The celebrated soldier, scholar, and statesman recounts his active participation in more than 60 years of international history - from the onset of World War II through the fall of the Berlin Wall and the post-Cold War era. He recounts fascinating behind-the-scenes anecdotes about his interactions with world leaders, describing encounters such as his experience of watching President José Napoleón Duarte argue eloquently against US intervention in El Salvador, and a private conversation with Pope John Paul II. Galvin recalls his complex negotiations with a number of often difficult foreign heads of state, including Manuel Noriega, Augusto Pinochet, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Ratko Mladić.
As NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during the tumultuous five years that ended the Cold War, Galvin played a key role in shaping a new era. Fighting the Cold War illuminates his leadership and service as one of America's premier soldier-statesmen, revealing him to be not only a brilliant strategist and consummate diplomat but also a gifted historian and writer who taught and mentored generations of students.
©2013 The University Press of Kentucky (P)2015 Redwood Audiobooks
The title of this book is somewhat of an understatement. I picked up this book because I thought it sounded interesting, without realising that John Galvin is not a just an average career soldier but is a high ranking general, who was NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during the end of the Cold War and the fall of the USSR. The forward is by his friend, David Petraeus, the current Director of the CIA. This is no simple soldier’s story.
The book covers the whole of his military career, from early work in South America, Vietnam all the way through to his work during the latter parts of the 1980’s working through nuclear disarmament just prior to the end of the cold war. Early on he started as a medic, and spent a large part of his career overseeing various training bases. Despite the title, I didn't feel that too much of it was "fighting the cold war", but I guess in a war that is cold there isn't that much direct fighting to be done.
Galvin is a feverous note taker and letter writer and regularly quotes old letter to his father or wife, or notes he wrote, going back decades. The inclusion of these letters and notes serves to give a great understanding of what he was thinking and feeling at the time, rather than just being reflections years after the fact. It adds a great deal to the book.
While Galvin does talk through events of his time in action, and mentions things went wrong in Vietnam there isn’t the same “I can’t believe they are doing this!” though pattern that get from other Vietnam memoirs like Marlantes or O’Brien. He has a more matter-of-fact approach to it all. He will mention how things went wrong and how some decisions made were the wrong ones, but focuses more on the right and how his commanders etc. learned from mistakes.
Tom Lennon does a good job of the reading. He has a very laid back style, with a slight twang, without falling into a monotone or boring voice. It makes the whole thing easy listening, giving the book a feel of calm recollections. It is possible that Lennon’s reading style added to the matter-of-fact impression the book gave me. I found his to be a good match for this book.
Yes, I am amazed at the detailed notes, journal entries and letters that the Author kept and was able to bring to life in a story with all the emotion felt.
Good Paced reading, very clear
I did indulge an hour or two at a time but it is far too long and detailed to just gorge.
The detail is outstanding and the book is very entertaining, especially if you like military history. If you are not a big fan of the genre, the amount of detail could expand the length of this work a bit further than some would be willing to invest in time. I think the Author and Narrator both did a wonderful job and paint a nice picture in my mind. I received this audiobook for free in exchange for my unbiased review through Audiobook blast. I think it was a great book.
What a great book General Galvin has written and what a fascinating and truly important career he has experienced.
A Soldier that uses his brains and eloquence equally throughout his life. The number of years of American History covered here is truly amazing. He was graduated from West Point when Eisenhower was in office and ended up working with Bush Senior after the fall of the Cold War. His on the scene observations of the entire period are truly fascinating and extremely educational. Should be mandatory reading for all our Services officers.
The narrator kept my interest for all 22 ours.
General Galvin was so widely experienced; Cartoonist, Professor, scholar, writer, General and most of all astute diplomat. A fascinating look at all the major issues that faced the US during the cold war with a real insiders point of view. While only one of the many topics covered, it makes the reader truly appreciate how Reagan and Gobechov produced results most said were impossible and that are today little understood or appreciated.
The General's two tours in Vietnam.
This audiobook is like sitting around a fire and listening to a truly fascinating man reminisce about a remarkable career. Both the writer and the narrator seem to deliberately present it as almost matter of fact, which it certainly is not. That humble, homespun storytelling style greatly adds to my level of respect and admiration for a truly unique and great American. The narration seems to present the information exactly in the almost low key way I believe the General would want it presented and fits the book perfectly.
As is true for so many men and women who serve in the armed forces, General Galvin's life was one of remarkable honor, dedication and service to our country, as well as to the people around him-how can anyone not admire a person like that?
Beyond the appeal of the character himself, this audiobook is filled with details and anecdotes that are both interesting and historically relevant. I believe that all of us can benefit from learning about this period of our history.
I do wish, though, that the narrator was a bit more engaging in his performance.
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review.
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