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Men Of Honor

Book Review

 

Title:

Men Of Honor

Author:

David Robbins and Carl Brashear

Publisher:

Mass Market Paperback

ISBN:

0-4514-0974-4

Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

January, 2001

Rating:

Men Of Honor is the story of Carl Brashear,  the first African-American master diver in the United States Navy. The book consists of two parts, the story, and an interview with Master Chief Brashear.

shop for this book at amazon.comThe story begins with a brief overview of Brashear's childhood as the son of a poor sharecropper and his relationship with his father, then quickly moves on to his Navy experiences. Brashear fights against a system that assigns African-Americans to menial roles in the military and segregates their leisure activities as well. After several years of applying for diving school and being denied, he is finally accepted as the first African-American recruit.

Brashear fights against incredible odds to overcome racism and a lack of education to graduate from diving school. His fellow students, instructors and even the commander of the school constantly place hurdles in his path to force his resignation. His final diving examination is rigged by the instructors to keep him from completing the school, yet after tense hours in a dark and cold river he finishes his final diving assignment and moves on to become a salvage diver.

The story in this book closely parallels the movie of the same name. The stories, settings and events are included in both the movie and book and nothing more is learned in the story. The interview with Chief Brashear is a different matter. In this section we find out details of his actual life that were different or not included in the movie version and learn more about his dual victory against almost insurmountable odds by becoming the first African-American master diver and also being the first amputee to accomplish this feat.

This work stands as a testament to the triumph of the human spirit over adversity and racism. The story is gripping, suspenseful, and difficult to put down once you start reading it.

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