Once An Eagle is the story of one special man, a soldier named Sam Damon, and his adversary over a lifetime, fellow officer Courtney Massengale. Damon is a professional who puts duty, honor, and the men he commands above self interest. Massengale, however, brilliantly advances by making the right connections behind the lines and in Washington's corridors of power.
Beginning in the French countryside during the Great War, the conflict between these adversaries solidifies in the isolated garrison life marking peacetime, intensifies in the deadly Pacific jungles of World War 11, and reaches its treacherous conclusion in the last major battleground of the Cold War -- Vietnam.
A study in character and values, courage, nobility, honesty, and selflessness, here is an unforgettable story about a man who embdies the best in our nation -- and in us all....Continua
Anton Myrer has written a massive story of a man's journey through life as he served his country in peace and war, starting in Mexico dealing with the 1916 troubles there and ending in Vietnam, where a terrorist attack brings an end to his struggle to bring common sense and decency to the high command. I first read this in 1976, in a mass-market paperback tie-in to the NBC miniseries. I just finished reading a new trade paperback edition that runs to nearly 1300 pages!! I don't remember the 1976 paperback carrying any message about abridgement. Can anyone out there clear this up for me?
Blurbs proclaim that West Point makes this book required reading. If the cadets are reading it, they're not understanding it, from what I can see of the war news in the media. Sam Damon, the hero, suffers much at the hands of Courtney Massengale (the very hissable villain). Rottn as Massengale is, he might be the kind of soldier the high command and the politicians favor in real life, as well as in this book.
The civilian characterizations suffer a bit. Tommy Caldwell Damon, Sam's wife, comes across as bitch/shrew most of the time. An army brat herself, she knew how a career officer's wife would have to live, especially during the peacetime doldrums. She's not a sympathetic character, to say the least.
My interest in history added to my enjoyment of the book at both readings, but I have to say that it was more cohesive and tighter 34 years ago!