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Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point Paperback – May 11, 2004
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From The New Yorker
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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He sets about following one class that reports in July for "Beast Barracks" where new cadets or plebes are whipped into shape, must learn military courtesy and how to march. Lipsky must also develop an ear for the traditional jargon of West Point, some of which are many decades old. First, it is not West Point Military Academy, but the United States Military Academy at West Point, a promontory within academy borders. Freshmen are fourth classmen or more commonly known as plebes. Sophomores are third classmen and informally known as yearlings or yuks. Juniors are second classmen and are informally known as cows. The seniors are called first classmen, and are informally known as firsties.
The author starts out with a brief history of cadets fighting in past wars and fighting each other in the Civil War with the utmost lethality while maintaining the utmost civility for each other. Where the country could not stay together, the bond amongst cadets was inseparable in spite of uniforms of different color. I wish Lipsky had spent a little more time on this, which he managed to write with some humor.Read more ›
In their West Point and post-West Point experiences, the characters display an up-by-the-bootstraps tenacity that is so much a part of our country's heritage. Absolutely American casts the best of our country's young people in the bright light of hope: They are human; they love their country; and they will steward our precious legacy.
Author Lipsky brings to every reader the essence of what one of our most cherished institutions means to us today. The book's greatest strength is that it does not indulge us endlessly with U.S. Military Academy history and lore. (Make no mistake - the Academy's ardent supporters among us get our fill.) Rather, the author offers us an amazing glimpse inside the minds and hearts of his subjects - real people with real feelings handling real challenges. Why do they do what they do? What drives them? What are their hopes and dreams?
No sugarcoating here. West Point cadets live in a complex world in which they might trade loyalty for duty, where uneasy bonds are forged in a crucible of unrelenting demands, where a 4-year series of rapid-fire "wake up calls" defines one's coming of age.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read. Gives you a real appreciation on how special these young leaders are and the challenges they deal with each day during their years at WP.Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great, in-depth and insider coverage on cadet life at West Point. Go Army!!!Published 5 months ago by Chris
Good book if you have a son or daughter attending West Point.Published 7 months ago by Curtis W Smith
Having known several former students in my high school classes, I have long been curious about their experiences at "The Point".
I am a 1979 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, so this book had special significance for me. The author's honest yet compelling style puts you directly into The Corps of Cadets. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Stephen F. Clark
I was looking forward to reading this, but it turned out to be not what I thought it would be. It's more of a collection of personal stories of the writers' experience and the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by J. Daniels
I can see all the work that went into this book but to me, the writing seemed very dis conjoined and confusing. Read morePublished 14 months ago by hobbes