Rajiv Chandrasekaran
In For Love of Country, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and National Book Award nominee Rajiv Chandrasekaran honor acts of uncommon valor in Iraq and Afghanistan, including an army sergeant who runs into a hail of gunfire to protect his comrades; two marines who chose to stand and defend their outpost from an oncoming truck bomb; and a 60-year-old doctor who joined the navy after his son was killed at war, saving dozens of lives during his service. We also see how veterans turn their leadership skills into community-building initiatives once they return home: former soldiers who aid residents in rebuilding after natural disasters; an infantry officer who trades in a Pentagon job to teach in an inner-city neighborhood; the spouse of a severely injured soldier assisting families in similar positions. These powerful, unforgettable stories demonstrate just how indebted we are to those who protect us and what they have to offer our nation when their military service is over.


KIRKUS REVIEW

An upbeat book about contemporary military veterans, the men and women of America who are “brave enough to assume the ultimate risk so that others could live.”

Starbucks chairman and CEO Schultz (Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul, 2011, etc.) and Washington Post senior correspondent and associate editor Chandrasekaran (Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan, 2012, etc.) provide case studies of combat heroism and of individuals returning from recent foreign invasions who have contributed to the building of a better society in the United States. The book's release is tied to Schultz's initiative to hire more military veterans at Starbucks and to generally raise awareness of how surviving veterans can serve their nation in classrooms, medical facilities and other institutions. In a relentlessly optimistic narrative, which is certainly inspiring at points, Schultz and Chandrasekaran avoid almost all mention of female soldiers who are sexually assaulted, of returning veterans who murder innocent civilians, and other commonly told dark case studies. Schultz demonstrates the enthusiasm of a converted zealot—he never served in the military, had no close friends or family who had served recently, and had never spent significant time with soldiers or their family members. That changed after he visited Lewis-McChord and other military bases and sought the counsel of high-profile warriors, including former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, “one of our country’s most distinguished public servants.” The many case studies and interviews will certainly move readers who have served in the military, as well as other highly patriotic Americans. Though fervent anti-war readers will find much of the narrative overly positive and even naïve, the case studies are mostly well-reported and often feature individuals who have been unsung until now.

A rah-rah effort that will appeal to fans of military histories and those who have close contact with the courageous soldiers who put their lives on the line.


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