Topeka Bob Dole's memoir is headed to every high school and public library in the state.
"One Soldier's Story" recounts Dole's wartime experiences and long recovery after he was seriously wounded in April 1945 while serving as an Army lieutenant in the Italian Alps.
Shell fragments damaged his spinal cord, leaving him with only limited use of his right arm, and he had to have one kidney removed because of a high fever during his recovery.
The Russell native went on to a 35-year career representing Kansas in Washington. He won the Republican presidential nomination in 1996, losing to President Clinton.
Contributions from Dole and other prominent Kansas politicians are paying for nearly 800 copies of the memoir to be shipped around Kansas. "One Soldier's Story," published by HarperCollins, went on sale this spring.
"The book is, of course, about a Kansas native - one of our very own - who has had a very interesting and challenging life," said John Pinegar, a Topeka resident who helped with the efforts to donate and distribute the book. "And the book is important for all Kansans to read.
"It shows how we face many of the difficult challenges that are presented to us during our lives," Pinegar said, "and how to address those issues and remain true in all that we do and make the best in all situations."