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Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior
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Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Thepowerful unvarnished memoir of General Hugh Shelton, war hero, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during 9/11, and one of the leading military figures of our time

Whether serving under a Democratic president or a Republican president, General Shelton was never afraid to speak out and tell it like it is. Sheltonchronicles his incredible journey from a small farming c
ebook, 576 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published September 28th 2010)
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William Breakstone

By General (RET.) Hugh Shelton

Reviewed by Bill Breakstone, November 20, 2010

One bright, beautiful spring day in 1991, I left my office in Manhattan and took the subway three stops downtown to Chambers Street to view the homecoming parade of our troops returning from Desert Storm. Out in front of one of the brigades of the 101st Airborne Division was a tall, gangly, bespectacled Brig. General leading his troops past the reviewing stand. He was so tall he stood out li
Laurence Lewin
I must start off by saying that I met Hugh Shelton and his wife, Carolyn, and they are two of the nicest people I have ever met. As one who has always had respect for the military and a great interest in military history, while at the same time being an unabashed liberal, though not a pacifist, and a critic of American involvement in Viet Nam and Iraq, I found this book to be thoroughly absorbing in its description of how a country boy from North Carolina went from an aspiring aviation engineer ...more
An amazing and standup guy. Reads like MOH recipient Wesley Fox's book in that the chapters are by rank/grade with leadership lessons. However, a very different book considering the length and breadth of General Shelton's experiences and the chapters have some great subtitles too. He also interjects into the beginning of every chapter a small segment about the life changing event-his accident in 2002 that would have left most people paralyzed.

Initially I thought this book would be too preachy a
Kevin O'Brien

This was a departure for me. I got interested while listening to talk by Ruth Suehle at Ohio LinuxFest in 2011. Gen. Shelton had become Chairman of the Red Hat board (Ruth works for Red Hat), and so she took a look. She said it was not the sort of thing she would normally read, but that it surprised her. I decided that was enough of a recommendation, pulled out my phone, and bought it from Google Books as an eBook.

I must confess this was my first military autobiography. I had read Steven Ambrose

James Cape
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The first half of the book focuses on General Shelton's early life and rise through the ranks of the military to the position of Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. In it, he details military missions with which he was involved, what went wrong, and what worked.

The second half of this book is definitely a no-holds-barred commentary on military operations through the Clinton / G. W. Bush administrations. General Shelton is not afraid to tell it like it is offering praise when it is deserved and a fu
I'm about 1/3 through this book, and it looks like I might not finish it given the direction my life is taking - too much else to do/focus on. However, I can definitely comment on what I have read.
Overall, this is an autobiography of a man who represents the best of our armed forces. General Shelton's generation of warriors experienced a kind of warfare that will never exist again. There are a lot of Vietnam memoirs and books out there - but the first part of this book is an exceptional first-ha
Gregory Lamb
I actually did not finish reading this book. Not because it wasn't good either. My problem with this type of material is that it is entirely too detailed on topics that I am pretty familiar with. If Gen Shelton's experiences as a Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lt Col, or Colonel were that much different than mine, I would have locked on and endured sore fore arms and read the whole thing. Bottom line is the book is too damn thick. I didn't even get to the good stuff when he had more than two stars ...more
Ralph Roe
An interesting character, but too self-congratulatory throughout the book which casts doubt on his achievements.

Vietnam through Haiti and Afghanistan. None of the Presidents show well, he is fair and equal in critiquing them all.

Useful for insight into military structure and point of view. An average read.
Excellent autobiography of quite an interesting life. Having never previously knowing anything about Hugh Shelton, I now know everything about his life.
Great Bio on the former Chairman, Joint Chief s of Staff. His memories are precise and memorable. Great boo about Defense.
Greg Snyder
Lindsey was leaving for the Army so what do I read. A book that was damned good about the man that became the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff during the Clinton administration. You follow his career through Viet Nam, the Middle East, The Balkans and the first Persian Gulf War. You do not rise to his rank without being a very intelligent individual and he was. Wasn't sure how I would like the book when I started it and hated being done with it.
J. Ewbank
This was an enjoyable book to read. It is an autobogrphy, but at least it is an interesting one. A key part for me was his dealings with two Presients and their Secretary's of Defense. Obviously an outstanding man and General, this book is well worth the time it takes to read it and get by the necessary abreviations.l

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natual Man, and the Isms" and "Wesley's Wars"
John Hibbs
Good book from a good man. He is a pretty frank individual and it was amusing to hear his low opinion of Rumsfeld. Surprising to most of my military compatriots, he had a high degree of respect for Clinton, who comes across as a very humane individual. This volume is pretty much proforma for modern military biographies. If you are in between reads, you could do much worse.
Honest account well worth the read. Lacks any serious discussion of mistakes but general officers tend to have perfect records - without such a record, becoming a general is near impossible. Presents several lessons, most important is knowing when to fall on one's sword over an issue. Also presents several good examples of the policy/strategy nexus.
Christopher Oakley
This was an excellent book. Especially considering I got it at the dollar store for a buck. Shelton lead a pretty amazing life and it was a pleasure to read about such an accomplished and important figure. The whole book was a kind of inspiration.
Maxo Marc
I loved it because he earned his position through hard work. The memoir gives one the feeling that Gen. Hugh Shelton is a good and decent man. Also, the style of writing was straightforward and crisp; you'll love it.
Good book. I usually don't read memoirs or biographies, but this man is an intelligent gentleman who is able to accomplish so much in his life he should be very proud. They don't make them like that anymore!
I was fortunate to know and associate with this great man when I was a young Captain. He made numerous contributions to the Army but perhaps the greatest was the design of Goretex lined waterproof boots!
TJ Norris
Pretty fascinating autobiography. General Shelton comes across as a great leader and gives some interesting views into the inner workings of the military and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
A moral compass always pointed in the right direction. Historical and informative with a personal touch of being decisive with a base of humility.
Oh what a read...I strongly suggest this book. Yes it is so thick you could use it for a door stop, but it was a page turner for me! :)
General Shelton was a great leader of men and his determination to walk out of Walter Reed is astonishing.
Michael Barr
Awesome audiobook. Great read for military members or history/war buffs anywhere.
Ellie Revert
Rev does not recommend this book--too pedantic. Okay, I've gots lots more books to read!
Bryan Bridges
Anyone who wants/has the honor of wearing the gold bar should read this book.
Francisco Estrada
Francisco Estrada marked it as to-read
Jun 18, 2015
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