, Research Paper
Sgt. York His Life, Legend, and Legacy Book Review Sgt. York: His Life, Legend, and Legacy, John Perry, Nashville, TN, Broadman and Holdman Publishers, 1997, 349 pgs, $ 16.99. In his challenging book Sgt. York: His Life, Legend, and Legacy, John Perry inside informations the life of Congressional Medal of Honor victor Alvin C. York. York s life is exhaustively covered, crossing from his low beginnings, on to the conflict that earned him the Medal of Honor and made him universe famous, and chronicling his morally charged battle to better the lives of the state common people of his place. Perry wrote this book to exemplify the true gallantry of Sgt. York, which came non so much from his actions on the battleground, but from his illustrations of religion, nationalism, and morality. Perry sums York s life on the back arm of the book screen when he writes, His narrative is one of battle, forfeit, and ultimate victory in the service of his mountain people, his darling state, and his God. Using this description as his usher, Perry proceeds to compose a graphic description of the prototype of the American hero. Alvin York s true gallantry sprang from his illustrations of religion, nationalism, and morality.
He earned his celebrity by capturing 132 German soldiers, and hushing more than 20 machine gun emplacements single-handedly. Although this is an about ace human effort, York ne’er one time bragged about his achievement, and alw
ays credited God with the victory. He explained his bravery by saying, Before I went to war I prayed to God, and He gave me my assurance that as long as I believed in Him, not one hair of my head would be harmed (91). His devotion to his God serves as the focal point on which his heroism is based. Sgt. York could have used his fame to make himself a very wealthy man. Instead, he set forth on a crusade to ensure that every child from his homeland was educated. Again, York s faith spurred this crusade, with his creed being, What shall a man profit if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (142). In a rally in Knoxville, TN, York demonstrated his morally charged patriotism and love of his countrymen when he said, Everyone should be anxious to raise the standard in this country and there is just one way to do it: by religion and education (142). His efforts resulted in thousands of children receiving top-quality education in rural Tennessee, thus ensuring the higher standard for the nation that the Sergeant envisioned. Alvin C. York was the epitome of the American hero. His displays of faith, patriotism, and morality add more to this image than his exploits on the battlefield. Perry successfully details the passion in which the Sergeant embraced his ideals, and creates a book that every American citizen should read. Perhaps in this, the Sergeant s ideals for a higher American standard will further come to fruition.