This is another great collection of stories of Col. Jeff Cooper's life, this time written by the Col. himself (as opposed to the tales his daughter tells in "The Soul and the Spirit"). The Col. was lucky to grow up in a wonderful time and enjoyed considerable privilege as the son of a fairly wealthy man. Yet, unlike so many others in similar shoes, Col. Cooper developed an amazing sense of responsibility and independence for it.
He got to spend summers on Catalina island exploring the land and swimming and fishing the seas, killing wasps with a sabre and shooting sharks with all manner of firearms. As a young man we learn of his adventures in the Marines, both in training and at war, and his inventive journey home. Post-war, we get to look over his shoulder as he explores the wild remotes of Central America for fun and adventure. Lastly we are taught about all manner of African fauna and the honorable pursuit of such. While clearly opinionated, Col. Cooper is a joy to read and learn from—a real man's man with an appreciation for the finer things in life and an ability to clearly communicate those values to anyone willing to listen.
Sadly, the Col. passed away on September 25th, 2006 at the age of 86. At the conclusion of "Another Country" you can tell that he is acutely aware that he is in the winter months of his life. As he writes in the final paragraph of the book:
"An iron constitution, an inquiring mind, a high pain threshold, a great talent for appreciation, brilliant parents, continuous learning, rewarding labor, an adventurous disposition—and above all a perfect wife and a beautiful family—such blessings cannot be deserved, but they are deeply and humbly appreciated."
We should all be so lucky and strive towards so much. Godspeed, Col. Cooper.