Academic journal article Military Review

Patriot Hearts: An Anthology of American Patriotism

Academic journal article Military Review

Patriot Hearts: An Anthology of American Patriotism

Article excerpt

PATRIOT HEARTS: An Anthology of American Patriotism, William T. Coffey, ed., Purple Mountain Publishing, Colorado Springs, CO, 2000, 430 pages, $23.95.

William T. Coffey, an Army Reserve major, has been collecting quotes, anecdotes, personal stories, speeches, poems, and reminiscences for 17 years. He tucked them into his professional kit bag to serve as his personal collection of thoughts that exemplify the highest standards of what it means to be an American and the sacrifices men and women make to defend the country. He has chosen well, organizing the disparate selections into topical chapters to make them easy to read and reference. Of additional help are the short introductory paragraphs to each chapter. They define the chapter's theme and help readers understand why he chose a particular set of ideas (duty, integrity, and discipline; training, honor, and honoring) and what these ideas mean to him in the context of patriotism.

The most compelling and evocative parts of the book are the words of the men and women who have "been there." The readers should savor Colonel Dandridge "Mike" Malone's piece called "Soldier," which contains an excellent description of "all these wondrous things, which thousands of us share in whole or in part" as soldiers. "The Courage of Sam Bird" is one of the finest tributes to leadership at the unit level I have ever read. …

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