I knew nothing about this book when it came across my way. I don't know that it's Shakespeare or literarily great. However, it is an excellent story and for that reason I feel strongly it should receive all 5 stars for it's particular niche within autobiography.
The book is about the career of one of NY's finest, most highly decorated fire fighters. Aside from providing solid advice that I would expect any young firefighter would want to know from a seasoned veteran of the craft, it also gives a very real depiction of a man throughout the various stages of his career, his hopes, his fears, his uncertainties, etc. Despite all of the heroic deeds, you get the sense this is a very relate-able person. That is pretty amazing to accomplish given the nature of the work.
So many other books of American heroes read as a resume of all the positive. There is a truthful, humility to this piece as the author points out where he made mistakes, miscalculations, had questions of his own judgment, and even realized he was being stubborn against the evidence. That really take a lot of character.
I recommend to everyone who likes reading about personal greatness in the biography or autobiography category, regardless of their proximity to this profession. Truly inspirational.