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Chesty: The Story of Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, USMC
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Chesty: The Story of Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, USMC

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  427 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
The Marine Corps is known for its heroes, and Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller has long been considered the greatest of them all. His assignments and activities covered an extraordinary spectrum of warfare. Puller mastered small unit guerrilla warfare as a lieutenant in Haiti in the 1920s, and at the end of his career commanded a division in Korea. In between, he chased ...more
ebook, 672 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Random House (first published 2001)
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Jul 30, 2012 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any serious reader of Military Histry and biograpghy
Recommended to Joseph by: Carolyn Horiye, 1Lt., USMC
Notes made while I was reading are below.

Thoroughly researched biography of LtGen Lewis B. Puller. The most remarkable chapters are those on Guadalcanal, Peliliu and the Chosin Reservoir. The author takes pains to separate the man from the legend. That said, the legend is real enough. Peleliu was a disaster. Puller who had sustained something like seven shrapnel wounds during previous fighting should not have been there, but being the Marine he was, he could not have been stopped from being ther
Sep 11, 2014 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-researched. A gutsy Marine, guerrilla fighter, tragedy, his son.

..chased Sandino in Nicaragua
x..Marine penchant for "sea stories", small threads of fact woven into tall tales ... its no surprise that myth soon mixed with reality
xii..interviews must be used gingerly given the understandable vagaries of memory years after the fact, but mixed with other evidence, they provide reliable clues and occasional answers
3..Sousa's Semper Fidelis
9..his enduring affection for fam. & close frie
Dec 03, 2013 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent biography of one of the most important Marines of all time. A must read for every Marine and any student of military history. Semper Fi.
Pat Dugan
Jan 24, 2009 Pat Dugan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is only ONE Chesty Puller. He is my Marine role model!
Brian Manville
Feb 24, 2014 Brian Manville rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller (1898-1971) is regarded by many as a true American hero. Indeed, General Puller is revered by the Marine Corps. He is the only Marine to be awarded FIVE Navy Crosses - only the Navy's Roy Davenport has as many - and it can be argued that he is one of the most decorated Marines in history. Were one to look at his photo, one would state that he would be the stereotypical Marine.

Jon Hoffman has taken great care to straddle a line between critical biography and hag
Feb 24, 2008 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Marine officers
This is one of the few books I ever felt I needed to get a copy of as soon as it was published. All Marines are aware of the life and legend of Chesty Puller - former enlisted Marine who became the most decorated Marine ever, with five Navy Crosses (two or three of which should have been Medals of Honor). He was an inspired combat leader in Nicaragua during the banana wars, at Gualdalcanal, on Peleliu, and at the end of his career he led the First Marine Reginent ashore at Inchon in Korea, and t ...more
Bill Pace
Jun 09, 2016 Bill Pace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read about Lewis Puller 60 years ago in Guadalcanal Diary,and then more recently in books about Cape Gloucester and Peleliu but it was when I was rereading The last stand of Fox company that I decided I needed to get a good read on this most impressive man. This was the right choice and a great biography.I found the material on central America great background but it was Guadalanal that really set him apart. I have never been in a front line position but if I were, Puller is the man I wo ...more
Feb 04, 2016 Greg rated it really liked it
I would have given this book five stars but didn't due to a lot of detailed and hard to follow battle movements. Without a map (hard to follow with an ereader) and knowledge of the Marine infrastructure, I rode along gathering what I could of the battles. The last part of the book (post Korean War) was great. Lt. Gen. Chesty Puller's life, belief to lead troops in the front line and reliance on NCOs and junior officers was exemplary.
Amy Duncan
Feb 23, 2015 Amy Duncan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an extremely detailed account of the military life of Lewis "Chesty" Puller. I thoroughly enjoyed it because of the portrait of Chesty that emerged from the descriptions of his bravery, attitudes, opinions, loving treatment of his wife, intelligent decisions, gutsy actions, and strong convictions.
Aug 21, 2014 Darrell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed the story of Lewis 'Chesty' Puller one of the most famous Marines in history. The author does a good job of being as factual as possible. The story covers Puller's life with particular focus on all of his combat experiences throughout Haiti, Nicaragua, WWII and Korea. The story demonstrates how Chesty was not a fan of staff officers (waste of good man power) and formal training (because he struggled with it and believed in actual experience). His frustration with how the Korean wa ...more
Jacob Sargent
Jul 31, 2015 Jacob Sargent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting character study

