A Book Review
UNDAUNTED, Surviving Jonestown, Summing Courage, Fighting Back
Written by: Jackie Speir
Reviewed by: Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown January 3, 2019
Personal Note: I am old enough to remember the massacre at Jonestown where over 900 people were murdered and Congressman Ryan was murdered. Congresswoman Speir was a staffer for Congressman Ryan and she was shot multiple times and as she struggled to survive, Congressman Ryan’s lifeless body lay only feet away.
This is one of the more interesting books I have ever read. Everyone goes through life and experiences its ups and downs but Congresswoman Speir has certainly had more than her fair share of downs followed by significant ups. In my opinion she is a remarkable woman and her story needs to be heard.
This book is about facing life’s challenges and staring them down. It’s about in her words, “getting over it!” The book is a lesson for everyone as to what personal focus and raw determination will accomplish for you provided you learn how to use both as Congresswoman Speir has and continues to use.
A word of caution: If you consider yourself anywhere right of the political center, you may find portions of this book objectionable. In the early part of the book Congresswoman Speir lays out what her personal beliefs and principles are and they are without fault. But I found several contradictions between her principles and her actions. For example, she is for women’s rights and sexual abuse victims’ rights yet she supported Hillary Clinton who in my opinion was one of the biggest enablers who permitted her husband to not only abuse women, she attacked the women he abused. Not what I would call consistent. Of a larger concern, at least for me, is that she aligns herself with the Democratic Party and expounds on her Catholic upbringing and faith. I find that a contraction of the highest order. The Democratic Party (including Clinton and Obama) supports Planned Parenthood who through abortions have killed more people (and yes babies are people) than the number killed during WWII.
As great and as admirable as her story is, such contradictions take away from the overall story because they do contradict her principles and beliefs.
Still, the book is a very compelling read. I hate to use the overused phrase that it is a book that I couldn’t put down but it IS a book I couldn’t put down. In spite of the contradictions, I admire her work ethic, her tenacity and her vision. She IS to be admired!
Who should read this book? Anyone who wants to read a real life story that should motivate anyone who might be facing obstacles in their life and isn’t that everyone?
Would I recommend it to a friend? ABSOLUTELY and already have!
Would I buy it as a gift? ABSOLUTELY!
Will I read it again? Probably not because once you read it you understand what she writes about and how she reacted to serious adversities in her life.