REVIEW: Jason Redman — “Overcome” (BOOK)

Jason Redman has published his second book, Overcome: Crush Adversity with the Leadership Techniques of America’s Toughest Warriors, and this volume chronicles the multitude of lessons he gleaned from his near-death experience serving in Iraqi. A decorated Navy SEAL, Redman sustained life-threatening injuries during an ambush. For readers unfamiliar with Redman and his story, the introduction portrays the ambush with excruciating detail. Redman has a genuine talent for placing readers at the scene. The four parts following the introduction examine Redman’s philosophy about how to survive and overcome life’s ambushes, the moments when crisis descends from out of nowhere and we are tested as seldom or never before.


Redman is not a novice author, but I am impressed by his obvious facility with the language. The easy conversational style of the prose gives it a sweep for readers it would have otherwise lacked in the hands of clumsier authors. One of the many keys to the book’s success is that Redman refrains from evangelizing to the readers in any way; he doesn’t come across with missionary zeal, but instead presents his ideas in well-reasoned fashion. The layout of the book is quite deliberate despite its aforementioned conversational style.

The book is not lengthy. I appreciate Redman not serving readers up a weighty tome full of long-winded meanderings, It is, in fact, well-neigh unimaginable he would do so. There’s a clear aesthetic working from the outset that prioritizes striking a direct and consistent dialogue with readers rather than Redman attempting to impress himself with the “sound” of his own voice. I believe the way he builds the book allows it to unfold in effective fashion; the presentation of his ideas comes at the reader in such a way one part flows into the other with a sense of inevitability.


The respect Redman commands allows him to draw on interview contributions from other respected figures such as General Stanley McChrystal, among others, and he weaves those alternative voices into the text with skill and an unerring instinct for where their point of view will add the most. Some readers may, admittedly, bristle at the uncompromising tone Redman takes during the book, never strident however, and find the way he breaks down how people respond to trials rather simplistic. A careful reading of the book, however, reveals that Redman has given thorough consideration to the issues the book raises. Moreover, it is no surprise that Redman has a tendency to view life in zero-sum terms. He has learned that at an enormous price.

Colin Jordan

Graduate: McNeese State University, Avid Beekeeper, Deep Sea Diver & Fisherman, Horrible Golfer