Anyone interested in one of the following should read this book: Navy SEALS, exercise, being motivated, pushing yourself to reach goals, or sadism. This book is a real eye opener as to what these men go through to just be able to get to the point of actually training to be a SEAL. This book deals with the first six months of training from indoctrination to graduating from BUDS. Hell week is described very vividly, as is the torment, pain, and exhaustion these men endure to just get to the starting line. As it is pointed out in the book these six months are just the beginning, some of the men who graduate from BUDS will never actually earn the Trident to become official Navy SEALs. Its a remarkable story and very inspiring. If you are ever feeling lazy, maybe you want to skip your run, not go to class, or just lay around all day, listen to about 15 minutes of this book, if you don't want to move after that then you know you need to stay still.
The only thing that detracts from this book is that sometimes Captain Couch's conservatism and biases leak into the story. I do not think it is intentional but the way he speaks of the men who are tattooed or not caucasion came across as preconceived notions more than actual facts. This does not take anything serious away from the book, his views on world affairs pop up through out the book but a concious listener will be able to sort through those and walk away unscathed.
Captain Couch's attentiveness to the hardship of the SEALs is really what makes this book interesting and worth the listen.
The power of this work is in the detail, if you are looking for an overview of LBJ's life in the Senate, as VP, and as President this is not it. The book goes through each decision and the way it was arrived at with a precision that few historical writers would ever dare to attempt. Consider this, The Raise and Fall of the Third Reich is 1245 pages, it covers roughly 30 years of history and countless persons. The Passage of Power is 736 pages, it covers the years 1958 to 1964, and is basically about one man. His path to the Vice Presidency is riveting, especially the hatred he and Bobby Kennedy felt towards one another. The author really shines when he covers LBJ's immediate transformation from impetent Vice President to President in total command.
Most surprising to this reviewer was President Johnsons immediate understanding of his duties, the situation he was faced with, and his calm and commanding reaction to the circumstances. One cannot leave this work without an appreciation of LBJ's steady leadership and how he sheparded this nation through one of its darkest times.
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