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One Soldier's Story: A Memoir by Bob Dole
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One Soldier's Story: A Memoir

by Bob Dole

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Interesting account of Bob Dole's war experience ( )
  afarrington | Aug 23, 2011 |
My family is from Russell County, Kansas. Thank you Bob for your service to our country not only as a soldier, but as a senator from our great state of Kansas. I do hope to move back home again from Tennessee to Kansas. ( )
1 vote zellertr | Jul 11, 2010 |
Biographies are not my favorite genre, I don't recall ever reading an autobiographical memoir (or wanting to), and I routinely turn my nose up at books by or about politicians, so I had almost no expectations of enjoying this book. Imagine my surprise to disover that, in fact, I loved it!

I chose this book solely because of Dole's connection to my home state, Kansas. Not only does Kansas play a starring role, but Dole's story is one which should make all Kansans proud that he is a native son. After being born into a blue-collar family in 1923, Bob learned from his parents' example that success comes only with hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. More an athlete than student, he attended KU hoping to make the basketball team (then as now, it was a basketball-crazy school) but was studying pre-med. He was a freshman when Pearl Harbor was bombed in December of 1941 but waited until completing the sophomore year before enlisting in the army in 1943. He spent the next year doing basic training, specialized training, then OCS before being sent to Italy as a 2nd lieutenent in 1944. It was there, taking part in the effort to gain control of the Po valley in northern Italy, that he was wounded - a gunshot wound which ruined his right shoulder and damaged the spinal cord - just weeks before the end of the war in Europe.

He spent the next 39 months in one army hospital after another. He was shipped home to Kansas completely paralyzed and encased in a plaster body cast and nearly died more than once. His mother took an apartment in Topeka and was at his bedside constantly. For more than a year he was unable to feed himself or take care of his own most basic needs. It was through a combination of his own subborn determination, the love and support of family and friends, the medical care provided by the army, and the good fortune to find a surgeon willing to work for free that he was finally able to walk again and regain much of the use of his left arm and hand. More importantly, he learned to be thankful for what he had left and not dwell on what he had lost.

After finally being discharged from the hospital, and the army, he was married and moved to Arizona to complete his degree - this time in pre-law. Back in Kansas for law school, he entered politics when he realized that being willing to go to war to defend our nation isn't enough unless one is also willing to defend it at home. Not all threats to our liberty come from outside our borders. He first ran for the state House of Representatives in 1950, after changing parties to become a Republican. And the rest, I guess, is history, for that is where the story ends.

He wrote the book with straightforward language, neither puffing himself up, nor being excessively modest. He shows us his love of family, his quiet sense of humor, his lofty goals and unswaying belief that he would achieve those goals, and his feelings of frustration and discouragement when things didn't go his way. It is easy and pleasant reading, and after finishing I wished I could shake his hand and thank him for his service to our state and to our nation. But, I have the feeling that he would continue to claim that every soldier who has served has a story to tell, and this one is no more important than any of them. ( )
1 vote sjmccreary | Oct 11, 2009 |
Good book ( )
  gailwilliams | Dec 8, 2006 |
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He looked so young, just a boy, really, not much more than twenty-one years of age.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060763418, Hardcover)

Before he became one of America's most respected statesmen, Bob Dole was an average citizen serving heroically for his country. The bravery he showed after suffering near-fatal injuries in the final days of World War II is the stuff of legend. Now, for the first time in his own words, Dole tells the moving story of his harrowing experience on and off the battlefield, and how it changed his life.

Speaking here not as a politician but as a wounded G.I., Dole recounts his own odyssey of courage and sacrifice, and also honors the fighting spirit of the countless heroes with whom he served. Heartfelt and inspiring, One Soldier's Story is the World War II chronicle that America has been waiting for.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:04 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Senator Bob Dole recalls his personal experiences as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army's Tenth Mountain Division during World War Two, his hopes of returning to Kansas after the war and resuming his studies to become a doctor, and the wounds he received in Italy that changed the course of his life forever.… (more)

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