Platoon Leader: A Memoir of Command in Combat – James R McDonough, 2003
Themes of leadership, honour and camaraderie resonate in this cracking and popular Nam memoir.
It’s straight back to first-hand action with Platoon Leader: A Memoir of Command in Combat (affl), James R. McDonough’s account of how as a young man he ran a platoon in the famed 173rd Airborne brigade. Told with a great deal of pace and with a taut and muscular style, McDonough brings the characters of his time in Vietnam back to life with jarring immediacy.
There are those books you sometimes come across in which the character of the writer comes through so strongly you feel as if he were a friend. Platoon Leader is one such book- the seriousness and responsibility with which McDonough obviously regarded his position comes through crystal clear. You end up thinking if you were a grunt out there, you’d want McDonough to lead you into combat.
This is no doubt a powerful book written by a man of high integrity – if you want to learn about leadership, valour, and decisions which could either save or cost lives in battle, this is a book for you.
Highly personal but immensely readable, it’s probable anyone who picks up this book will finish it in a sitting and probably be a slightly different person afterwards. Platoon Leader (affl) is a splendid, splendid Vietnam War first-hand account.