When Courage was the Essence ISBN: 9781544878119, Create Space Publishing, an e-book by Emilio Iodice.
In these “Lessons from History” the author states “This work is designed for educational purposes only and has been prepared with this in mind.” It is “to provide information and motivation to our readers.” After an unusually extensive disclaimer, the book moves to a provision by several knowledgeable individuals of a lengthy list and description of requirements needed by a leader for him/her to successfully reach that elevated position, and that “the fundamental quality that unites them is courage”. There follows a description of the multiple problems facing today’s world and why this need has become so pressing. The author next organizes the actual “Lessons” along “political courage, personal and professional and spiritual lines” and provides extensive coverage of individuals ranging from Julius Caesar to Abraham Lincoln, Teddy, Franklin Delano and Eleonore Roosevelt, and numerous others from an older political pool. From a newer group, persons such as Martin Luther King, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Regan, Hillary Clinton, George H. W. Bush to name a few. Personal and professional a host of characters, not the least of which are individuals such as Oprah Winfrey and legendary baseball players Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson. To represent the personal group early slavery escapee Harriet Tubman, Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot for her adherence to educational pursuits and the stories of several immigrants. The last story offered is a ‘homey’ referral is to the courage shown by the character portrayed by Jimmy Stewart in the motion picture “What a Wonderful Life”.
Discussion: This book certainly meets the author’s desired goal of being designed for educational purposes only. However, in this reader’s opinion, it goes even beyond his intended purpose. Quite literally, it is a profusely footnoted and referenced, scholarly prepared document by a person eminently qualified for the task. This reader did find that adjusting to masses of references within the body of the text was somewhat difficult until finally adjusting. Still, the production fits its desired goal in that it is written in a relatively light, fast-moving manner that will retain the interest of young persons. Parenthetically, older readers who may remember many of the individuals presented, no doubt will enjoy reminiscing as they follow the details. The author admirably has included the blemish on FDR’s otherwise remarkable record with his refusal to attack the supply lines and/or concentration camp furnaces of Auschwitz and others. Regrettably, he has not done as well with Hillary Clinton. And PLEASE do NOT attach any political inferences to the following. The following comments are included strictly in accord with the author’s desired goal of a “book designed for educational purposes only” – specifically “to provide information and motivation to our readers.” Thus, he nicely describes the gracious letter she penned after suffering her defeat, which parenthetically in the light of activity since, has made it appear rather as the mandatory letter required in such situations. The author further speaks of Hillary’s appearance before Congress with respect to the Bengasi Incident and describes how admirably she handled herself when facing a Congressional Hearing. Regrettably, he has not described a glaring fallacy as he had FDR. He failed to add her startling answer to questions about the death of the Ambassador and three other Americans by a mob attacking the U.S. Embassy. Her most shocking answer, “What difference does it make?” would seem to be at a monstrous level of insensitivity that few would expect to be acceptable as a fitting response expected from a leader. Think – Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King.
4* Credibly written book for designated audience and beyond.