Official Review: “I am a Soldier, First and Always&...

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Official Review: “I am a Soldier, First and Always&...

Post by Kibetious » 10 Jan 2020, 11:52

[Following is an official review of "“I am a Soldier, First and Always” The Distinguished Career of Winfield Scott Hancock" by James Harold Kelly.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The civil war between the Union and the Confederacy has been going on for long and is growing fiercer. General Reynolds arrives opportunely at the historic battlefield in Gettysburg and is shot dead almost instantly. General George Meade orders Winfield Hancock to transfer command of his II Corps to Brigadier General John Gibbon. Moreover, General Meade carefully drafts an official order to promptly replace Reynolds with Winfield. General Meade had not followed military protocol since Winfield was junior to Oliver Howard. His heroic bravery, wisdom, and decisiveness coupled with the unshakable determination to fight Robert Lee’s Confederates were clearly evident from the moment he arrived at Gettysburg. He had grown tired of the army’s withdrawal that seemed familiar and well-rehearsed and was happy he was in a position to change the army’s course.

“I am a Soldier, First and Always” The Distinguished Career of Winfield Scott Hancock, Volume II: Turning Point was written by James Harold Kelly. It is an action-packed historical fiction book chronicling the life, military and short political career of Lieutenant General Winfield Scott Hancock. The author is a retired U.S. Army officer and Department of Defense executive. He is an avid student of military history, and this is his first historical fiction book in two volumes. The book was published in 2019 and is 395 pages long. It is divided into four parts and contains a total of thirty-four chapters.

The story was both fascinating and gripping from the first page. The author managed to adequately reveal the devastating consequences of war while narrating the military expertise of General Winfield. Old-time friends and college mates, who had been turned into adversaries by the war, fought on opposite sides as they reminisced about the pleasant memories they had shared. The soldiers hoped the war would end, and that they would be capable of chatting as friends again. The nostalgia was heavy, and the reader is undoubtedly left with a deep longing to experience the peaceful days. However, they were in the war, and many were shot dead, others were torn apart, and others mortally wounded. Both sides suffered massive casualties.

What I liked most is that the author convincingly portrayed both the strengths and weaknesses of Winfield. He was a devoted husband and a loving father. He properly maintained constant communication with his family even on the battlefield. He was accustomed to typically seeing many soldiers die, but the immense sadness and despair he felt when he lost close members of his family and friends showed he was still humane. Winfield’s pride and arrogance was also displayed properly. I also relished the fact that the book demonstrated how soldiers are not always well appreciated. This was an accurate reflection of modern times as well. The historical information in the book was also well researched. I genuinely enjoyed reading this book. There is nothing that I did not like about it.

The language employed in the book was straightforward, and editing was professionally done. This was a superb book to read. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I heartily recommend it to all ardent fans of historical fiction books. It will appeal most to readers who enjoy reading about prominent historical figures and military exploits. The book contains gory scenes and so may be unsuitable for readers who are averse to such.

“I am a Soldier, First and Always” The Distinguished Career of Winfield Scott Hancock
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Post by Kanda_theGreat » 11 Jan 2020, 03:45

Sometimes when I read books that feature in military life, I end up shading a tear or two.
I'm empathetic towards the uniformed men whose regalia camouflages their fear and pain.
It is this feeling that makes me desire for better conditions for the soldiers.
Amazing review.
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Post by Wyland » 13 Jan 2020, 01:19

Great review! I especially like the military history of the War Between the States from another angle. Thanks.

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Post by Nerea » 13 Jan 2020, 07:08

I agree, Soldiers are not always well-appreciated. As a lover of historical fiction, I might consider the book. Thank you for the informative review.
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Post by Prisallen » 13 Jan 2020, 17:38

I agree the soldiers don't get enough credit for what they endure, then and now. I don't really enjoy reading about military exploits, so I am going to pass on this book. However, I greatly enjoyed reading your review, as always!

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Post by Ellylion » Yesterday, 13:33

Sounds like a solid read for history fiction fans. I always appreciate it when the historical information given in a book is reliable. Thank you for a great review!

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