Book Review - David Laskin's "The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the Twentieth Century"
Photo: Over Nangarhar...

Book Review: The Memorial Edition of Chris Kyle's "American Sniper"

The following book review is a special provided for BlackFive readers by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link on the far right sidebar.

9780062306708_p0_v7_s260x420The Memorial Edition of American Sniper by Chris Kyle with Jim DeFelice and Scott McEwen has just been published.  This Memorial Edition reminds Americans that there are true heroes that need to be remembered. Re-reading this book will enable people to understand why it has been on the New York Times Bestseller list since its release in January 2012. 

This edition still has the moving first-person account of Chris’ extraordinary battlefield experiences when he became the top American military sniper of all time.  There is something for everyone in the book: technical details including why a certain gun is preferred in a certain situation, types of guns used, plenty of combat action, and a discussion on relationships with fellow SEALs as well as his wife and children. His story is at times funny, scary, sad, and intense.

Kyle once stated to that he never saw himself as a “killer but as a Guardian Angel for our troops on the ground, and that he never apologized or regretted what he did because my shots saved several Americans whose lives were clearly worth more than the enemy savages who tried to take those lives. I don’t worry about what other people think of me.” This is exemplified in the book quote, “People fighting in Iraq were fanatics.  They hated us because we weren’t Muslim.  They wanted to kill us…because we practiced a different religion than they did.” His brother Jeff, a former recon Marine, who now is the owner of a weapons training company,, concurs, “SEALs, Rangers, Green Berets, those in recon, were happy with the book because Chris showed how we take on our roles to protect as many people as possible. He pulled the trigger for the right reason, to bring everyone home alive.”

The book also includes the insights of his wife Taya, what she had to endure as a military spouse.  What it was like to be left at home for months on end, having to be a single mom, worried wife, and someone responsible for the finances and upkeep of the home.  She recently commented to, “Chris laid it on the table, both our flaws and good qualities that people can relate with.” The co-author, Jim DeFelice also thinks American Sniper is an important read because it showed the other side of a warrior, that of a husband and father.

What the Memorial Edition does have that the original American Sniper did not is the more than eighty pages of remembrances by those close to him including his wife, brother, mother/father, children, fellow veterans, fellow warriors, and lifelong friends.  In this portion of the book readers will see his life after retiring from military service and the person he became.  Taya noted, “I hope people see these recollections as an understanding of what people will say about someone who has passed away, how they are touched personally. In addition, anyone who wants to continue to learn about how the family will carry on Chris’ torch can go to”

Although this Memorial Edition brings back the sorrowful death of someone who died way too young, it also allows Americans to openly remember the warrior and the regular guy who decided to share his life, views, and personality.  He did not only touch those who personally knew him but readers as well.  The Memorial Edition of American Sniper is a thrilling eyewitness account of service and sacrifice and a heartfelt recounting of the man.