No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy

The Life of General James Mattis
Narrated by: Joe Barrett
Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (598 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The first in-depth look at the marine hero who has become one of the most beloved and admired men in America today: Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

A devout student of history and erudite reader revered by rank and file soldiers, officers, academics, politicians, and ordinary citizens, General James Mattis is one of the most admired leaders serving America today. A man who has long used his position as a model for the soldiers he leads, Mattis in 2003 shared a "Message to All Hands" with the men and women under his command, outlining their responsibilities as soldiers of the corps. Emphasizing the importance of the mission and the goal to act with honor, Mattis ended with the motto he had adopted from another great figure, Roman general Lucius Cornelius Sulla: "Demonstrate to the world that there is ‘No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy’ than a US Marine."

The first Trump presidential cabinet nominee, Mattis, retired from activity military duty for only three years at the time, received a rare Congressional waiver to hold the civilian position of Secretary of Defense, and in the hyper-partisan political atmosphere of 2017, astonishingly received nearly unanimous, bipartisan support for his nomination. After months of headline-making chaos involving the White House, Mattis remains one of the few widely revered members of the Trump administration.

In this illuminating biography, Jim Proser looks beyond Mattis’ professional competence to focus on the driving element behind Mattis’ success: his unimpeachable character - a formidable personal integrity that fosters universal confidence. Proser carefully examines the events of Mattis’ life and career to reveal a man who leads with insight, humor, fighting courage, and fierce compassion - not only for his fellow Marines, but for the innocent victims of war. Chronicling how Mattis’ martial and personal values have elevated him to the highest levels of personal success and earned him the trust of a nation, Proser makes clear how America is stronger because of his service and his example.

©2018 Jim Proser (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers
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Every American should read this

Excellent biography of a great man that not nearly enough Americans know about. Let this book keep you up at night!!!

7 people found this helpful

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God Bless Our Warriors, Our Protecters

America from inception has survived because of its willingness to take the fight to those who threaten America’s existence. America has been at its greatest when it repels it’s enemies and protects its own. A string and an worthy military is as essential to the nation’s endurance as it competent and compassionate leadership within our domestic borders and territories.

Mattis says the most important real estate in the battle field is the 6 inches between the soldiers ears. Engage the mind before engaging the weapon.

The honor and value of our warriors is by no means at odds with social domestic tranquillity. The intelligent warrior warrior and domestic executive leadership that is thoughtful, deliberate, fair and well meaning are by no means at odds, rather these attributes are yin and yang compliments. One defines the other. They both need each other.

I loved this book, the insights from the battle field. The wisdom of taking the fight to those who mean to do America harm.

This was the perfect Veterans Day Weekend read. This book gives me hope as I drown out the social discord that is amplified by social media and the info-tainment that passes for news.

Mattis is a real life American Hero. Read this book.

6 people found this helpful

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Hard to Listen to

This book is written in the third person, present tense. Mattis is a great person, but this book was written poorly. It made for very difficult listening.

2 people found this helpful

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Awesome book

Loved the book. A great companion to Callsign Chaos. What a great warrior and leader. Semper Fi.

1 person found this helpful

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Jim Proser is an excellent writer, narrator of audible is ok.

I have the book and it’s well-written. The narration is not very clear- some words like Theranos, I hear “paranos” - maybe it’s just me, but some letters are not clearly enunciated by the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent - Excellence

I enjoyed listening to this book. General Mattis doesn't wade into politics in it. The story of an American who served our nation with an always-abiding respect for the men he led, regardless of rank.

1 person found this helpful

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Final 7 minutes is all that covers SecDef

This book is a series of disjointed military stories which tell snipits of General Mattis' career, which jump forward by years! 2 years, 5 years, 10 years it's crazy. Basically, if you've researched Mattis' quotes it's a telling of a snipit of the battle or metting where the quote came from

The President isn't mentioned until the final 14 min 57 sec of the book and is described and an unlikely "long shot".
Mattis as SecDef is covered in the final 7 minutes of the book and maybe only 3 of those minutes.

For something I waited months to come out it was a MAJOR disappointment, I believe I'll invest time into reading General Mattis' required reading list as a way to more deeply understand him and his life's mission.

9 people found this helpful

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Good listen

What a. Fascinating story about a Real Man for a change
Good read for young men



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Decent journey through Mad Dogs career

After reading "Call Sign Chaos" and loving it, I decided to listen to this one. In similar fashion this book takes you through Mattis' career and goes into detail some of his thought process. While pretty motivating, I felt it somewhat dry at times and sort of tuned out at parts of it. I didn't have a problem with the performance and I feel like I understand his career pretty well. My biggest takeaway however was now I have a desire to read Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Outside of that, I liked it as a Marine, but I still prefer Call Sign Chaos.

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I only met him once.

That is all it takes, one handshake, after having watched him be quietly present at the Memorial Service on one of our fallen Raiders. He came home to Richland, without fanfare, with only one assistant, the SecDef remained in the back, made no speech, waiting until it was all over. Then he quietly met with the Raider Det that was there grieving the loss of their fellow Marine. That is the Jim Mattis I know.

This well presented oral recitation of his life paints a clear picture of the model Marine I wished I could have been.
Semper Fidelis

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  • Kim Crossan
  • 03-25-19

Enthralling

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the story ...great to get some insight into such a dynamic leader.