When it comes to Pyle and the war, the book is very good. The reporter was a prolific letter-writer, and Mr. Chrisinger draws heavily and judiciously from Pyle’s correspondence with two close friends and with his wife ... The book is good as well on another big riddle: why, over the course of five years, Pyle kept going back into the breach.
Chrisinger... chooses as his focus Pyle's personal traumas. In resurrecting those, he succeeds, though other aspects of Pyle's life remain elusive. In Chrisinger's telling, Pyle's story begins as an adult. There's little to show how the child became a man obsessed with telling stories at the expense of everything else.