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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
The Little Hospital That Could: A Personal Recollection of the 24th Medical Group at the Crossroads of History by Terrence O'Neil is a military memoir that details Terrence’s experiences while managing the operations of the 24th Medical Group that served during the Panama Canal handover. The book starts off with an introduction by Terrence to the scope of the project, its historical background, and how he came to be at the place in action at that time. What follows after that is a detailed narrative of his experiences as well as of some others as they worked towards making the Panama Canal handover a peaceful and seamless one for both sides. Included are many stories of actual events, people, and places that occurred during this two-year period including dealing with extreme weather, managing local politics, understanding the climate and the people, etc.
The Little Hospital That Could by Terrence O'Neil is a good book to read for information purposes as not many people are probably even aware of this massive operation and how important it was to manage it as seamlessly as possible. I liked reading the actual stories and experiences of the day to day life there, both in the military as well as a civilian living among the locals. I did find the book a bit technical at times, with elaborate military terminology and descriptions, which can make for dry reading, but others might find it fascinating. Overall, Terrence clearly writes with a passion for the cause and his detailed writing style reflects this. The photographs included and the names of actual people who worked there during that time adds a nice touch to this book.