I've liked Tracy Kidder's writing since I first read his book "The Soul of a New Machine" back in the 80's about the dawn of the computer age and got hooked on computers. His "Mountains beyond Mountains" that told the story of Dr Paul Farmer's humanitarian efforts was a great read too.
This book is a memoir about his time as a lieutenant in the Army in Vietnam. He was an intelligence officer and didn't get into fighting so his memoir is not so much about the horrors of war. Instead, he reflects on what he learned about being a leader, though he admits to having been a poor one. His story recalls for me how very young most of the soldiers were in that war, much like today's. Through the story, I learned a little about his life and his time in college before joining ROTC, mostly to impress a girl he desired but never really possessed. There's a dreamy quality to the narrative, a note of regret and nostalgia for his youth and in the end, a recognition that there are parts of his personality that have not changed. It gives the title double meaning. A brief peek into an author who reveals others so well.
Published: 2005 Read: March 2013 Genre: Memoir