Review of Without Hesitation

Without HesitationWithout Hesitation by Hugh Shelton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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’s biography of Eisenhower, which I greatly enjoyed) but this was different because it was so contemporary. Gen. Shelton served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff first under Pres. Clinton, and then for about a year under Pres. Bush. He has great praise for Clinton and his Sec. of Defense William Cohen, but pretty much despises Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld.

But I would not recommend the book to get his views of politicians, since his opinions are not all that different from a lot of other people. What really made this book a great read for me was getting to know the man and his values, as well as the values of so many others in the U.S. military. As long as we can attract people of the caliber of Gen. Shelton we will be in good shape.

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