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Making the Corps Paperback – October 2, 1998
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With the end of the cold war, the role of the American military has shifted in emphasis from making war to keeping peace. "The best way to see where the U.S. military is going is to look at the marines today," says Ricks, as the other armed forces have begun to emulate the marine model. To understand Parris Island--a central experience in the life of every marine--is to understand the ethos of the Marine Corps. Ricks examines the recent changes in the Standard Operating Procedures for Recruit Training (the bible of Parris Island), which indicate how the corps is dealing with critical social and political issues like race relations, gender equality, and sexual orientation. Making the Corps pierces the USMC's "sis-boom-bah" mythology to help outsiders understand this most esoteric and eccentric of U.S. armed forces. --Tim Hogan
From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I think Thomas Ricks did a great job with the material that he had, but I don't think he had enough material to write a book. He originally intended (or so we were told) to just write an article which appeared in The Wallstreet Journal and was a very good article, but I got the feeling he added a lot of "fluff" to lengthen the work into a book. He was only there a handful of times over the course of bootcamp and if he was intending to write a book, should have spent more time with us. I know he made some assumptions about recruits that were not necessarily true (particularly about Recruits Prish and Winston) and I think he could of done a better job on following up with us after bootcamp. I think it was a really good book about bootcamp in general, but fell short in the area of what we went through personally and how we felt.
This book gives you an idea of how new recruits become Marines and how the Corps is different from the other services. If you love a Marine, or a young person who wants to become one, this is an excellent introduction. In addition to the bootcamp stories, you learn about the culture of the Marines. I know that I was fascinated by the authors comments on how much more relaxed Marines are with the press, how innovative they can be, and how much harder it is to get a promotion.
The book is not all complimentary. There are interesting issues raised about the conflict between Marine and civilian culture. The book was originally published in peace time, and that also made a difference in the attitudes of the people portrayed in the book.
Ricks does a superb job of capturing the challenges and triumphs of a real platoon undergoing bootcamp at the Corps' legendary Parris Island Recruit Depot. He explores the recruits' backgrounds and responses to the transforming bootcamp experience. Unlike some other works which seem to exaggerate certain perspectives, this book is an honest, realistic and well-written collection of astute, in-depth observations. You will understand how the Corps continues to thrive while keeping their numbers small, standards high, and traditions strong.
This book also analyzes the growing cultural gap between the USMC and the very society from which it comes. Ricks did extensive research into this gap and carefully weaves it in all throughout the book. He accurately describes the USMC cultural experience and compares it to what you see and don't see in today's society. If you have never given this gap much thought, you will find yourself wondering why you never noticed it before.
Being a Marine, I loved this book. Being a part of American society, I was intrigued and entertained by this book. I recommend this book to any Marine and all citizens who ever considered becoming a Marine, running for public office, or know others who have done either one. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful book I read while on restriction and had all electronics taken away. I ordered so many USMC books and this one stuck out in the style of writing and content.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
My son recently graduated from Marine boot camp and I read the book to get an idea of what he would face. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Betty Boop
This book is a gold mine of information for one who wants to know what Marine Recruit training will be like. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Todd
I got this for my Sister right before going into the Marines. She said it REALLY helped her to know what to expect when she got there and really helped her deal with everything... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Alexis Short