Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Soldier's Heart: Reading Literature through Peace and War at West Point


What I thought would be a book full of book recommendations and anecdotal stories about how literature had impacted soldiers in peace and war, was instead a collection of very dense essays primarily on military philosophy, military procedural commentary, and military politics. I slogged through many chapters hoping for a few golden nuggets--either of books I might want to read (or revisit) or stories of the transformational power of literature. Unfortunately, the book fell short on both accounts. 

While there were a few interesting stories, the death knell for me was when the author dressed down a Christian military organization (by name, which I found in very poor taste). It became a springboard for the author to unload what seemed like an exceeding amount of bitter feelings toward Christian military personnel. At that point, I decided to cut my losses and abandon the book. It will be purged not only from my TBR pile but also from my personal library--guilt-free.

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