The book received national attention over the July 4th weekend with an interview with Beck by Anderson Cooper on CNN. A thoughtful review appears in the Daily Beast, as excerpted briefly below:
“Washington-area psychologist Anne Speckhard, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Medical Center, was running late for her appointment with Chris Beck one night in early February when she arrived at Freddie’s in Crystal City, Va.
“I didn’t realize Freddie’s was a gay bar, and I was late so I was looking around for him frantically among all these men,” Speckhard tells me. “Then I spotted a quite nice-looking woman at the bar—very elegant, not a drag-queen kind of thing. She wore a padded bra, and I would say nice clothes with good labels probably bought at a discount store, and a really good wig—brown hair.”
“That was Speckhard’s first meeting with Kristin Beck—Chris Beck’s feminine and, as it turned out, authentic persona. During a five-hour conversation over crab cakes, wine, and mixed drinks, Beck persuaded the good doctor to help her—her, not him—write the story of her life. The result—after more than 100 hours of interviews that often resembled psychotherapy, and a solid month at Speckhard’s computer keyboard from 9 a.m. to midnight—is Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy SEAL’s Journey to Coming Out Transgender.
“It is, to state the obvious, an unusual autobiography, mixing hair-raising firefights against Taliban thugs with hair extensions, pantyhose, sundresses, and high heels. Speckhard recalls that when she and Kristin were toiling on the book in Tampa, Fla., where the former SEAL lives in a beautifully landscaped home she calls “Misfit Mansion,” they would occasionally be out on the town. “Whenever I would walk behind her and she was wearing a dress, I would think, ‘Those are great legs!’”
“Since Warrior Princess was released digitally a few days ago by Advances Press, Speckard’s mom-and-pop publishing house that she runs from her home in McLean, Va., reporters, cable television bookers, and other sensation-seekers have been calling nonstop. The book, also out in hardcover, has been selling briskly. Apparently overwhelmed by all the hoopla and worried about the impact on her two teenage sons from the first of two failed marriages, Kristin has been notably press-shy. Clearly, this bungee-jump into the media circus is more terrifying to a warrior princess than dropping from a chopper into a hot LZ.Written in third person, the memoir tells a riveting story that cries out for a movie star—Brad Pitt, are you listening?—to bring it to a studio and turn it into a Hollywood blockbuster.”