Acclaim for Rule Number Two
"Heidi Kraft has given us a rare, insightful look into today's battlefield. It is personal, emotional, and unique. She captures a perspective that only a psychologist, mother, and officer on the front lines can describe. Every American needs to read this."
General Anthony C. Zinni
USMC (Retired), former commander of U.S. Central Command
"Dr. Heidi Kraft shows what it takes to do clinical mental health work in a war zone: the wisdom of Solomon, the practicality of Edison, the wit of Danny Kaye, and the iron of Chesty Puller."
Jonathan Shay, M.D., Ph.D.
author of Achilles in Vietnam and Odysseus in America
"Rule Number Two is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. It made me weep. It made me laugh. It made me proud. It is funny, sad, sweet and powerful. It is this war's M*A*S*H."
Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman
USA (Retired), author of On Killing and On Combat
“What comes through … is a notion that has become unfashionable: the idea of service. Rescuing the concept from the rah-rah language that too often surrounds it, Kraft presents the book just as she promises, less a record of her deeds than an attempt to honor those she served with. Her writing style is direct and honest, and every page provides evidence of the long-lasting effect her time in Iraq has had on her.”
Charles Taylor, Bloomberg Review, Jan 2008
“She holds hands with men in surgery…counsels suicidal Marines and colonels torn between concern for their men and the need to appear in control. She worries about her children back home. And she worries about her own increasing emotional numbness in the face of trauma. Finally, Kraft returns home. A junior psychiatric technician finds her sitting at her desk. "It's okay," he tells her, in one of this affecting book's most affecting moments, "if you're not okay."
Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times, 11/11/07
“The admiration and sympathy Dr. Kraft formed for these men and women, and for her colleagues, typifies the kind of intense and spontaneous bonding among groups thrown together into dire straits. There are moments of outstanding drama here.”
Daniel Menaker, Barnes and Noble Review, 11/2/07
“Rule Number Two reads journal-like, but is clearly a work of careful consideration that balances skillfully the demands of immediacy her stories compel and the reflection necessary to make sense of these stories. Kraft will, you feel, come out of it because of the book, and you hope that her other patients will because of her help.”
Michael Pugliese, Motif Magazine¸ 12/4/07
“In many ways, it’s a more accurate description of the realities of war than more traditional memoirs because it deals with the damage combat does to the psyches of men and women who fight – and how efforts to heal that damage can change the lives of combat veterans who treat them.”
Chris Amos, Navy Times, 12/17/07
“Some…who read this book may feel uncomfortable with … the display of raw emotions. But as Dr. Kraft reminds us, we’re all human, we’re in this war together, and we’ve got to take care of each other.”
Dr. Joseph Haines, Marine Corps Gazette, Jan 2008
“Rule Number Two” is … is a culmination of simple stories which affect many soldiers’ lives and their families. Dr. Kraft mentions some instances of horrifying helplessness, yet remarkable moments of hope in a desert war. The touch of a hand, the blood on boots, and just the right words…in war, as Dr. Kraft illustrates several times, the human condition is ever so fragile and deserves care.”
Mona Lisa Safai, Suite 101.com¸Dec 2007
“Emotional and powerful, it’s a piece of work that is worth sitting down with. Not only does Kraft write about her own fear and how she had to employ every psychological trick she knew to cope, but she also writes about the men and women she came across in her seven months in the desert. This book is not just her story — it’s all their stories.”
Mary Scott, Palos Verdes Peninsula News, 11/5/07
"Rule Number Two" offers no in-depth psychological analysis, but simple stories of individual struggles seen through the eyes of a practitioner who endures the same assaults on sanity as those she treats, underscoring the truth that even those escaping physical harm in combat do not return whole. Neither patient nor provider is spared, a truth reflected in the book's title.”
Ann E. Yow, Seattle Times, 11/16/07
“The welcome mat for memoirs by veterans of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom might never wear out so long as they write with the sincerity of Heidi Squier Kraft…(who) wins respect with genuine empathy.”
J. Ford Huffman, Military Times, 10/26/07
“A necessary but uncomfortable book for anyone wishing to understand…”
Jay Freeman, Booklist, 10/15/07