The Beauty of West Point
In Absolutely American, David Lipsky digs deep into the interworking of West Point, and shows how the United States Military Academy molds civilians into "steely-eyed soldiers". This book is fascinating, because it does not just rely on the model cadet suppling all of the information, but those that were in danger of being separated from USMA. He gives a first hand account of all of the issues plaguing the South Hudson Institute of Technology, look at the letter each of the capitalized words begins with. Lipsky spent four years at West Point examining the transformations of civilians who get so stressed out on the first day at West Point, to the point where they forget their name, into second lieutenants willing and more than able to lead a company into battle. Lipsky mesmerizingly examines issues plaguing USMA, and in the broader sense, the military. One major issue confronting the cadets is dating, and the role of women in the Army. The male cadets in general seem to dislike the social reengineering of the military at their expense, and the women are caught between learning how to shoot a terrorist, and wondering if they should settle down to raise after their required active duty service is complete. Lipsky then shows how the Army reorganized itself to seem like an instant ladder to success in an attempt to recruit new soldiers, with a main criticism being that the approach is counterproductive to recruiting and retaining selfless leaders. In Absolutely American, Lipsky shows how the USMA and the Army underwent massive change despite criticism. Absolutely American is about the transformation of teenagers into leaders. It shows how an academy rightfully earned the slogan "At the academy, much of the history we teach was made by the people we taught." Reading about clueless, self-absorbed plebes who can say five responses, to leaders who can effectively manage a free college with four thousand potential officers is an...
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