Friday, January 9, 2009

The Heart of a Soldier or Righteous Warrior

The Heart of a Soldier: A Story of Love, Heroism, and September 11th

Author: James B Stewart

Sometimes from the ashes of tragedy comes an extraordinary, even magical story that inspires, offers hope, and helps heal even the deepest wounds. Heart of a Soldier is such a story, one of love and friendship, danger and courage, redemption and heroism, thrillingly told by one of America's finest writers. Susan Greer, middle-aged and divorced, had just about given up on love and romance when she met a stranger who, oddly, was jogging in his bare feet. Born in Britain on the eve of World War II, Rick Rescorla became an American citizen and a much-decorated soldier. His extraordinary life is woven into the military conflicts of his time, from the battlefields of colonial Africa, where he and his best friend, U.S. Army officer Dan Hill, led lives of adventure worthy of Kipling and Conrad, to some of the deadliest battles of Vietnam to the epicenter of modern-day terrorism. Surviving them all with great courage and style, Rescorla seemed invincible.

Rescorla tried to put combat and death behind him, and for a time it seemed as though he had succeeded. With Susan, he found the peace and domesticity he craved. But it turned out that everything in his remarkable life was preparing him for one last act of selflessness that would transcend all that had come before. Then, on September 11, 2001, he faced the ultimate test.

Heart of a Soldier shows us bravery under fire, loyalty to one's comrades, and the miracle of finding happiness late in life. In charge of security for Morgan Stanley, Rick Rescorla successfully got 2,700 of its employees out of the World Trade Center's South Tower on September 11. Then, thinking perhaps of the soldiers who had died in his arms and of Susan, the woman who had "made his life," he went back and began climbing the tower stairs, looking for stragglers. Heart of a Soldier is an inspiring and unforget-table story from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Den of Thieve and Blind Eye.

Publishers Weekly

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author Stewart (Den of Thieves) aims to capture the enormity of the World Trade Center attack by retracing one of the lives lost in the disaster: that of Rick Rescorla, head of security for Morgan Stanley. From the late 1980s on, Rescorla tried to warn Port Authority officials that the World Trade Center was an easy target for terrorists. On September 11, after safely evacuating the Morgan Stanley offices in the south tower (he kept people calm by singing into his megaphone), Rescorla went back into the building minutes before it collapsed to search for stragglers. This wasn't his first selfless act of bravery: a Vietnam veteran, Rescorla won a Silver Star and other medals for his role in the Ia Drang valley an important American victory, but one whose devastating losses turned Rescorla against the war. Piecing together the recollections of, among others, Rescorla's widow, Susan, his best friend and fellow soldier, Daniel Hill, to narrate Rescorla's life story, Stewart also weaves in Susan's, and describes the Rescorlas' blissful mid-life relationship, a second marriage for both. Stewart's narrative is fast-paced, fluid and impressively detailed, though not without clich s. It's an absorbing and at times inspiring profile in courage, yet the book has the feel of an extended magazine piece. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Library Journal

Skilled storyteller Stewart and precise reader George DiCenzo bring life to this tale of two soldiers, American Dan Hill and British-born Nick Rescorla, whose lives display great courage, intelligence, and loyalty. They met in Africa and fought in the Vietnam War. Although brief, carnage in the latter section is not for the squeamish. The program goes on to recount their marriages, children, divorces, careers, and new romance for Rescorla. Hill converts to Islam and goes under Communist fire in Afghanistan, a suspenseful episode, but his subsequent offer to go after Osama bin Laden is ignored, as was his prediction of suicide planes and New York City terror attacks. Rescorla, about 62, was in charge of security for Morgan Stanley, and his heroism in saving many lives at the World Trade tower on September 11, 2001 is told well, hour by horrifying hour. For action-adventure fans.-Gordon Blackwell, Eastchester, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Table of Contents:
1Peachey and Dravot5
2Winds of War24
3Heart of a lion47
4American Dream54
5Hard Corps69
6In the Valley of Death79
7Charge of the Light Brigade112
8Home Front134
9Not to Reason Why141
10Towers in the Sky171
11The Target183
12Soul Mates205
13We were Soldiers228
14A Day to be Proud249
15The Courage to Heal265
Epilogue: You'll Remember Me287
Notes and Sources293

Go to: Power to the People or United Nations

Righteous Warrior: Jesse Helms and the Rise of Modern Conservatism

Author: William A Link

In Righteous Warrior, William A. Link provides a magisterial portrait of Senator Jesse Helms, one of the most commanding American politicians of the late twentieth century, and of the conservative movement he forged. Born in Monroe, North Carolina, in his early years Helms worked as a newspaperman, a radio commentator and a magazine editor.  Early on, he realized the power of television, and, on tiny black and white screens across North Carolina in the 1960s, he battled the civil rights movement, campus radicalism, and the sexual revolution.  Race was a central issue for Helms, and he used it at every turn to solidify his base and, in some cases, to mobilize political support. But also important was sexuality, and his discomfort with what he believed was a rising tide of immorality. In 1973, he was elected to the Senate, where he remained until 2003.  As Senator, Helms became a national conservative leader and spokesman for the revitalized American Right, playing a prominent role in the Reagan Revolution of the 1970s and 1980s and the rising tide of Republicanism of the 1990s.  His political organization, the Congressional Club, became remarkably successful at raising millions of dollars and in operating a highly sophisticated, media-driven political machine.  The Congressional Club also provided a source of national standing and power for Helms.  In working so relentlessly for his cause, Helms literally became a nexus of the burgeoning movement, pushing conservative causes, linking conservative politicians up with wealthy donors and amassing more power than many Senators within memory.  In Righteous Warrior, William Link tells the story of oneof the most powerful Americans of the twentieth century and the conservative mark he left on the American political landscape.

The New York Times - David Greenberg

Righteous Warrior should stand as the go-to biography of Helms for some time. Not only will Link's thorough research and dutiful reconstruction of Helms's career deter successors, but his core analysis is hard to dispute. "If you want to call me a bigot, fine," Helms himself once growled, while ranting against a Clinton administration appointee for being "a damn lesbian." Link is too dispassionate and fair-minded a historian to make this book a monochromatic portrait in bigotry. Yet his account leaves little doubt, ultimately, about what made Helms such a figure of vilification throughout his long career—and what simultaneously allowed such a vilified figure to enjoy so much sustained success.

The Washington Post - Michael Skube

William A. Link's Righteous Warrior is a scrupulously fair biography of a man who gave himself entirely to protecting a way of life he saw as endangered. To Helms, that meant conservatism more than it meant one political party or another…Link, a professor of history at the University of Florida, attempts to explain Helms's importance without engaging in either veneration or caricature. In his view, Helms was an architect of the conservative reshaping of politics in the 1970s and '80s, a conduit of regional support for Ronald Reagan and a source of organizational know-how for conservatism nationally. "The rise of the new American right," Link argues, "cannot be properly understood without coming to terms with Helms's role."

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