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Extended Audio Sample Once an Eagle: A Novel Audiobook, by Anton Myrer Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00030470914127 out of 54.00030470914127 out of 54.00030470914127 out of 54.00030470914127 out of 54.00030470914127 out of 5 4.00 (1,083 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anton Myrer Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2011 ISBN: 9781470804367
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Once an Eagle is the story of one special man, a soldier named Sam Damon, and his adversary over a lifetime, fellow officer Courtney Massengale. Damon is a professional who puts duty, honor, and the men he commands above self-interest. Massengale, however, brilliantly advances his career by making the right connections behind the lines and in Washington’s corridors of power.

Beginning in the French countryside during the Great War, the conflict between these adversaries solidifies in the isolated garrison life marking peacetime, intensifies in the deadly Pacific jungles of World War II, and reaches its treacherous conclusion in the last major battleground of the Cold War—Vietnam.

A study in character and values, courage, nobility, honesty, and selflessness, here is an unforgettable story about a man who embodies the best in our nation—and in us all. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A remarkable novel…Utterly engrossing. Myrer is a superb storyteller, one of the few gifted novelists now writing who cares about the art of narration and is a master of it…A grim, exciting, and almost overwhelming account of twentieth-century war. It is an astute study of the mind and character of a good general and a good man. And it is a brilliant inside views of the life of a career officer in peace and war.”

    New York Times

  • “An ambitious, magnificently vivid novel…Compelling. The battle scenes are among the finest I have ever read.”


  • “At long last we have what critics have been saying was lost to modern novels—an honest-to-God hero…A natural.”


  • “I fully understand why Once an Eagle has become a classic novel of war and warriors. Sam Damon doesn’t preach, he lives his values, and they are universal not only military.”

    General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, US Army (Ret.), commander-in-chief, Desert Storm

  • “The work of a man who has thought long and hard about the nature of war and has come up with something more than the simple truism that it’s hell.”


  • “In ironic contrast, the story moves from jungle warfare to drawing rooms on the Potomac, and back again…Goes to the heart of our century.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “Reflects skillful research in military areas as well as technical mastery of the writing craft…Through the gentle but courageous character of Damon, Myrer graphically describes the criminal, dirty, wasteful, savage immorality of war…The army career man will look on it as a monument.”

    Denver Post

  • Once an Eagle may be America’s War and Peace and Anton Myrer a contemporary Tolstoy.”

    Louisville Courier-Journal

  • Once an Eagle deserves to rank with, or perhaps above, any one of those three truly great pieces of military fiction—Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage; Fix Bayonets! by Col. John W. Thomason, USMC; and What Price Glory, by Capt. Lawrence Stallings, USMC.”

    Armed Forces Journal

  • “The most outstanding novel I have seen in long years. And it is far and away the best work of fiction with a military background I have ever read.”

    Journal of the Armed Forces

  • “Inspects down to their most elusive motives those who have to make the agonizing command decisions.”

    Providence Journal

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lloyd | 2/15/2014

    " One of the war novels that I have ever read. Sam Damon joins the army as a private before WWI and dies as a general during Viet Nam. Very well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 12/30/2013

    " I enjoyed this book but if you don't enjoy war novels you are gonna wanna pass this one by. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annette | 12/24/2013

    " I thought this was an extremely compelling read. It really showed the difference between soldiers who are committed to each other and those out merely for themselves. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bradley | 12/20/2013

    " Amazing book. Great detail of war and Army structure and leadership. Shows the politics of Army command. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Daniel | 12/17/2013

    " long, drawn out and boring "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jess | 11/1/2013

    " this was a great book. i found it a bit long in places but it still was quite captivating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Owens | 10/12/2013

    " Really a fantastic war epic. Some very keen insights on the futility of war and the arrogance of the U.S. when it comes to imposing "democracy" on foreign lands. Longest book I ever read but well worth it. Very well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam | 7/26/2013

    " Context on a life lived in the military with impacts on life and live. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rob Nichols | 6/26/2013

    " Very very long. I loved every page. I learned a lot about America involvement in 20th century wars. I thought I knew, but now I am sure, war sucks. Everyone should read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bryan | 6/14/2013

    " This is an excellent story regarding true leadership and the frustrations faced by warriors and their families. Engaging, inspiring and at once disappointing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zoe | 4/27/2013

    " Fiction, but makes me feel like I got an insight into a old vet's thoughts and feelings. Very powerful! And funny, too, at times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt Danner | 8/25/2012

    " In addition to being a page-turner of an adventure, this is the single best book on leadership I've ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Basil Sands | 7/11/2012

    " One of my all time favorites "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kent | 1/23/2012

    " This is a novel about a military man from his high school through his service in WWI, WWII through early Vietnam War. Interesting and well-written. "

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About the Author
Author Anton Myrer

Anton Myrer (1922–1996) enlisted in the US Marine Corps following the attack on Pearl Harbor and served for three years in the Pacific. Wounded on Guam, he returned to Harvard, graduated, and began an illustrious literary career, during which he wrote such memorable novels as The Big War, The Last Convertible, and A Green Desire.

About the Narrator

Grover Gardner (a.k.a. Tom Parker) is an award-winning narrator with over eight hundred titles to his credit. Named one of the “Best Voices of the Century” and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned thirty-seven Earphones Awards.