It's apparent that the body of information on Gen Puller's life is small, but this book does a good job trying to extrapolate solid inferences about his life and career.
Jane Thompson
Jul 22, 2013 Jane Thompson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first learned about Chesty Puller in college. It was enlightening to read this biography of him. I knew he was a Marine hero but that was all. His biographer told his story, with his heroism and his failings. One thing that I thought was odd was that the quote I had always hears attributed to Chesty was not in this book. It makes me wonder if it actually was said by Chesty, since so much of his life was legend. I had trouble, as a civilian, following some of the battle scenes. You could tell t ...more
Barry Littleton
Aug 23, 2014 Barry Littleton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a real marine was chesty puller, they don't make like him anymore. saddest was when I heard his son also a marine in Vietnam who had his legs blown off committed suicide about five years ago.
Dec 08, 2014 Gerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-history
Many years ago as a young Marine stationed on Okinawa I read "Marine" - the first biography/auto-biography written in the early 1960s. This book is far more superb in my view in that Col. Hoffman is objective, thorough, concise, and at the same time aware of the legend that Chesty brings to the History of the U.S. Marine Corps. I had the honorable pleasure to meet Lew Puller, Jr. in 1987 and I also recommend that any person that reads this biography continue with "Fortunate Son" by Lt. Lewis B. ...more
Aug 31, 2014 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hoffman presents a comprehensive biography of America's most famous Marine.
Ray A
Dec 28, 2015 Ray A rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written and researched bio on a true legend.
"Chesty" emerges as a human being from this work. We all have flaws, but few of us can be this kind of leader.

Hoffman was able to create a balanced appraisal of this oft-admired, sometimes deplored, man. He generally included a look at detractors' claims after each campaign and answered them. He includes a look at Burke Davis' work, as well, and is even-handed in his treatment of that. I found it interesting that Hoffman is able to emphasize that Puller's strong suit was leadership, not necessar
Jul 21, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
May 31, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OUTSTANDING Marine! A true American Hero
Peter Kiss
A few more anecdotes would have made the book a more lively read.
Dec 15, 2010 Owen rated it it was ok
Oh. My. Word. I think Chesty's career took less time than it took me to read this book. It was relegated to 'toilet reading' since I couldn't take more than a few pages at a time. Woof. Detailed and on a fascinating subject (the lesson I took from this book is that the Marine Corps even screwed Chesty Puller), but painfully slow.
Kevin Goldsmith
Jun 20, 2013 Kevin Goldsmith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read! Very interesting and engaging history. Certainly the most authoritative piece of literature on Lieutenant General "Chesty" Puller to date. If you are into history or military history, this will be a very rewarding read for you. I highly recommend it for its detail and level of engagement.
Oct 21, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book on a great man, a leader of men, yet he exhibited a soft side where the family was concerned, real love for his wife and children, as he had for the men under his commands.
Mar 03, 2010 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An outstanding biography of a true Marine hero. "Legend" is not too strong a word for General Puller. If I were to recommend one book about the United States Marine Corps, this would be the one.

Hoffman, a Marine office and military historian, has captured the essence of Chesty superbly.
Aug 10, 2012 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good autobiography, I loved this kind of stuff when I was growing up. Humor, horror, sadness, triumph, betrayal and love. All the good stuff. Read it while on vacation in Florida, August 2011.
Jul 27, 2014 Clifford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be an excellent story. It was well written and I very much enjoyed the subject of the book, the Lt. General himself.

If you enjoy history, you should read this book.
Derrick Freeman
Aug 05, 2012 Derrick Freeman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great read with little bias. wish more Marine officers would read this and apply it to their lives instead of working for a fitness report.
Love this book. An idol of mine.
Kate is currently reading it
Aug 25, 2016
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