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From Pigeons to Tweets Hardcover – January 15, 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

LTG Mac McKnight is a U.S. Army Signal Corps icon and a recognized leader in the Joint community. His hallmarks are his plain talk, integrity, finding a way and championing education. Young readers will find this interesting journey a fun read with a bonus of lessons in adventure, persistence and turning challenge into success. Older readers will identify with and relive the excitement that comes with new assignments, accomplishments and insights gained. --Lt. Gen. Peter A. Kind (USA-Ret), Former Chief of Signal --Maj. Gen. Alan B. Salisbury,(USA- ret), Chairman and CEO Code of Support Foundation

The book was great, and I hated to see it end. The story is presented with all the emotions one feels in life as the evolution of communication takes place, as tragedies pile up, as courage is summoned to speak critically to the powerful, as life winds down, and the final statement of how we should live our lives unfolds and is recorded. What a life! The story is beautifully told and with a lot of humor. McKnight is a funny person. The readers of this book should be thankful that McKnight took some time off to live in his memories as he tells his story. --Professor Simon Perry, Professor Emeritus, Marshall University

This is a terrific true-life adventure of a world class soldier and citizen. -- --Honorable John G. Grimes, former Asst. Sec. of Defense and Senior Director White House Security Council

The U.S Army s magazine "On Point, The Journal of Army History" reviewed retired Lt. General Clarence McKnight s autobiography From Pigeons to Tweets published by History Publishing Company deeming it informative, humorous, and self-effacing. It is refreshingly honest, with McKnight admitting, for example, that he has reached his sunset years still nurturing a love-hate relationship with the Signal Corps. Quoting one engineer that the Signal Corps is not (...really sexy...not nearly as cool as paratroopers jumping out of airplanes. This...should not deter readers. The military s ability to communicate often dictates its success...Despite its focus on the Signal Corps and military communications, this autobiogrqphy is sure to have something for nearly every reader. --Melissa Ziobro, On Point, The Journal of Army History

This is a terrific true-life adventure of a world class soldier and citizen. -- --Honorable John G. Grimes, former Asst. Sec. of Defense and Senior Director White House Security Council

About the Author

Clarence McKnight was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1929 and graduated West Point in 1952.He rose to general officer status going on to head both tactical and strategic communications commands before becoming deputy commandant and commandant of the Signal Training Centre and commanding general of Fort Gordon in 1976. After eighteen months, he became the first three-star commander of the Army Communications Command, Fort Huachuca, with more than 33,000 soldiers and civilians spread throughout fourteen countries. At Fort Gordon, he witnessed the merger of tactical and strategic communications
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: History Publishing Company LLC; First edition (January 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933909234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933909233
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,225,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
From Pigeons To Tweets is a fascinating story that weaves the history of telecommunications and technology development, advances, and uses during the period from the Korean War to present.

It highlights major events, including launch of Sputnik, Cuban missile crisis, Viet Nam War, collapse of the Berlin Wall, breakup of Bell System, and global war on terrorism, by focusing on the challenges and opportunities faced by the U.S. Military during them. The author, Lt. Gen. Clarence "Mac" McKnight, U.S. Army (retired), a 1952 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, also intersperses his educational, professional, and personal lives with these events and evolution of technology.

Gen. McKnight served in the Korean War when they literally used carriers pigeons to help headquarters communicate with frontline troops. Over the years, as his career advanced to becoming a three-star, Gen. McKnight eventually headed the U.S. Army Signal Corps worldwide with more than 30,000 troops under his command.

Although Gen. McKnight retired in 1987 after 35 years of active service to his country, he has remained very active serving on boards of directors for many organizations, including the National Science Center, Community Learning and Information Network, and the National Trust for the Wounded Warriors, among others.

He also is a strong advocate for lifelong learning and education, including science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics, and music (STEAM2). Gen. McKnight is committed to helping people of all ages, especially children and youth, to be educated.

Over the years, Gen. McKnight has received many awards and honors for his distinguished service, including the West Point Association of Graduates 2008 Distinguished Graduate Award.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a rollicking and thoroughly absorbing memoir by a man who rose to the highest ranks of the U.S. Army's Signal Corps (the branch that focuses on communications technology) and who had a reputation for hands-on effectiveness in setting up communications systems. ("McKnight could communicate from Hell," says one of his colleagues--as a compliment.)

McKnight lived through some of the darkest moments in US military history (he served in both Vietnam and Korea) and suffered significant personal tragedy--yet his passion, idealism, and wicked sense of humor bubble through at every point.

This is a fantastic book, whether you're interested in military history, technology, politics, or all three. If you think you might be interested, read it. You'll be glad you did!
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Format: Hardcover
After graduating from West Point in 1952, Clarence E. McKnight, Jr. had a long and eventful military career that included: (1) combat duty during the Korean War; (2) various postings around the world and the United States; and (3) attaining the rank of Lt. General. With a military career based primarily on the Signal Corps, Lt. Gen. McKnight was involved in the implementation of tremendous changes in military communications that were brought about by the digital revolution.

The book does a very good job of describing the Lt. Gen. McKnight's military career from an insider's perspective, and provides a very readable narrative about the military's challenging transition from WWII-vintage communications equipment to digital communications equipment. Written in a readable style, the book does not require a reader to have prior knowledge or experience with communications technology to follow the narrative.

The one weakness with the book is Lt. Gen. McKnight's occasional passing comments on political issues and controversies that occurred during his career. Although those comments clearly reflect his personal views and opinions, they are generally brief comments that provide no particular insight or helpful perspective on the political issues and controversies mentioned. Fortunately, they do not detract from the core of the book's narrative, which is Lt. Gen. McKnight's military career, and the challenges the U.S. military faced in modernizing its communications technology
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Format: Hardcover
Wonderful book for those of us who have always been communicationally challenged. I have to say I am somewhat biased because General McKnight was one of my father's best friends and responsible for guiding me to West Point and to serve 10 years in the US Army. As an Armor Officer, I see how Gen Mac's influence in communications shaped my service to this country. Thanks for a look into your service and always being there for my family and me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
WOW! What a full life. This book is an enjoyable historical look at the evolution and role of the Signal Corps of the US Army written by the person who lived it. It is both entertaining and informative. Even though I want to Navy, I have to admit this West Pointer is a great American.
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