Combustible

Igniting Spontaneous Banter

Recommended by Bill

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Profiles In Courage by John F. Kennedy

Written by then Senator John F. Kennedy, this book could have been titled: "So, This Is The Hill You Want To Die On." It's the collected stories of eight U.S. Senators who made choices to go against their own party or the public in the interest of doing what was right. It's an empowering book for an idealist (yours truly in my more self indulgent moments,) but also a very harsh book when you realize the terrible price standing on your principles can exact.

This book, like my last recommendation, doesn't appear on the outside like a book aimed at rookie firefighters. But I think this book is perfect for rookie firefighters because they have a tendency to think that every hill is worth dying on. Granted, there are definitely times to take a stand, but seasoned firefighters and officers in a department get tempered throughout their careers to learn when to make a stand and when to live to fight another day.

This book very effectively highlights instances where it was important to make a stand. The hill was certainly worth dying on. It's a lesson for newer firefighters because whether you can wear shorts as part of your station uniform isn't a hill worth dying on.

Recommended to all ranks (I mean, it won a Pulitzer Prize. What more do you want?)