Friday, June 2, 2017

Book Review: Compassionate Soldier by Jerry Borrowman

 Compassionate Soldier
Remarkable True Stories of Mercy, Heroism, and Honor from the Battlefield
by Jerry Borrowman

Book Description:

Compassionate Soldier illuminates some of the most fascinating and yet largely unknown stories of men and women whose humanity led them to perform courageous acts of mercy and compassion amid the chaos and carnage of war. Arranged by war from the American Revolution to the Iraq War and global in perspective, it features extraordinary stories of grace under fire from valiant soldiers and noncombatants who rose above the inhumanity of lethal conflict and chose compassion, even knowing their actions could put their lives and liberty at risk.

Included in this collection are the stories of Richard Kirkland, a Confederate soldier during the Civil War who disobeyed orders and brought blankets and water to the wounded from both North and South during the Battle of Fredericksburg; Patrick Ferguson, a British soldier during the American Revolution who had the chance to kill George Washington, but refused to shoot a man in the back; and Oswald Boelcke, a German WWI flying ace who was one of the most influential tacticians of early air combat, but was known for making sure the airmen he shot down made it to the ground alive.

These inspirational stories illustrate that even in the midst of unspeakable horrors of war, acts of kindness, mercy, compassion, and humanity can prevail and, in doing so, expand our conventional thinking of honor and battlefield glory.


This book is a wonderful collection of true stories that, for lack of a better phrase, gives you warm fuzzies, and renewed faith in humanity. I've never been able to really wrap my head around war-it seems like such a barbaric method to get what you want. But, it is, sadly, the way of our world, and it was refreshing to read about some unlikely heroes. 

Compassionate Soldier is perfect to read one of the 15 stories at a time, or several. It's not a long book, but if you have a short period of time it's nice to read one story and then come back to the book when you can. Historical information is given in the different sections, and also some information about other people who influenced the events at the time. 

One thing that stood out to me came in Chapter 3. Kaiser Wilhelm II is not looked at very favorably in history, but this chapter shared that during the war he granted a British officer, who was a prisoner of war, leave to visit his ailing mother. It was nice to read about compassion and trust.

I received an advanced reader's edition of this book, and sadly this version is missing the pictures that are at the beginning of each chapter. I'm sure they are a great addition.

Title: Compassionate Soldier
Author: Jerry Borrowman
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Published: May 2017
ISBN: 1629722928
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book