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Heart of a Soldier

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  306 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
In February, when author and Pulitzer Prizewinning reporter James B. Stewart wrote about the life and death of World Trade Center hero Rick Rescorla in The New Yorker, his brief article evoked an international outpouring of interest. In this book, Stewart unfolds the full story of Rescorla's astonishing career, from his British military service to his valor during the Viet ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published November 24th 2009 by Simon Schuster (first published 2002)
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Aug 15, 2007 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: For Anyone Who Dearly Loves Someone
Yes I realize the recommendation statement seems a bit vague. And maybe on the surface seems to not fit the title. But I assure you that is at the core of this book.

Rick Rescorla was a war hero in Vietnam in the Ia Drang Valley. Made famous with the book "We Were Soldiers Once and Young" later adapted into a movie "We Were Soldiers." He was actually depicted in the movie but more like a "composite" character. Rescorla would later work for Morgan Stanley as their security chief and would actually
Jul 10, 2009 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came across this audiobook at the library when I was browsing for audiobooks for my husband. I have heard of this story many years ago and was interested to learn more. I truly enjoyed this story, even though it took my emotions on a roller coaster ride. I cried, I was enraged, I was inspired, but mostly I was truly proud to be an American. It is so comforting to know that our world is filled with such wonderful people yet so tragic to lose them to such senseless acts. What a truly inspirating ...more
Pete daPixie
Jan 23, 2012 Pete daPixie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All
Shelves: history-u-s
'Time' rated this one 'The best nonfiction of 2002. Who am I to argue. A testament to Rick Rescorla, a great son of Kernow. 'Heart of a Soldier' I read in a day, unable to put it down. Not just an engaging read but truly inspiring too. I highly recommend this book not just for it's gripping accounts of combat and valour in Vietnam but the many other aspects of profound truths this story contains. A tale of extreme courage, comradeship, friendship, love, sacrifice and the human spirit.
James B. St
Hai Quan
Dec 01, 2013 Hai Quan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It is amazing how American people who are enjoying a higher living standard are totally ignorant about how that higher living standard came about.They did not understand that without their government neocolonialism, the American Empire ( also known as GREAT SATAN ) would not be able to maintain and improve their higher national GDP .This truth is as old as the earth itself.All nations from the early time of human history until now have been trying to expanse their national borders, or to say it ...more
John Marx
Mar 21, 2017 John Marx rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reminder of the man who saved 3700 Morgan Stanley employees on 9/11. His life was bigger than life. Rick Rescorla's story should be read by young people everywhere.
Sep 06, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
This reads like something out of Kipling's "The Man Who Would Be King" and that work is frequently cited by the two men in this book. Although principally the story of Rick Rescora it's also the story of his wife, Susan, and best friend, Dan Hill. Indeed both these men live the lives of stalwart, fearless, and eccentric Victorian soldiers except it's the Cold War and they are fighting for the USA and themselves. Stewart begins this biography in an unconventional manner and weaves back and forth ...more
Sep 06, 2012 Annk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had finished We Were Soldiers Once...and Young, and I was very interested in knowing more about Cyril 'Rick' Rescorla, one of the soldiers who had been in the Ia Drang valley. I googled his name, and was thrilled that this book had been written about him. After everything he survived in Vietnam to die while making sure others got to safety on 9/11, I was stunned. I have read many books about Vietnam and this is by far the best. Wow what a story. I will keep this book forever, and when I need a ...more
I picked this up based on my love for Stewart's Den of Thieves. This was a pretty good read but not in the same league. Nonetheless if you love non-fiction war it's a worthwhile read.

