Duty, Honor, Country: A History of West Point

Overview

This new paperback edition of Stephen E. Ambrose's highly regarded history of the United States Military Academy features the original foreword by Dwight D. Eisenhower and a new afterword by former West Point superintendent Andrew J. Goodpaster.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Overview

This new paperback edition of Stephen E. Ambrose's highly regarded history of the United States Military Academy features the original foreword by Dwight D. Eisenhower and a new afterword by former West Point superintendent Andrew J. Goodpaster.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Parameters

Throughout history every great nation has kept in its treasure-chest an academy for advanced learning and military training. Steven Ambrose's history leaves the reader with a greater understanding of the relationship between our treasure, West Point, and the society it supports.

Historical Time

There have been many other histories of West Point, but this is the best... From this excellent book every American will find interest and take pride in this truly national institution that has played so great a part in the building of the country.

New York Times Book Review

The title of this first-rate account of the United States Military Academy is drawn from the Academy's motto... [Ambrose] follows the long gray line through history, skillfully re-creating the administrations of West Point's outstanding superintendents (Sylvanus Thayer and Douglas MacArthur), telling some amusing anecdotes about cadets 'who simply refused to conform to the West Point mold' (James McNeill Whistler and Edgar Allan Poe).

Journal of American History

The conception of West Point, as Ambrose makes clear in his short history of the Military Academy, was immaculately Jeffersonian. It was a school to train engineers—that most liberal, nonaristocratic, and socially useful branch of the military service—not in order to create a corps d'élite but to provide the reservoir of military expertise which was needed if the militia ideal were to become a practical reality... Ambrose has told this story clearly and well; he is at his best in tying it to the larger context of American politics, social attitudes, and higher education.

Journal of Higher Education

A welcome addition to the growing literature on military education. Ambrose covers the whole history of West Point, from the first feeble beginnings under President Jefferson down to the present. He has carefully examined both the published and unpublished sources and has rounded out the basic data with numerous interviews.

Booknews
After West Point's somewhat chaotic first ten years, Sylvanus Thayer took control in 1877, beginning its illustrious history as both a military academy and a scientific institution that even civilian schools have sought to imitate. This reprint of the 1966 publication includes its original foreword by Dwight D. Eisenhower and a new afterword by former West Point superintendent, Andrew J. Goodpasture. Ambrose is a widely published historian and founder of the D-Day Museum in New Orleans. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801862939
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1999
  • Pages: 377
  • Sales rank: 274,890
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.12 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen E. Ambrose

Stephen E. Ambrose is the author of many books on American history, including Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West and Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany, June 7, 1944 to May 7, 1945. He is also the founder of the National D-Day Museum, in New Orleans.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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    1. Also Known As:
      Stephen Ambrose
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 10, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Whitewater, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Death:
      October 13, 2002
    2. Place of Death:
      Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2000

    An oft forgotten side of US history.

    I found this early work of Ambrose to be an easy and interesting read and would recommend it to anyone interested in the history of the Military Academy. While the history of the academy is quite rich, Ambrose does an excellent job of providing a concise review of its significant points. The detailed narrative that readers of 'Undaunted Courage' might expect are lacking in this work, but I believe 'Duty, Honor, Country' flowed much more smoothly and was much easier to read. The book maintains a common thread throughout dealing with the mission of the academy and the expectations of the country for the academy and its graduates. The author does a wonderful job of laying the foundation for the academy's shaky beginnings in the young United States. As a graduate of West Point, I found Ambrose's analysis of its culture to be quite insightful. Since this book was originally published in 1964, the many recent changes which have challenged the academy are not covered -- I would dearly love to see Ambrose update this work The publishers of the current addition have attempted to provide an update by including an afterword by General Goodpaster, a grad and former superintendent. Unfortunately, I question the General's understanding and insight into the events of the last thirty years, especially the period covering the Vietnam era of the seventies. To a large degree I found the General's comments to be a somewhat self-serving review of the post-Vietnam changes at the academy - many of which he was instrumental in. In any event, those interested not only in the history of West Point, but also in the formative history of the early U.S., will find this book to be most enjoyable.

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