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About Face

Narrated by: John Pruden
Length: 40 hrs and 38 mins
5 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Called "everything a 20th-century war memoir could possibly be" by the New York Times, this national best seller by Colonel David H. Hackworth presents a vivid and powerful portrait of a life of patriotism.

From age 15 to 40, David Hackworth devoted himself to the US Army and fast became a living legend. In 1971, however, he appeared on television to decry the doomed war effort in Vietnam. With About Face, he has written what many Vietnam veterans have called the most important book of their generation. 

From Korea to Berlin, from the Cuban missile crisis to Vietnam, Hackworth's story is that of an exemplary patriot, played out against the backdrop of the changing fortunes of America and the American military. It is also a stunning indictment of the Pentagon's fundamental misunderstanding of the Vietnam conflict and of the bureaucracy of self-interest that fueled the war.

New York Times best seller. A Military Book Club Main Selection. A number-one Amazon.com best seller in Korean War Personal Narratives.

©2019 Colonel David H. Hackworth (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Outstanding

The story and reading were excellent and very engaging. Listening was an enriching and revealing experience. Highly recommended.

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OUTSTANDING!!

This is one of the best books I've listened to so far. Since Col. Hackworth Rt. Left before he received his stars, allow me to give him 5. I must tell you that the narrator was also outstanding...he made the book come alive...a superb job of reading.
David

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Best book I’ve listened to so far

Col hackworth was one of America’s greatest leaders and it was inspiring to hear his story. Totally worth the length of content though I wish he would have spent more time on his epilogue and gone through strategy a bit more in depth. Highly recommended.

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Must read For Leadership, and Discipline

This book will keep you hooked. From childhood deviant to trying to save the lives of all his men and the lives of all those who serve. His lessons on leadership, discipline, are extremely valuable and easy to listen to

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outstanding

loved the book it was interesting and well read. book got a bit dry in the middle but finished strong.

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Unbelievable!!

Captivating from beginning to end even as a long book. Honest, transparent, detailed. The men portrayed in the Koren and Vietnam wars are heroic titans of the likes the free world should recognize and idolize

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Leadership

I wish I had read this during my time in the military. It was an honour to read. It would have been an honour to have served under a man that didn’t sell out his troops to move through the ranks.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-08-28

No Fucking Slack

Got the audiobook after hearing Jocko talk about Hack for the 500th time. Worth all 40 hours. Good lessons learned, funny stories, and a reminder of what men before me did to provide me with the life I have today.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Tom Rogneby
  • 2019-07-18

An excellent adaptation of an excellent book

I discovered About Face: The Odyssey of an American Warrior as a private in 1990. I saw Colonel Hackworth do an interview to support the book, and I was fascinated by his quiet demeanor as he talked about a lifetime of service and combat. When I saw the book on display at the PX, I scooped it up and devoured it. It's been on my "Read This Often" reading list ever since.

About Face is a memoir, but it's one that's been tempered with the viewpoints of many of the people it talks about. Colonel Hackworth and Julie Sherman did a good job of coordinating his recollections with those of his friends and comrades from 3 decades of Army life. The book is made up of in-depth discussions of Hackworth's views on politics, the military, and leadership, all punctuated by mesmerizing tales of combat and the men he served with.

The final chapter, in which Hackworth talked about his views of the United States and her military circa 1988, is, to me, the most interesting of all. When the authors wrote those words, we were on the brink of the Berlin Wall falling, but were still poised for World War III starting somewhere in the Fulda Gap. The First Gulf War, Somalia, the Balkan War, 9/11, and the War on Terror were still in the future. Hackworth's insights are a remarkable look back at where we were. They lead me to look at where we've come and how the Reagan military he discusses were and were not prepared for the world we fell into in the years after his writing.

The narration by John Pruden is spot on. The book is liberally salted with military jargon, and it was very rare that it wasn't used or pronounced correctly. Pruden paced the story, over 40 hours long, very well. You could hear the emotion come through where it was appropriate, and his characterizations during the combat sequences painted a vivid picture.

If you already know Hackworth and Sherman, you'll enjoy this opportunity to experience this seminal work again. If you haven't read About Face or any of Colonel Hackworth and Ms. Sherman's other works and you enjoy good living history, you're in for a treat.

16 people found this helpful

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  • DesmoProfundis
  • 2019-10-22

Wish I read it when I was a Pvt.

About Face: Odyssey Of An American Warrior -by Col. David Hackworth was an eye opener. Having been a Soldier my entire life, this book was a hard pill to swallow. Like most good medications however, it was necessary. If you were against the Vietnam War, please read this book. If you defend our actions in that war, please read this book. Either way... my God... either way it will touch you.

Hack was a warrior, a superhero on the battlefield, a force of nature. He was also an outspoken, down to earth NCO made Colonel that took no shit, nor put up with less than perfection from his subordinates or his leaders.

He was a whistle blower on the institution he loved so dearly. Was he wrong for that? Maybe. Is it a Hell of a story and a shit ton of lessons learned in the reading? Ab-so-lutely !

I thought about conversation I've had with Margaret Helveston, and with Susan Emshwiller 's husband Chris while I read this. I recommend this book to every American that is interested in what their military is doing with their sons, their daughters, and their taxes.

Having served in two wars after Hack's time, I can't say much has changed. I wonder if, in hindsight, the best lesson here is the futility of it all.

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  • Jojo
  • 2019-09-13

Eye opening take from the front lines

Hackworth's story of his time in the military teaches you about many things. Leadership, courage and how to think for yourself inside a burocracy. Required reading for anyone who cares about being a leader.

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  • Alex
  • 2020-01-19

Very long, but worth it!

About face can be an expression that means to take the opposite opinion. Very true with this book. Recommended by Jocko, approved by thousands of happy listeners. Many lessons, war stories, and critiques throughout the book.

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  • Jacob Smith
  • 2020-01-02

This is by far the best book I have ever read/heard

This book is both an amazing leadership guide for civilians and military. The stories within this book are relatable and can be seen in the evolution of the US Army. Thank you Col. David H. Hackworth for your contributions to the Army, our great nation, and the world. Rest In Peace in Heaven where you will remain a warrior in our hearts.

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  • Ian H.
  • 2019-12-11

Amazing story

The story of David Hackworth is an amazing story. The reader does an awesome job. Just have a large amount of time to hear the full story.

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  • tbrooks302
  • 2019-11-24

Great book

I enjoyed every minute of this book. It was entertaining and informative. Col Hackworth is a true American hero and a brave man. The narration is the best I’ve heard and I have an extensive library of audiobooks.

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  • Kaylese
  • 2019-11-14

Exceptional guide to Leadership and the US Army

This was written by a warrior, about warriors, but is meant for a much larger audience. it'll appeal to military men and women since they'll be able to glean a multitude of leadership principles herein, already tailored for those in uniform. while the author is a self-apologist, history certainly has backed many of his claims and ideas. a very worthy read for those who wish to understand the Army as well. hopefully the nation, or politics and military have come a long way since this was written!

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  • Simon
  • 2020-01-04

Great book by a great man.

story about the life of a true warrior. Lots to learn in terms of both leadership and generally being an emotionally strong human being.

1 person found this helpful