Academy: A Novel of West Pointby Ed Ruggero
Once in a generation, a novel captures the full scope and drama of the U. S. military experience, with characters and conflicts that come unforgettably to life. Now Ed Ruggero, who "writes about wars and warriors with the same I-have-been-there, no-nonsense authority as Hemingway" (Col. David H. Hackworth, USA [Ret.], New York Times bestselling author of/i>
Once in a generation, a novel captures the full scope and drama of the U. S. military experience, with characters and conflicts that come unforgettably to life. Now Ed Ruggero, who "writes about wars and warriors with the same I-have-been-there, no-nonsense authority as Hemingway" (Col. David H. Hackworth, USA [Ret.], New York Times bestselling author of About Face), draws from his twenty-year association with West Point, the U.S. Military Academy, too create a classic for our time: a tale of probing authenticity and unrelenting suspense that takes us behind the stone walls and into the inner sanctums of one of the Army's most revered institutions.
A bitter wind is blowing from Washington across West Point, and Major Tom Gatesa muddy-boots soldier ill at ease in a spit-and-polish worldis about to face a battle more brutal than any he has ever known. It began with an all-to-human mistakeGates had too much to drink and pushed a cadet too farand it will explode into a political firestorm that could leave careers, lives, and West Point itself, in ruins.
Senator Lamar Bruckner has his eye on the White House, but his target is West Point. He flagrantly condemns the Academy as a waste of taxpayer money, a military ivory towerand Gates' momentary lapse in judgement is the first charge in a smear campaign that could propel Bruckner to the presidency. Caught in the middle of Bruckner's manhunt is Wayne Holder, a fourth-year cadet, whose golden surfer looks and reputation as a ladies' man are far from the pristine image of the Long Gray Line. But for Holder to join that line, he faces a private conflict between honor and desireupon which the ultimate fate of the Academy rests. Now, enemy lines are drawn in a war of political motives and personal emotion that touches many lives...
Kathleen Gates, Tom's wife, is as calculating as her husband is bullheaded, and she will use any weapon to protect him. Bruckner's aide, Claude Braintree, has come to West Point to further the senator's careerand will exploit the Academy to do it. Alex Trainor, a cadet from the heartland, is trapped in a personal crisis that shatters his conservative ideals. And Brigadier General David Simon dreams of taking control of the Point to re-create it in his own image.
In The Academy, Ed Ruggero brilliantly captures the honor and the controversy, the glory and the human flaws of West Point and its people. With prose as crisp as a flag snapping in th wind, this thrilling portrayal will resonate long after the last page is turned.
Early in the school year, as West Point braces for a potentially shattering inquiry by White Houseminded Senator Lamar Bruckner, Major Tom Gates injures one of his student charges in the wake of an ill-advised disciplinary exercise. Because the overzealous officer (not a USMA grad) had been drinking before the incident, he could receive a career-ending letter of reprimand. Aware that her husband's actions could have unfortunate consequences, Kathleen Gates (an unsentimental Army brat who might teach Lady Macbeth a thing or two) launches a thoroughgoing damage- control program that extends from the sexual seduction of a hang- loose senior cadet named Wayne Holder through an under-the-table deal with the Academy's dean and an offer of perjured testimony to the Bruckner Commission's scandal-oriented investigators. Vying for the favor of their unscrupulous patron, however, the preppy hawkshaws invariably work at cross purposes, as do most of the randy, ambitious administrators and faculty members in their sights. At the 11th hour, the exacting duty/honor/country code drummed into the Army's officer corps during its West Point days helps principals pick their way through a host of conflicting agendas. At no small cost, following his roommate's suicide, Holder (an unlikely candidate for assuming responsibility of any sort) takes the decisive steps necessary to neutralize those who would do the institution serious injury for personal gain.
A labor-of-love yarn in which the USMA (the author's alma mater) and its largely admirable traditions figure prominently in a neatly plotted conspiracy notable for a larger-than-life female villain.
- DIANE Publishing Company
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