Books about the Academies

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Stormtrooper30, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. Stormtrooper30

    Stormtrooper30 Member

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    Sorry for posting this here, but there is not a "general academy" forum.

    Does anyone know of any good books that describe the various service academies? I've read The Unforgiving Minute about West Point and it was great. I've also heard that Absolutely American is good for the USMA as well. Does anyone have any suggestions for the other service academies?
     
  2. KveTina

    KveTina Member

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    Oh what about the candidate guides for each academy? You can find them on Amazon and such.

    I saw a book in the library just a few hours ago, written by one of the first female graduates of West Point and describes her experience at West Point and as a military officer.

    It's called "In the Men's House" by Carol Barkalow. It sounded interesting, but I couldn't find it in the library D:

    EDIT: HAHAHA I just realized I saw I saw a book in the library and then said I couldn't find it in the library. What I meant was I saw it in the library archives, but couldn't find the actual book itself. Just wanted to clear that up. Lol.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
  3. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    I read that recently, and thought it was a good book, but not super. One I have bought for many people is called Battle Dress by Amy Efaw ('89 WP). She graduated a year after I did and I swear the book is the most realistic representation of WP I've read showing what life was like then (especially for a female). It's written for more a young teen audience, so quick and easy reading. A Matter of Trust (Mark Vakkur) was written by one of my husband's classmates ('86) who I had a few classes with. Interesting perspective on WP and a lot is realistic, but a bit bizarre by the end.

    Similar to Dress Grey (Lucian Truscott) - life at WP during the Vietnam War (but again a bit bizarre/out there). I read that book about a thousand times before I went to WP and just checked it out and re-read it a few weeks ago. Just found out he wrote a follow up book about some of the same characters (Full Dress Grey) 30 years later that I just finished last night. Not nearly as good of a book - more plot, less WP.

    About the only Navy one I can think of off the top of my head is A Sense of Honor (James Webb). Classic, but like Dress Grey, quite dated for these days. I just read a couple recommendations (I think one WP and one AF) somewhere else and have them on hold at the library - I'll try to update tomorrow when I pick them up if they're any good and what exactly the names/titles are.
     
  4. jscam87

    jscam87 Member

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    "A Sense of Honor" is GREAT for USNA. I actually read it while a Plebe. Some things never change.
    Not sure about the other Academies. Maybe something like "A Bus Driver's Guide to Colorado Springs..." would help those looking further west...
    Happy Holidays
     
  5. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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  6. Jezzie

    Jezzie USAFA Cadet

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    Here's a few I liked:

    For USMA: "In a Time of War" by Bill Murphy Jr. (this is a good reality check and a very good book)

    For USFA: "The Air Force Academy Candidate Book" by William L. Smallwood and Sue Ross (How to prepare, how to get in, how to survive)

    I got both of these through Amazon.com. They have a new AF book coming out early next year that you can pre-order.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
  7. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Duty First by Ed Ruggero. This is a great book especially for those seeking West Point - It is over 10 years old but gives a great explanation of West Point Cadet Leadership Development System.
     
  8. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    you can find it at Amazon.com
     
  9. Stormtrooper30

    Stormtrooper30 Member

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    Thanks for all the book suggestions. I'm definately going to have to look at these and see which ones I want to read first. I had no idea there were so many.
     
  10. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    As a goof we bought DS a couple of the Altemus' West Point Series books and I'm now reading: "Dick Prescott's First Year at West Point" by H. Irving Hancock and it's very interesting. :biggrin:
     
  11. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    My son came home from NASS all fired up about Navy. When he mentioned his squad leader, Mr. Dean :shake: , I told him he had to read A Sense of Honor. He told me he didn't want to read any more of my West Point books! Glad to tell him it was a Navy book for a change, and he really enjoyed it.

    While I like your suggestion for AF :wink: I did get one from the library yesterday that, although it seems to have a fairly stupid plot, does take place at USAFA, and there's actually quite a bit about doolie year and even recognition (which seems to be this huge secret) in it. Worth checking out though just for the AF info in it. Called "The Last Blue Mile" by Kim Ponders.

    Definitely a good suggestion! If you happen to have an iphone, you can download all 4 for 99 cents total (look for West Point Series). I found learning about WP (and life in general) during that time period to be fascinating, and even as a grad, there was a lot of information about the academy that I hadn't known. Ended up flagging/highlighting several things to ask my husband if he had known the origins of where they came from. Probably all stuff I was supposed to learn plebe year but somehow didn't! :rolleyes: Again these books are geared probably for young pre-teens but learning about the "Old Corps" could be fun for anyone.

    Another one I picked up yesterday, also by Ed Ruggero, is "The Academy". Another good book by the same author JAM recommended. Obviously about WP, but just one more point of view.
     
  12. 2012Cadet

    2012Cadet Member

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    For all academies: their respective "candidate books" (invaluable) and "Duty First" mentioned by JAM.
     
  13. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    I found in a time of war (about the class of 02) to be a great read. It focuses a lot on the experiences of the men and women as jo's serving in the war on terrorism.
    I also read absolutley american which I enjoyed as well. Focuses more on USMA and the stories of the featured cadets.
     
  14. Mindy G

    Mindy G Member

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    The Nightingales Song - USNA
    Lone Grey Line - USMA
    Sorry don't remember the authors.
    Bill Murphy's book about USMA was great and a reality check. I could not stop thinking about the men and women that he followed.
     
  15. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    While not specifically about an academy, The Unforgiving Minute is a really good read. (USMA gets a considerable amount of text, and USAFA gets a few pages)
     

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