Once an Eagle

  • by Anton Myrer
  • Narrated by Grover Gardner
  • 41 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Once an Eagle is the story of one special man, a soldier named Sam Damon, and his adversary over a lifetime, fellow officer Courtney Massengale. Damon is a professional who puts duty, honor, and the men he commands above self-interest. Massengale, however, brilliantly advances his career by making the right connections behind the lines and in Washington's corridors of power.
Beginning in the French countryside during the Great War, the conflict between these adversaries solidifies in the isolated garrison life marking peacetime, intensifies in the deadly Pacific jungles of World War II, and reaches its treacherous conclusion in the last major battleground of the Cold War.
A study in character and values, courage, nobility, honesty, and selflessness, here is an unforgettable story about a man who embodies the best in our nation - and in us all.
Anton Myrer (1922-1996) enlisted in the US Marine Corps following the attack on Pearl Harbor and served for three years in the Pacific. Wounded on Guam, he returned to Harvard, graduated, and began an illustrious literary career, during which he wrote such memorable novels as The Big War, The Last Convertible, and A Green Desire.

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What the Critics Say

"A remarkable novel...Utterly engrossing. Myrer is a superb storyteller, one of the few gifted novelists now writing who cares about the art of narration and is a master of it...A grim, exciting, and almost overwhelming account of twentiethcentury war. It is an astute study of the mind and character of a good general and a good man. And it is a brilliant inside views of the life of a career officer in peace and war." (New York Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Rushing to praise ...

I can think of a number of military accounts, both fiction and non-fiction that I've enthused about over the course of seven decades, foremost amongst them being Remarque's "All Quiet On The Western Front", Monserrat's "The Cruel Sea", Mailer's "The Thin Red Line", Crane's "Red Badge Of Courage" and Kantor's "Andersonville".

In more recent years I've found Jeff Shaara's work, along with that of Hugh and Stephen Ambrose and, latterly, Karl Marlantes equally compelling.

Not until this week, however, have I come across a work of military fiction so engrossing and so mesmerising that I found myself - even before I'd completed the book - going back time and again to certain paragraphs or sections in order to keep the author's wonderful, sometimes distressingly so, description of one event or another in my mind.

Anton Myrer's staggeringly complex Once An Eagle is unmissable - a huge work that is apparently required reading for West Pointers and US Marine Corps officer candidates. I have it as an audiobook (unabridged and narrated over a massive 41 hours by the excellent Grover Gardner) but have ordered it in 'real time' for my bookcase.

Those who never read it will never know what they've missed!
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- Timekeeper

Once an Eagle - tells it like it us

What did you like most about Once an Eagle?

Authenticity. A retired Officer in the US military told me that this is how it was.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Once an Eagle?

The training exercise involving explosives.


Which scene did you most enjoy?

It is so good in so many places. The Pacific, World War I....it is difficult to say.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If I could have, I would have....but 41 hours is too much.


Any additional comments?

Thoroughly recommended. This is not a blindly patriotic paean to the US Military. It is a well balanced critique that leaves you respectful of the individual soldier and with a deeper understanding of the fog of war.

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- F. P. MCKEOWN

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-12-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.