Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty

A respectful and compelling salute to Medal of Honor winners through brief profiles and striking portraits.

Medal of Honor begins with a thoughtful, detailed yet succinct history of the Congressional Medal of Honor, providing an excellent introduction to the subject; later chapters include letters from every living U.S. president and short essays on wars from World War II through Afghanistan. But Peter Collier’s real achievement lies in the 144 profiles of Medal of Honor recipients, representing every branch of the military, accompanied by Nick Del Calzo’s stunningly beautiful photographic portraits. Collier’s profiles tell of the circumstances leading to each citation, along with details of the recipients’ lives that illuminate themes of humility, friendship and service. With one page devoted to each, Medal of Honor makes for easy coffee-table reading, and it’s tempting to read them all in one sitting. This incredibly touching commemoration transcends politics to celebrate the contributions of brave, and selfless individuals in simple, glowing stories.

This review originally ran in the December 6, 2011 issue of Shelf Awareness for Readers. To subscribe, click here, and you’ll receive two issues per week of book reviews and other bookish fun!

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