Prior to purchasing this book, I was skeptical of picking it up. Ever since post-Iraq and Afghanistan invasion, there's been a flood of military related literature into the market. There's been some good accounts, and some pretty bad efforts. When I saw this I thought of the latter category. However after taking a chance and after racing through it, I'm pleasantly surprised and Seal Team Six has entered the realm of some of my favourite reads.
The book is well written. There is little error in grammar and punctuation, and many of the historical facts seem nailed down -- although with the caveat, I haven't done research into them. The type face is well set out and the use of contents make re-reading accessible. Wasdin and Templin's style of writing is engrossing. You want to continue to read and read. The language is broken down well, and newcomers will be welcome to the book. There's even a glossary at the front of the book to assist you in some of the book's more difficult to understand phrases.
As well as first hand information that Wasdin provides, there is also a bibliography to be mentioned. Although it is short, it displays that Wasdin took care to reinforce his points and facts, and secondly that he is encouraging you to read more about the elite fighting force. This is a positive for me.
Wasdin's work ranges from when he was an abused child, up to enlisting in the Navy and then onto the SEALs. From the damaging, dangerous and violent battle of Mogadishu we get to the end where he discusses life outside of the SEALs. It's a truly remarkable story. The punishment he suffered as a child, up to the searing reports on the streets of war-torn Somalia hits you with different emotions and combine to make excellent reading.
There are many other positives in the book. The SEALs demanding training, BUD/S is a hell-like ordeal and reading it makes you want to get up and about. His descriptions of weapons he uses and spending thousands of rounds on the range are informative. The sniper school he attends shows the grueling hard work of the job. I also found little things like SEALs relationship with Delta force interesting, along with the stories of past exploits of SEAL heroes.
However, despite its many good points, it has a couple of faults. The chapter on the Safe House in Mogadishu read like a diary, and break up the tone of the book. Furthermore, the use of past/present gets conflicted. As well as this, the book acts as a baseplate for Wasdin's criticisms of the Clinton administration over their handling of the Somalia mission. Also, his references to God and sometimes the over-patriotic tone of the book can be a little annoying. I've nothing hugely against what he's saying (as an Irish man, I'm inclined to agree with his comments on the Clinton/Somalia disasters), but for me, they distort the book's message. After all, it is an auto-biography, and these are to be expected.
I deeply enjoyed this book, it further reinforces the quality of the US armed forces, and in particular, the efforts and dedication of the Special Forces, a subject I'm enormously interested in. I've tried to recommend this book and will continue to strive to do until someone reads it! I would go so far to admit it could be used among scholarly research for a student wishing to do research on the SEALs, special forces or Operation Gothic Serpent, and the Battle of Mogadishu.
I'm going to give this four stars, despite the fact I loved it, but it isn't absolutley perfect - although it comes close. I find it difficult to give five stars. This is highly recommended, give it a go.