Synopses & Reviews
At last, in his own words, Bob Dole tells his legendary World War II story andndash;andndash; a personal odyssey of tremendous courage, sacrifice, and faith.
In One Soldier's Story, Bob Dole tells the moving, inspirational story of his harrowing experience in World War II, and how he overcame lifeandndash;threatening injuries long before rising to the top of the U.S. Senate. As a platoon leader in the famed 10th Mountain Division, twentyandndash;oneandndash;yearandndash;old Bob Dole was gravely wounded on a hill in the Italian Alps just two weeks before the end of the war. Trying to pull his radioman to safety during a fireandndash;fight against a fortified German position, Dole was hit with shrapnel across his right shoulder and back. Over the next three years, not expected to survive, he lapsed in and out of a coma, lost a kidney, lost the use of his right arm and most of the feeling in his left arm. But he willed himself to live.
Drawing on nearly 300 neverandndash;beforeandndash;seen letters between him and his family during this period, Dole offers a powerful, vivid portrait of one man's struggle to survive in the closing moments of the war. With insight and candour, Dole also focuses on the words, actions, and selfless deeds of countless American heroes with whom he served, including two fellow injured soldiers who later joined him in the Senate, capturing the singular qualities of his generation. He speaks here not as a politician, but as a wounded G.I. who went on to become one of our nation's most respected statesmen. In doing so, he gives us a heartfelt story of uncommon bravery and personal faith andndash;andndash; in himself, his fellow man, and a greater power. This is the World War II chronicle that America has been waiting for.
"This affecting memoir chronicles the Republican senator's arduous coming of age through the early 1950s. After a poor but for him idyllic childhood in Russell, Kans., Dole arrived at college and then the army during World War II a sunny, callow young man; his letters home many reprinted here are preoccupied with Mom's cooking, college sports and fraternity hijinks. The story darkens and deepens when he is sent to Italy and, near the end of the war, gravely wounded by a German shell blast that leaves him all but paralyzed with spinal cord damage and a maimed shoulder. The bulk of the book is taken up with Dole's agonizing three-year convalescence. His restrained but poignant account details his painfully slow struggle to regain the use of his legs and arms, the strain put on his family by his physical helplessness and his reluctant coming to terms with the ruin of his once handsome and athletic body. The book is very much a political autobiography, full of tributes to faith, family and hard work, but the harrowing experiences that put these ideals to the test elevate Dole's memoir above mere boilerplate. Photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[H]is bravery, guts, and determination shine through...without a hint of self-pity or self-aggrandizement. Those who subscribe to the 'greatest generation' theory will find confirmation in Dole's account of his service, suffering, and triumph." Booklist
"Dole delivers [his story] with grace and economy....For all his reluctance to lay claim to hero or greatest-generation status, Dole deserves accolades. So, too, does his memoir." Kirkus Reviews
"One Soldier's Story is worth reading not because it is great writing but because it tells a great and important story." Boston Globe
"Mr. Dole is not much of a writer....He is not introspective, and his natural style is terse....He does not like to dwell on his difficulties....But the facts have their own power, and Mr. Dole's habit of understatement works to his advantage." New York Times
"To say that it is a familiar story is understatement....[E]ven after every benefit of the doubt is extended to Dole, One Soldier's Story has little to recommend it." Washington Post
In his own words, Bob Dole relates his legendary World War II story a personal odyssey of tremendous courage, sacrifice, and faith. With insight and candor, Dole also focuses on the words, actions, and selfless deeds of countless American heroes with whom he served. 16-page photo insert.
Before he became one of America's most respected statesmen, Bob Dole was an average citizen serving heroically for his country. The bravery he showed after suffering near-fatal injuries in the final days of World War II is the stuff of legend. Now, for the first time in his own words, Dole tells the moving story of his harrowing experience on and off the battlefield, and how it changed his life.
Speaking here not as a politician but as a wounded G.I., Dole recounts his own odyssey of courage and sacrifice, and also honors the fighting spirit of the countless heroes with whom he served. Heartfelt and inspiring, One Soldier's Story is the World War II chronicle that America has been waiting for.
About the Author
Bob Dole served in the U.S. Senate for twenty-seven years and was the Republican Leader for twelve years. He was the Chairman of the Republican National Committee under the Presidency of Richard Nixon, the 1976 Republican nominee for Vice President with Gerald Ford, and the 1996 Republican nominee for President. He was also the Chairman of the National World War II Memorial.