Reading List (Update):  a Difficult Journey

By | February 17, 2023

[February 17, 2023]  Not that long ago, I was a Soldier.  The life of those in the military is difficult for many reasons; I seemed to get the most difficult of assignments in the worst locations on Earth.  Perhaps I asked this job to be challenging, yes!  I deserved it.  Perhaps it was because I had “bad luck,” as one of my best friends said, joking that my career assignments were a function of my “FTA mentality.”  But there is one thing I never approached in difficulty or challenge, nor could I truly appreciate the struggles of the severely handicapped.  Today’s book, My Left Foot, is about one man’s fight for life and that learning to read, write, paint, type, dress himself, and function daily was something I can fully respect but never really appreciate.  Christy Brown’s story is about someone who never gave up.  He never gave up (and special thanks to his family) despite the darkest days any one person could endure.  My time in combat is short compared to this man.  To have a challenge is one of the requirements of learning to be a good human.  If that is true, and I believe it is, then Christy must be a good man.

My Left Foot, Christy Brown, 1954

“I want to live life.”  Now that is a philosophy of life we all can learn from.  My Left Foot is a book that tells the

My Left Foot, 1st Edition Cover

story of Christy Brown.  This is the autobiography of a remarkable Irish boy who wanted only to be ordinary.  Wracked from cerebral palsy from birth (a disorder that left him almost entirely spastic in his limbs) and recommended for institutionalization by medical staff, his parents refused to let their son go.  Social Worker Katriona Delahunt assisted Christy and encouraged him to develop his interests.  He showed a propensity for arts and literature.  Also, he demonstrated impressive physical agility with the only limb over which he had control, his left foot.  Christy matured into an accomplished artist without formal schooling.  Robert Collis, a noted author, discovered that Christy also had a natural flair for writing.  Collis helped him publish My Left Foot, a long-gestating autobiographical account of Christy’s struggle with everyday life amidst the active culture of Dublin, Ireland.

As one reviewer of the book wrote, reading the book is like “sitting down with you discussing many of the same fears, defeats, successes, inconsiderations shown the handicapped, to name a few of the mountains he had to climb and how they were overcome by his determination, faith, and an amazing endurance.”  Well written.  Christy gives you a visual and perspective that is hard to gain anywhere else.  Emotional, cheerful, provocative, enlightening, courageous, depressing, joyous, and wonderful, the book hands us a free lesson in humility.  That is why Christy Brown is a true hero.

Highly recommended.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).

 To go to the complete Professional Reading list, click on this direct link:

Side Note: Please remember and take a look at Tom Copeland’s reading blog.  His website, which I highly recommend, can be found here:

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

16 thoughts on “Reading List (Update):  a Difficult Journey

    1. Dead Pool Guy

      Simple, buy extra and give them away as gifts to young people and say good things about it.

  1. Mother Picasso

    Well, first things first. I had to pick myself up off the floor after reading this. Now I ordered the book. Great to have Gen. Satterfield bringing to us such an example of fortitude, courage, integrity, and how a loving family really works and that is sometimes very difficult.

  2. Kenny Foster

    Gen. Satterfield, please continue your Reading List book review. I’ve gone back and copied them all to my computer and will eventually get all those books for my personal bookshelf. And read them too.

    1. Emma Archambeau

      Hi Kenny, you and me have been regular readers and commentators on gen. Satterfield’s blog now for several years. Just saying I’ll be getting a copy of this book too. Great to see your comments today.

      1. Yusaf from Texas

        JT, Mr. Asper, Sadako Red, Army Captain, and many others are regular readers who all appreciate this blog. I esp. like that there are NO ADVERTISEMENTS to sort thru.

  3. Library Girl

    If you’re looking for inspiration and humbleness (is that a word?), then this book is for you.

  4. Georgie B.

    The movie is a true story based upon the book of the same title, and I think every family would enjoy it (it carries an ‘R’ rating because there are a few ‘f’ words scattered about, but nothing too extreme…and sometimes it’s difficult to understand the profanities anyway). Today, it might even be PG-13. Overall, the impact of Christy Brown’s story is powerful and inspirational, and the film was obviously a labor of love for all involved.

    1. Stacey Borden

      My Left Foot film is based upon the autobiography of Christy Brown who was born with cerebral palsy in Dublin, Ireland. The movie paints a picture of a child who was loved by his family and by the community which embraced him. He had a sense of humor, artistic talent and a strong determination. He starts a bar fight at one point and then flirts with his nurse the next. You can’t help but be caught up in his exuberance.

      1. Julia

        Saw the movie “My Left Foot” a couple of years ago. I had a friend who wanted to see it and I went along grudgingly. But I thoroughly appreciated the movie and now have ordered the book based on Gen. Satterfield’s recommendation. I will also note my bias that I also have a copy of “55 Rules for a Good Life” and “Our Longest Year in Iraq.”

  5. Nick Lighthouse

    Gen. Satterfield, you’ve had this Reading List book review section for many years and I must say that I do appreciate the fact that you are giving us some books that are more than simply educational but help us understand humility and other traits of proper leadership. Well done! And Thanks.

  6. Frank Graham

    I just found a 1st edition and purchased it. Now, to get the book My Left Foot in the mail.


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