Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Duty, Honor, Country: the motto of the United States Military Academy has resounded for more than 200 years. Stephen Ambrose charts the history of West Point from its origins in the Revolutionary War--when students attached to engineering and artillery regiments studied the rudiments of strategy, but mostly came and went as they pleased--to the academy's time of crisis during the Vietnam War. Ambrose's narrative centers on West Point's superintendents, the Army officers who emphasized both tradition and innovation over the years--men such as Sylvanus Thayer, who commanded from 1817 to 1833 and who introduced customs that are still observed today; and Douglas MacArthur, who joined personal flamboyance with a deep-seated commitment to martial, academic, and athletic excellence. (Among MacArthur's other contributions was his codification of the "honor system," a set of self-policing regulations that distinguishes West Point from any other nation's military colleges.) Ambrose does not gloss over the academy's less exalted moments, especially the frictions brought on by the Civil War, when many Northerners accused West Point as a whole of being proslavery. Writing in an afterword that brings the history of the academy to the present, former superintendent Andrew Goodpaster confronts such matters as the honor code scandal of 1976 and the cultural changes brought on by the admission of women to the academy in the same year. Yet this book is a fitting celebration of an institution that has been of central importance to the American military. Originally published in 1966, at the start of his career, Duty, Honor, Country shows Stephen Ambrose's skills as researcher and popularizer, skills that he would go on to develop in such later books as Undaunted Courage and Citizen Soldiers. --Gregory McNamee
Throughout history every great nation has kept in its treasure-chest an academy for advanced learning and military training. Steven Ambrose's history leaves the reader with a greater understanding of the relationship between our treasure, West Point, and the society it supports.(Parameters)
There have been many other histories of West Point, but this is the best... From this excellent book every American will find interest and take pride in this truly national institution that has played so great a part in the building of the country.(Historical Time)
The title of this first-rate account of the United States Military Academy is drawn from the Academy's motto... [Ambrose] follows the long gray line through history, skillfully re-creating the administrations of West Point's outstanding superintendents (Sylvanus Thayer and Douglas MacArthur), telling some amusing anecdotes about cadets 'who simply refused to conform to the West Point mold' (James McNeill Whistler and Edgar Allan Poe).(New York Times Book Review)
The conception of West Point, as Ambrose makes clear in his short history of the Military Academy, was immaculately Jeffersonian. It was a school to train engineers―that most liberal, nonaristocratic, and socially useful branch of the military service―not in order to create a corps d'élite but to provide the reservoir of military expertise which was needed if the militia ideal were to become a practical reality... Ambrose has told this story clearly and well; he is at his best in tying it to the larger context of American politics, social attitudes, and higher education.(Journal of American History)
A welcome addition to the growing literature on military education. Ambrose covers the whole history of West Point, from the first feeble beginnings under President Jefferson down to the present. He has carefully examined both the published and unpublished sources and has rounded out the basic data with numerous interviews.(Journal of Higher Education) See all Editorial Reviews
A good history of the military academy from its inception to the mid-1960's.
An early work by Dr. Read more
I am the proud father of a West Point graduate. I know the experience has only made him a better person and given him the tools to create the life he desires. Read morePublished 18 months ago by James E. Streams
Ambrose's history of West Point is probably the best I've read. He tends to split his organization into both superintendent's years and major historical accounts. Read morePublished on July 6, 2013 by Jason
Learn more about our military history from its grass roots. Lots of really cool facts and stories about the Army. Must have for military historians.Published on May 12, 2013 by Gary J Cimperman
An insightful look into the making of a "West Point" graduate, the back bone of our Army officer corp.Published on April 3, 2007 by Lloyd F. Mercer
Ambrose complied a great deal of information into a concise, readable, text that will give the reader a deeper insight into the country's most important military institution.Published on January 3, 2003