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About Face

Narrated by: John Pruden
Length: 40 hrs and 38 mins
5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

Non-member price: $37.98

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Publisher's 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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  • Paul
  • Australia
  • 03-09-2019

Tells it like it happened, an amazing soldier

I was actually lucky enough to read this years ago and the audio version did not disappoint. Told without the glory or politics, just as it happened. Gritty, funny, sad, surprising.......very interesting to see it from an insiders view on how the US Army changed and evolved during time of war from Korea until after Vietnam. How the phonies prospered and the warriors were pushed out and not listened to.
A must have audio book!

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  • Tom Rogneby
  • 18-07-2019

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-08-2019

No Fucking Slack

Got the audiobook after hearing Jocko talk about Hack for the 500th time. Worth all 40 hours. Good lessons learned, funny stories, and a reminder of what men before me did to provide me with the life I have today.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael Murphy
  • 20-09-2019

Fantastic!

Better than reading it. Great listen. Narrator was easy to listen to and spot on. Loved every minute

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  • Dean Perretti
  • 18-09-2019

Jocko Approved. BTF Tony Approved.

want to listen to it again. what men should aspire to be. thank you all

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  • Robin
  • 17-09-2019

Good ole’plain truth!

I grew up Marine Corp brat. My Stepfather spent 25yrs in the Marines. He once told me the Corps has morphed into a different business than that of the business of justifiable war. At his 20th year he seriously considered getting out and get a civilian job. He was seriously disillusioned and struggled with his own anger over what was happening with the Corps.
He did get out at his 25th year.
He volunteered in during the Vietnam war and left the Corps in 1983. I was barely 16 at the time. I am 51 now.
This book has helped me understand so much about my step Dads disillusionment with his Marine Corps he really loved.
I was in High School when the bombing of the barracks happened in Beruit. He was actually on float on standby in the Red Sea at that time. When he came home he was mad that our forces were even there to begin with. He said we didn’t belong there, had no stake to claim. Said it was a horrible loss of valuable troops in a non combat situation. Said the lack of enforceable security for such a contingency was sickening.
We were stationed at Camp Lejeune and many of those Marines killed were from there.
When our troops were pulled back and we left the region, my Step Dad was relieved our country wasn’t going to commit another Nam mistake and get involved where we didn’t have a true vital interest. There was nothing for our country getting involved in a civil war in Lebanon.
I get it now, what he was talking about. I was born in 68, so have no memory of Vietnam except what I learned after the war was already long over.
Many of the statements this author makes regarding the new Army way also relates to the Marine Corps.
Over the years I’d grown up, and during my own adulthood; I have come to see our armed forces become the primary police force around the world. We’ve gone to war to kick Sadam’s butt out of Kuwait. Then returned to overthrow the man a few years later. Why we’d even get involved in the first place was a mystery to me. Except after I learned it was for wholly unacceptable reasons or blatant lies told to justify it. So many of our dead but not as many dead as on the other side.
This is an example of what this author is talking about. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

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  • Mandola303
  • 16-09-2019

everything about this book got me fired up!

everything about this book got me fired up! The leadership the history of the tactics the drama everything. I want more. It was great read great storyline and plot it was fantastic.

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  • Jojo
  • 13-09-2019

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-09-2019

A must read/listen

This book is outstanding, a primer for leadership that is full of history and humor

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  • UDI
  • 04-09-2019

Excellent

Incredible insight and dedication. We need many more like him who do the right thing...

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-09-2019

Easy listening and a must read.

This is a must read if you would like to have an insite on how a great organisation can lose it's way. should be a compulsory book for executives of all types.

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  • Gs Greaves
  • 06-08-2019

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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  • Johnny
  • 27-07-2019

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • chris
  • 28-08-2019

excellent

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