Sunday, October 27, 2002
No one plans to die in a terrorist attack. But anyone who reads "Heart of a Soldier" will find the death of Rick Rescorla at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 somehow fitting.
Rescorla, the security director for Morgan Stanley, died a hero, heading upstairs to find more people after he had helped save thousands who worked with him. It was a final act of heroism in a life filled with it.
Born in Cornwall, England, Cyril Richard Rescorla grew up looking for worlds to conquer, but he came of age in the waning days of the empire. For him, the life of imperial Britain described in the writings of Rudyard Kipling would be only an inspiration, never reality.
Author James B. Stewart, a writer for The New Yorker and one of today's best practitioners of long-form journalism, has ably captured Rescorla, his appeal and his unshakable charisma.
The book's subtitle is on target; it is a story of love, heroism and Sept. 11. It's also one of sadness, loss, devotion and how people recapture meaning in their lives after having their most compelling experiences in early adulthood.