James Bond Stockdale

Vice Admiral Stockdale, a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, served in the navy from 1947 to 1979, beginning as a test pilot and instructor at Patuxent River, Maryland, and spending two years as a graduate student at Stanford University. He became a fighter pilot and was shot down on his second combat tour over North Vietnam, becoming a prisoner of war for eight years, four in solitary confinement. The highest-ranking naval officer held during the Vietnam War, he was tortured fifteen times and put in leg irons for two years.

When disabilities from his combat wounds brought about Stockdale’s early retirement, he was the only three-star officer in the history of the navy to wear both aviator wings and the Congressional Medal of Honor; he also held twenty-six combat decorations, including two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Distinguished Service Medals, four Silver Stars, and two Purple Hearts.

As a civilian, Jim Stockdale was a college professor, a college president, and a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution. His many and varied writings all converge on the central theme of how man can rise with dignity to prevail in the face of adversity. He died in 2005.

His books include Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot (1995, Hoover Institution Press) and In Love and War (second revised and updated edition, 1990, U.S. Naval Institute Press), coauthored with his wife, Sybil. In early 1987, a dramatic presentation of In Love and War was viewed by more than 45 million viewers on NBC television.

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James Bond Stockdale's Books

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A Vietnam Experience

Author: James Bond Stockdale
ISBN: 978-0-8179-8152-5

Admiral Stockdale looks back at his ten years in Vietnam. Ranging in subject from methods of communication in prison to military ethics to the principles of leadership, the thirty-four selections contained in this volume are a unique record of what their author calls a "melting experience," a pressure-packed existence that forces one to grow.

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Courage Under Fire

Author: James Bond Stockdale
ISBN: 978-0-8179-3692-1

When physical disability from combat wounds brought about Jim Stockdale's early retirement from military life, he had the distinction of being the only three-star officer in the history of the navy to wear both aviator wings and the Congressional Medal of Honor. His writings have been many and varied, but all converge on the central theme of how man can rise with dignity to prevail in the face of adversity.

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Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot

Author: James Bond Stockdale
ISBN: 978-0-8179-9392-4

Thoughts on issues of character, leadership, integrity, personal and public virtue, and ethics, the selections in this volume converge around the central theme of how man can rise with dignity to prevail in the face of adversity—lessons just as valid for the challenges of present-day life as they were for the author's Vietnam experience.

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