invaluable lessons about leadership and combat experience. As a cadet at West Point, I benefitted the most from COL McDonough's story from his candid exposure of his thoughts and fears, which gave me the most realistic glimpse of the many challenges in my future profession.
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on 1 August 2013
Outstanding this is an inspired account of a junior officer who learn his trade and also cared for all those in his care,including the local population,some of whom did not share in his ideology.
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on 26 September 2013
A dispassionate and personal memory of something I wish never to experience but which makes me feel guilty that someone does on my behalf
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on 23 October 1998
It is not easy to be a leader if you are young and inexperienced. The book describes how a young officer established his leadership among a group of veterans. He faced a lot of difficulties at the beginning as the veterans perceived him just a "college boy" but they had to put the whole platoon fate to this "boy's" hand. Eventually, Lt. McDonough became a successful leader after he had devoted himself entirely to his platoon and his job.
The inside world of Lt. McDonough had a lot of similarities to mine when I was a probationary police inspector - similar capacity of a Lt. who normally leads a platoon or similar team size of policemen in the Hong Kong Police Force. We both experienced similar things for gaining the trust from our subordinates, we both needed to participate and devote ourselves in order to set good examples to others. We both needed to show firm and strong leadership in order to convince our men of our competence. I will recommend this book to my friends in the Force and I think they will like this book too.
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on 14 June 2009
I've read many Vietnam memoirs but this is the one I can't forget. If you only ever read one Vietnam memoir - read this. The humanity of James McDonough, his doubts, when good intentions lead to tragedy - unbelievable and unforgettable.
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