Courage Under Fire: Testing Epictetus's Doctrines in a Laboratory of Human Behavior (Paperback)

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Courage Under Fire: Testing Epictetus's Doctrines in a Laboratory of Human Behavior By James B. Stockdale Cover Image
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"On September 9, 1965, I flew at 500 knots right into a flak trap, at tree-top level, in a little A-4 airplane—the cockpit walls not even three feet apart—which I couldn't steer after it was on fire, its control system shot out. After ejection I had about thirty seconds to make my last statement in freedom before I landed in the main street of a little village right ahead. And so help me, I whispered to myself: 'five years down there, at least. I'm leaving the world of technology and entering the world of Epictetus' "What Epictetus [told] his students was that there can be no such thing as being the 'victim' of another. You can only be a 'victim' of yourself. It's all how you discipline your mind."

About the Author

Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale 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. He was tortured fifteen times and put in leg irons for two years. As the highest-ranking naval officer held during the Vietnam War he organized the POWs in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" to provide them with a sense of hope and empowerment. 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. 
His books include Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot (1995, Hoover Institution Press), A Vietnam Experience (1984, Hoover Institution Press), Courage Under Fire (1993, 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. 
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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780817936921
ISBN-10: 0817936920
Publisher: Hoover Institution Press
Publication Date: December 1st, 1993
Pages: 32
Language: English
Series: Hoover Essays