Official Review: A Higher Standard by General Ann Dunwoody

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Official Review: A Higher Standard by General Ann Dunwoody

Post by ViziVoir » 25 Aug 2018, 17:22

[Following is an official review of "A Higher Standard" by General Ann Dunwoody.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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A Higher Standard by General Ann Dunwoody chronicles the author's rise through the ranks of the United States Army to become the first female four-star general, an extremely prestigious position that requires consent from the President and Congress. The memoir isn't strictly chronological; it's organized by certain themes throughout the author's life, such as her relationship with each of her husbands or her experiences as a rigger and paratrooper. This organization is carried out quite well, and it lends a bit of life to a style of writing that can easily become merely a laundry list of events in the author's life.

What struck me most about this memoir is how humble General Dunwoody is about her achievements. She never set out to be the first female anything, she just wanted to achieve to the best of her ability in a career that she loved and meet the "higher standard" demanded by Army life. Looking back through all of the influences that shaped her and all of the challenges she overcame was heartwarming, and the novel's tone was quite gracious and down-to-earth. I got the impression that General Dunwoody was someone I would very much enjoy meeting in real life.

I also found it very intriguing how the realities of a military career were conveyed. From the everyday trials such as waking up and running before dawn to the large-scale aspects like the drastic shift of 9-11 or supply transport, this novel brings up many things I hadn't even considered and discusses them in interesting ways. Of course, this is all compounded with General Dunwoody's trials as a woman in the army, and she discusses the shortcomings and burgeoning changes about the army's view of gender with grace.

Unfortunately, there is one significant flaw with this book: the editing. There are some typos that would've been smoothed out with sufficient editing such as mixing up homonyms and missing spaces, and they always broke my immersion to some extent when they happened. I received an editor's copy, and, presumably, some of these issues were worked out prior to publication, but they were still quite distracting and they prevent me from giving the book the perfect score it otherwise deserves.

Because of these errors, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. It's a fascinating look at the struggles women face in the army and one woman who overcame them spectacularly. I'd recommend it to people who enjoy memoirs as a whole, and especially those with an interest in the daily life of members of the US Army and all the sacrifices that they make.

A Higher Standard
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Post by Bianka Walter » 09 Sep 2018, 06:04

Real-life GI Jane :)
I'm sure there are things that go on in the army that we could never imagine. This sounds super interesting!
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Post by 0796667937 » 09 Sep 2018, 06:27

Very interesting
The story line touches emotions
So far good to be read by readers .

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Post by Kendra M Parker » 09 Sep 2018, 06:39

I love that the author is humble about her achievements. I think it is a double bonus that she achieved this rank through her hard work and that this was never her goal.

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Post by FictionLover » 09 Sep 2018, 23:43

Sounds like an in depth look at the life of an extraordinary woman.

Thanks for your review.
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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 10 Sep 2018, 07:00

I'm truly impressed that a female general decide to write a memoir about her life events and rise of rank. usually we male cadets and generals, but this is something new and refreshing. I really like the idea and I thank you for your descriptive review. It felt so good to see a book like this.
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Post by kandscreeley » 10 Sep 2018, 09:54

Wow! Here I didn't even know there WAS a female four-star general. That makes this a must read in my eyes for sure! I love that she's so humble about her achievements, too! Thanks so much for this one. It's going on my list.
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Post by Alicia09 » 14 Sep 2018, 09:59

I love that the author did not set out to be "the first female anything" but simply became the first female four star General because her rise to the top was motivated by nothing more than a love for her job. If we are to achieve full equality as women, it is important that we pursue fields we love because we love them, and not because we are trying to prove that we are the first female anything. As for the editing, I don't think that the grammatical errors would keep me from enjoying this story because the details about everyday life in the army would be enough to keep me interested in the story. Thanks for the review!

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