There is no doubt that the late Staff Sgt. Darrell “Skip” Griffin was an American hero. Darrell Griffin, Sr. went on to complete the book that he and his son intended to jointly write. This is admirable, but I think the story would have been clearer in the hands of a professional writer.
There are too many citations to the thoughts of famous philosophers from Plato to Descartes, Nietzsche to de Tocqueville. I wondered when the first reference to St. Augustine would appear (it comes on page 88). I studied philosophy, yet I could not see the connection to the fighting in Iraq. The high notions of philosophers do not seem to equate with the heavy-handedness of war.
Still, the portions of the book dealing with the war are strong. This is the tale of a young man who died fighting a war that he was not sure was the right one. As his father wrote to him, “We both love America, but you are man enough to prove it.” Despite its flaws, this is a book worth reading.
Atlas and Co., $25.00, 304 pages
This review was written by Joseph Arellano. Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review.