Once an Eagle
Soldier Sam Damon puts duty and honor above self-interest, but his lifelong adversary, Courtney Massengale, advances by making connections. Slowly, the conflict between these men intensifies, culminating in the last major battleground of the Cold War.
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Usually, when I go to airports, I am well prepared. I have my main book; my backup book; my backup to the backup; and my ultimate backup, if I meet with a series of delays or the other backups are terrible or I somehow find time to read all the others. On my way back from Florida, though, I suddenly found myself in Tampa's airport with nothing to read, so I purchased this 1,200 page doorstop with the knowledge that it'd last.
Once An Eagle traces the arc of a so ...more
1. The two contrasting main characters are overblown exaggerations of real human characteristics. Sam Damon is unfailingly brave, concerned only about others, and though he has moments of tactical doubt he never doubts his convictions (even ...more
I love this book. I read it for the first time probably 10-20 years ago, and find that I can easily open it at any point and get engrossed again in Sam Damon's journey. It's just this incredibly broad and rich tapestry.
What I think I love most about this book is Sam' ...more
I give this book 5 stars because it is extremely well written and engaging. However, I hated almost every minute of it. I read it in the first years of my husband's Army career and found it extremely depressing. The hero of the story is never fully appreciated by his military leadership, constantly being overlooked and overshadowed by a more charismatic officer, who probably could have coined the acronym 'CYA'. I see that many reviewers admired the character of Sam and wanted to be an Officer l ...more
A quick look and it is obvious it is about war and soldiering, however, it is so well crafted that it would leave any reader uplifted and touched. Yes, war is ugly, yet the virtues that the hero, Sam Damon, possesses are what we should hope that all of our soldiers ascribe to model their own values upon. Although the story is a work of fiction, throughout the boo ...more
This book has taken me through a roller coaster of thoughts and reflections. I admire Sam so much, as anyone should, and wish his life had been easier. Sam is a man of legend from the beginning of the book. He a ...more
Finally done. It was a puzzling view. I thoroughly enjoyed it and ...more
What I discovered was probably one of the most succinct theses on leade ...more
I didn't read it until much later (1993), but Sam Damon is the Army officer I dreamed of becoming: decisive, clear-sighted, morally upright, compassionate about his soldiers, and even well-read. He is clearly contrasted with Courtney Massengale, the shiny careerist staff officer that is so easy to despise (and ...more
This is the main track of the book; it has many side tracks and crossings. The most important of these is the humility of the hero, a humility that is now largely lost among Americans.
Such a sad but predictable ending.
Still, o ...more