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"Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell"

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Colin Powell has served a lifetime in the military and politics always proving himself ...... More...
3 Pages / 675 Words
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Paper Abstract:
Colin Powell has served a lifetime in the military and politics, always proving himself as a dedicated and successful individual. In DeYoung's biography on this soldier, we are given an inside look into the life of a man who has come to be known as an American hero.

Paper Introduction:
a b Karen DeYoung has been a reporter for The Washington Post since and is currently an associate editor Her career in journalism includesmany senior editorial positions as well as a foreign policy reporter inWashington and a foreign correspondent overseas She has also served asbureau chief in London and Latin America With more than years of experience in political journalism it isno wonder DeYoung chose to write the ultimate reporter\'s piece a biographyabout the the most trusted man in America This is

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The author makes it clearthat a soldier's mentality is never absent from Powell's life. Her career in journalism includesmany senior editorial positions, as well as a foreign policy reporter inWashington and a foreign correspondent overseas. Furthermore, "beyond hissoldier's sense of duty, he [sees] even the threat of resignation as anacknowledgement of defeat" (p.511). Butthrough it all, she never makes absent the fact that Powell's celebritystatus and iconic heroism are all part of his life as a soldier. True to form, she evenconcludes the biography with one last quote from the soldier: "As long asI'm remembered as somebody who served, that's good enough for me" (p.52 ).6) DeYoung's investigation of Powell clearly gave her the impression thatsuccess equals incorporating ones passion into every aspect of life. The author incorporates quotes and anecdotesfrom Powell's friends, family and colleagues in order to personalizeinformation about Powell. From beginning to end, DeYoung never ceases to point outthe ways in which Powell is still an Army officer. Practicing theobligation and respect taught by the Army, Powell chooses not to resignbecause he admires the president's authority. She objectively givesunprecedented coverage of political information while staying true to hersoldierly theme. DeYoungstylistically combines factual journalism with an author's ability to story-tell, and the outcome is biographical history.4c) Although DeYoung firmly establishes her thesis she continuallyreiterates the fact that Powell's entire life is served as a soldier. A real coup, DeYoung was granted unrestricted access to Powell'spersonal and professional military papers so the biography also includesnever-before-printed material. He always hesitates to usearmed forces because he doesn't want to put lives on the line. 1a/2b) Karen DeYoung has been a reporter for The Washington Post since 1975and is currently an associate editor. Bush. While all historical text is outdated before it is even published,DeYoung's work still relates to today's officers. Furthermore, the author allows her readers to feel moreintimately connected to Powell by inserting literature such as an essay hewrote in junior college (p.26). Whether out of respect, faith orstubborn will, a soldier's mentality always determines Powell's behavior.4b) DeYoung's journalistic ability shines in her novel-like portrayal ofPowell's life. The book primarily concerns Powell's political career in Washington,because as the author explains, this is where the least amount ofliterature exists. Living forever as a soldier proved successful for Powell.Similarly, a life-long career in journalism obviously worked well forDeYoung - it even allowed her to produce a compelling biography thatdemonstrates her passion for writing. In the first paragraphof the chapter, DeYoung emphasizes how the Army "molded [Powell's] thoughtprocess and [gave] him a set of values," that he applies to his dailyresponsibilities as a husband, father and White House member. Despite the political emphasis, the reader never forgetsthat Powell is a soldier because his demeanor and behavior portray nothingbut the discipline, resilience, and reliability that describe such aposition. This passage is key because it supports the controlling theme ofDeYoung's entire book: Colin Powell is first and foremost a soldier, nomatter the social situation or professional environment.5a) DeYoung's biography reads more like a story than that of a factualaccount. DeYoungbegins her book with Powell's assertion that he "will never not be asoldier" (p.1). Many of the U.S. and foreign government sourcesremain unnamed, but DeYoung claims they are credible and includes quotesfrom reliable men such as Richard Armitage and Charles Nash forreassurance. Mid-way through the book, DeYoung includes a crucial passage that not onlysupports her thesis but also perfectly describes how Powell "built his lifeinside the framework provided by the Army" (p. She has also served asbureau chief in London and Latin America. The author's chronological account of Powell's childhood,marriage and tours of duty read like a story. Afterreading her biography of Colin Powell, it is difficult not to take away thesame message. Current Armyleaders can learn from and draw upon Powell's success as a lifelongsoldier. Immediately, readers are introduced to a man who values themilitary and who prides himself on its continual presence in his life. Heretains his start as a soldier, always allowing military philosophy toguide his decisions and behavior(a prevailing theme throughout thebiography). She includes personal quotes, news mediacoverage and political paperwork to provide a factual yet intimate look atthe soldier's childhood, family life and professional career.4a) The title "Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell," is more than merely thebiography's name; it is a prelude to the book's dominant them. She recognizes that many of her readers probably aren't familiarwith the military terms and political acronyms used by such professionals.Therefore, she interweaves prose with definitions and descriptions thathelp the reader relate to the significance of such terminology. Powell is "never not a soldier," even when negotiating withforeign leaders or conducting official business. 24 ). From the drill-like way in which he conducts meetings to the soldierlyprecaution taken before resorting to combat, Powell's Army mentality isalways present. Powell even uses his soldier's determinationto remain secretary of state under George W. With more than 2 years of experience in political journalism, it isno wonder DeYoung chose to write the ultimate reporter's piece: a biographyabout the "the most trusted man in America." This is the author's firstbiography, but she has written a number of articles for the Post and shelends her reporter's eye to the description of Colin Powell's life. She dramatically exposesfactual information in a way that leaves her readers wanting more. Evidently, a lesson can be learnedfrom two individuals who pursued their passions and wholly incorporatedthem into their lives. If today's Army officers choose to apply their soldierly trainingevery day as does Powell, then they too may experience such success.5b) DeYoung thoroughly details Powell's life, providing a particularlycomplete analysis of the soldier's service after his military retirement.Overall, DeYoung provides complete coverage with an inside look at Powell'spersonal trials and professional accomplishments. She continuesto describe how "he followed [the Army's] guidelines with equal rigor inthe mountains of Vietnam, the halls of the Pentagon and the White House"(p.24 ). Rather thanthinking like a politician, he draws from his own experiences in the Armyto facilitate foreign policy. DeYoungoffers an inside look at the psychological, sociological, and politicalperspectives in the first full biography of the American Soldier, ColinPowell.3c) DeYoung fully discloses that this is not an authorized biography.Rather, her account includes six detailed interviews from the soldierhimself. Herexplanations and background information allow readers to understand andconnect with Powell's experiences.

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