The characters involved are extraordinary... it is good that their stories are told. That said, I found the war years and their lead-up much more compelling than the post-war years and the Sep 11 sections. Having lived through Sep 11 and been there the morning of I was expecting to be more moved by this part of the
Sep 07, 2014 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I was very surprised on how much I enjoyed this book. The life of those two soldiers has helped me understand both sides of war. As it was leading up to 9/11 I knew it was going to end as a tear jerker. With the 13th year anniversary being tomorrow I just felt I needed to finish it today. I highlighted a number of quotes and sections, but the one with the most truth was when Rescorla told Susan repeatedly, “The real heroes are dead.” And Rick Rescorla is one of those heroes that we need to remem ...more
Jon Tupper
Aug 26, 2012 Jon Tupper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My reviews are trite and cliched. Ok. This man's life is utterly amazing. A survivor of the battle of the Ia Drang Valley in Viet Nam, he and a friend tried to talk to the powers that be about the threats to security in NYC. They were impolitely rebuffed. He, as head of security for Morgan Stanley at the World Trade Centers, he created a security operations plan that was 'way outside the box', yet oh so simple and based on his combat experience. An enthralling read.
Oct 21, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Abby Jones
Aug 29, 2016 Abby Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the perfect book to read right before 9/11. It is well written, easy to read, really interesting, and should be on every Americans list of you want to Never Forget 9/11. I'm so thankful for the common grace God shows this fallen world by leaving us a few heroes (speaking as a man to men)
Rated PG-13: war, adult situations, and false religions.
Maureen Mahowald
Sep 11, 2011 Maureen Mahowald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book because it was advertised as telling the tale of a 9/11 hero. However, I found the parts describing the hero's life up until 9/11 the most interesting part. The best is perhaps, the story of a life-long friendship. The book would have been improved if it did not include as much detail of his wife's life.
Jul 26, 2007 Lawrence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. It's a true story and it is the only story that moved me to tears. Yeah, I cried, but I cried at the end of Rudy too. So, if you're the kind of person that wants to feel good about mankind, that wants to know that there are people who are normal but capable of being extraordinary, and if you want to read about a real hero, read this book.
Sean Hays
The first 10 pages were some of the best I've read, and was so promising. However, the story peaked with Rescorla's involvement in Vietnam, and I found myself finishing the book out of premise rather than anything else. The final chapter about 9/11 was moving, but the third of the book before that was unmemorable and boring.
May 21, 2010 Tropean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I really wanted to give this one a 3.5 rating. As a story of soldiers in Vietnam, it's a 4. The September 11th aspects are a 3, and the romantic elements are probably less than that. One of the sad ironies of the story is that it took the 9/11 attacks to bring to light the astonishing heroism which took place in Vietnam.

Very much recommended as a story of soldiers in combat.
Michele Dunn
Aug 23, 2011 Michele Dunn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a great book. It reads as if you are talking with the person. Though a lot of military talk, it keeps you drawn in and you don't feel lost. I have such a great respect for those who are like these men. I will never understand what drives them but I am certainly thankful.
Feb 28, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: real-life
This is a story of a man who gave more than the life he had to everything he did. He fought on many levels for the freedoms we have as Americans, serving and protecting even after his death. It will make you laugh, cry and think. A great read.
David Devine
Apr 25, 2014 David Devine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book detailing the life and experiences of Rick Rescorla as well as his life-long friend Dan Hill. From the blood-soaked fields of Vietnam to the last moments of the Twin Towers, this book conveys what a true hero is.
Jun 09, 2013 Bob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This will rip your heart out on more than one page. I could not put this down...which is odd for me. It is the story of Rick Rescorla, soldier, mercenary at times, and war hero -- who saved 2,700 people on 9/11 only to lose his own life.
Nov 08, 2009 Bailey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books I've ever read in my life. It has had a profound effect on my life and I've read it more than once. I picked it up by accident and I am so glad I did. I learned a lot about the Vietnam War and 9/11.
Sep 09, 2008 Aldean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, possessions
An unexpectedly moving (to this jaded reader at least)account of a remarkable warrior's life that ended in the collapse of the World Trade Center. From the villages of cornwall to the bush country of Rhodesia to the jungles of Viet Nam, a well-told tale of courage and habitual heroism.
Nola Redd
Oct 20, 2009 Nola Redd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this is an excellently paced books. The only exception - the digression to Susan Greer, which, given the explanation of the book, was not information that I was seeking. Otherwise, fast paced and a great read.
Sep 06, 2012 Joslins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Follows one man's journey as he heroically served in Viet Nam, came home, and served here and finally ended up serving in the Twin Towers where once again he was a hero as he gave his life trying to help others escape.
Aug 28, 2008 Chad rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recent-history
The story of what Rick Rescorla did at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 (and in the years previous to prepare) is incredible. This book as a whole (which tells the story of his entire life) is an interesting look at his background.
David Stoots
Terrific story of the life of a very interesting man, his friendship with a fellow soldier, and the woman who "completed" him during his later years.
May 26, 2008 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is an excellent portrayal of friendships and love affairs during hard times such as September 11th. Truly a touching book.
David Quinn
Feb 12, 2011 David Quinn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful, completely readable story about a real man's man.
easy to follow
Vanessa Toth
Jan 19, 2017 Vanessa Toth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An emotionally powerful book.
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James Stewart is a modern-day muckraking journalist, covering everything from malpractice to fraud and law.

While at The Wall Street Journal, Stewart won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for his reporting on the stock market crash and insider trading. Stewart is a graduate of Harvard Law School and DePauw University. He lectures frequently on values and ethics in American business and politics. He is a mem
More about James B. Stewart...

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