Three Books that Have Touched Me

Marine! The Life of Chesty Puller

The first book I'll discuss is called "Marine! The Life of Chesty Puller" and it's about the life of a true Marine in every sense of the word. His legal name was Lewis B. Puller, but Marines of past and present time know him as Chesty, but that nickname is not explained in the book and he didn't even know why he had that nickname.

Why I enjoyed this book is because I'm also a Marine and have idolized him since I first learned about him in boot camp. Chesty Puller was a true Marine's Marine, and what I mean by that is he started out as a private, just like any other enlisted Marine and he worked all the way up to Lieutenant General. He sympathized with all of those enlisted and commissioned men and women under his command. In fact there was an encounter the book illustrates with him, a junior officer, and a Sergeant. The story goes that he passed by the Sergeant saluting the officer over and over again. So he walked up to the two of them and asked, and I'm paraphrasing the quotes here, "What's going on here Lieutenant, why is the Sergeant saluting over and over again?" The officer's reply was, "He passed by me and didn't salute, so I told him to salute me 1,000 times so that he wouldn't forget the next time." So Chesty said to the young Lieutenant, "That's fine Lieutenant, but you realize that for each one of the salutes he gives you, you must return each one of them, so let's get started Lieutenant, start returning those salutes!"

When I read that I almost died laughing, but I also had a new found respect for the man since that is only documented within this book. Chesty Puller also was the most decorated Marine in history earning five Navy Crosses in addition to all of the commendation and campaign medals he earned in the battles he engaged and lead others in; including Guadacanal and other bloody battles in the Korean War.

Manifest Destiny

The next book I'll discuss is about a more well-known historical figure by anyone who paid attention in history class, or anyone who's ever taken a political science class. The book I'm referring to is "Manifest Destiny" and the author was John Locke, an Englishman who lived and wrote the novel back in the 1600s. This book interests me so much because it's why Thomas Jefferson based his Declaration of Independence (DOI) on. I won't put anyone to sleep with too many details from this book since it get's dry in parts, but the premise of it and what so many of us have heard before is this, "We all have the right to life, liberty, and property". Thomas Jefferson changed the last part to "the pursuit of happiness" in his DOI. This book was also crucial in the French Revolution in addition to sparking our Revolution over the British.

The Illiad

The last book is called, "Illiad" written by the noted Greek author Homer around 700 B.C.E. or before common era. This book I read in english of course, but it doesn't take away from the story, and this is of course based on Greek Mythology, but it depicts the Greeks battling a race known as the Trojans over one woman who was drawn away by a Trojan prince named Paris. The story begins in Mt. Olympus at a party of the Gods and Goddesses. The legend has it that a note was discovered that said, and I'm paraphrasing here since it's been a while since I've read this book, "To the fairest Goddess in all of Olympus". Each of the three Goddesses there all assumed the note was for them, and so there was a heated argument between Zeus' wife Hera, the Greek Goddess of wisdom Athena, and the Greek Goddess of love Aphrodite. Zeus eventually got tired of this bickering and suggested that they find a mortal to go to and ask since he would be completely unbiased. I believe it was Zeus that chose Paris, but it could've been one of the Goddesses that chose him, but regardless he is the mortal that was chosen to decide which Goddess was the fairest.

Each Goddess appeared to Paris alone, Hera promised him all of Greece as his Kingdom, and he declined, Athena promised him almighty wisdom, he would know everything there was to know, and he declined, and Aphrodite promised him the fairest maiden in all of Greece, and he accepted her promise. That maiden happened to be married to one of the most powerful kings in all of Greece, her name was Helen. I won't go any further here because this is a large book, but long story short Helen went with Paris back to Troy, the Greeks destroyed Troy and lost many of their own, including Helen's brother-in-law Agamemnon. All of this fighting over a woman is the basic premise of the story, and I liked it because of all of the subtle sub-storylines that branched off of it. If you want to read a book that teaches about love, betrayal, deception, and Greek Mythology, then read the Illiad, I implore you, you won't be sorry.

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