One can tell a lot about someone from the way in which they interact with their subordinates and Barcott was genuinely excited to be in the company of young Marines (Barcott served 4 years active duty and 4 years reserve in the Marine Corps). He spoke about the peaks and valleys of his time in the Corps and in Kenya candidly and sincerely. It was refreshing to hear such humility from such a gifted speaker and an individual who has done so much, who has given so much of himself. As Barcott concluded, he prodded the Marines for questions and solicited their opinions. Before their group left, he shook each of their hands and handed them his business card, asking if they would let him know what they thought of his book or if they just had questions for him.
I am already about 30 pages into the book and I can tell you that the 9 years during which Barcott penned this memoir, during which he poured his heart and soul were well spent (Not to mention that it's been lauded by none other than Stephen Pressfield! Stephen Pressfield! is one of my favorite writers, period...well except for Killing Rommel which I found hard to get through).
The premise of Barcott's work in Kibera is derived from the idea that "Talent is universal; opportunity is not." I will update this blog periodically with my thoughts as I work through his book and see how this idea evolved.
ATTENTION: I'VE PUT TOGETHER A STARTER AFRICA READING LIST HERE.