Title: Hope and Honor
Author: Sidney Shachnow & Jann Robbins
Publisher:Forge Books (October 1, 2004)
Hope and Honor is the autobiography of Maj. General (Ret.) Sidney Shachnow, a Lithuanian Holocaust survivor who immigrated to
I really, really liked this book. Shachnow’s writing is simple and direct, but it conveys a lot. Most of the chapters are short –between six to ten pages – and the book flows very quickly. Shachnow doesn’t spend a whole lot of time introspecting, but it’s easy to get a sense of him both as an adult looking back on his life and as the man living it.
This being a man’s life (and a remarkable life, at that),there’s obviously a lot that occurs here, and some things will stand out to readers more than others. Amateur psychologist that I am, I found watching Shachnow’s growth really interesting. Even as a child, he exhibits certain tendencies (a will to survive, a willingness to go outside the rules, and a sense that there are times when violence is, in fact, the solution) that make his eventual role in the U.S. Special Forces seem perfectly natural. Which is not to say that Shachnow is a violent man. As much as anyone else in the world,Shachnow knows the consequences of, and problems with, violence. But he is, at heart, a warrior, and warriors fight. They also think, which is where Shachnow’s real talents lie.
I could probably ramble on about this book for a while, but I really want to get this up, so I’ll stop here. This is a powerful and interesting biography about a really extraordinary man. I can’t recommend it enough.