Wednesday, March 4, 2009
If Not Now, When?
I haven't done a book review in some time I realized. It isn't that I haven't read any books lately it is just that I haven't bombarded you with reviews.
If Not Now, When?
Colonel Jack Jacobs (retired) and Douglas Century
Knitting Sticks: an enthusiastic 5
Well, if you have been keeping up with my occasional book reviews then you know that I don't often award a book 5 Knitting Sticks. This book however gets that from me.
"If Not Now, When?" is a memoir of a sort. OK, it is a memoir but a really funny and thought provoking one. Col. Jacobs had me laughing out loud more than once I can tell you.
Jack Jacobs is a short, skinny Jewish kid from New York who joined the army, VOLUNTARILY, during the Vietnam war and ended up staying in the army for 20 years. He is, by his own admission, irreverent, cavalier and sarcastic. Just the kind of person that should write a memoir. Oh, did I mention that in 1969 he was awarded the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty". Just a minor thing really and that is actually the way the he treats it. Col. Jacobs says it best in this way, "...every action that is cited for it's extraordinary heroism is merely a proxy for all those forever lost in the midst of the battlefield. Medals won by the living are testaments to the beloved fallen."
What can you say about a man who wasn't sure why they wanted to give him the MOH and then finagled his way back to combat in Vietnam several years after being the recipient. The Army REALLY doesn't like to have their Medal of Honor recipients return to combat but he managed it.
This book had me frequently in stitches and often times reading passages aloud so that I could think through them with more clarity. His views on the current conflict in Iraq are spot on but ones that I won't go into here. You just have to read the book and judge for yourself.