©2003 David Lipsky; (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.
"Addictive....A story that could inspire even nonmilitary buffs to follow the cadets' careers like those of their favorite sports heroes." (Newsweek)
"A superb description of modern military culture and one of the most gripping accounts of university life....Powerful....Wonderfully told." (The New York Times Book Review)
I'm an Annapolis graduate but have found that we share the same memories and call to duty as West Point and Air Forc alumni. Lipsky captures the good and bad parts of an experience that is becoming more and more unique in America.
Great insight into the Academy...even if I'm nearly 15 years removed - I guess some things are timeless...even if the Corps has. Even greater insight into the emerging leaders of today's Army - the struggles they face to live up to the most stringent standards...the ones they place on themselves...as they prepare to lead our sons and daughters into combat. Well done Mr. Lipsky.
Incredibly intersting peek into West Point life, and life after West Point. I found myself getting attached to the cadets as they're going through their successes and failures. The only drawback to this audiobook is that the author reads his book as if he's reading someone else's book for the first time.
My son and I looked forward to listening to this book together. Unfortunately it was a disappointment for both of us.
The reason: the book focuses on mediocrity at an institution that should be the culdron for excellence. The author obviously has very limited personal military experience and chooses to focus on telling the story of the cadets who rather than excell at the academy choose to only meet the minimum. Yes, as with any underdog story he tries to get the reader to root for the runt of the litter. Instead I found myself wish that the main characters, who we in the Army referr to a shammers, would have been kicked out. These cadets are supposed to be leaders not the marginal at best that he shows them to be in the book.
I found myself in constant disbelief, as a MAJOR at 37 years of age even I passed the APFT for Airborne school, the same criteria that the one of the main characters failed over and over.
This could have been a book of excellence penned by an author with obvious talents. But by focusing on those who barely meet the minimum requirements he misses by a long shot the true character of the academy. Very unfortunate, and a very disappointing read.
The closest you will ever get to being there without going there as a Cadet. The author spent time with many cadets, officers and administrators at the real Military Academy. I have spoken with friends that he interviewed. He catches the spirit of what is great about the Military Academy
The book does a good job in showing you the life of cadets at West Point. I learned quite a few things that I did not know before reading the book. However, the only gripe that I have is that the narration is very dry and it took me a while to get through this one.
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