The Long Gray Line: The American Journey of West Point's Class of 1966
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The Long Gray Line: The American Journey of West Point's Class of 1966

4.3 17
by Rick Atkinson
     
 

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"Enormously rich in detail and written with a novelist's brilliance . . . A very moving book." —James Salter, The Washington Post Book World

A classic of its kind, The Long Gray Line is the twenty-five-year saga of the West Point class of 1966. With a novelist's eye for detail, Rick Atkinson (author of An Army at Dawn) illuminates

Overview

"Enormously rich in detail and written with a novelist's brilliance . . . A very moving book." —James Salter, The Washington Post Book World

A classic of its kind, The Long Gray Line is the twenty-five-year saga of the West Point class of 1966. With a novelist's eye for detail, Rick Atkinson (author of An Army at Dawn) illuminates this powerful story through the lives of three classmates and the women they loved—from the boisterous cadet years, to the fires of Vietnam, to the hard peace and internal struggles that followed the war. The rich cast of characters also includes Douglas MacArthur, William C. Westmoreland, and a score of other memorable figures. The class of 1966 straddled a fault line in American military history, and Atkinson's masterly book speaks for a generation of American men and women about innocence, patriotism, and the price we pay for our dreams.

An immediate New York Times bestseller upon its original publication, the twentieth anniversary edition includes a new foreword by the author.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Enormously rich in detail and written with a novelist's brilliance… A very moving book.” —James Salter, The Washington Post Book World

“A story of epic proportions [and] awesome feat of biographical reconstruction… A difficult book to put down.” —Cullen Murphy, The Boston Globe

“The Long Gray Line is a profoundly moving saga in which the U.S. Military Academy at West Point stands center stage. In mufti or olive drab, at peace or war, amidst joy or grief, in life or death, the academy shapes all. The author has captured its ethos. If you want to see a slice of the nation's manhood in a drama of troubled times and find its heart, feel its emotions, sense its dilemmas, then read this book. It is a stunning story.” —Colin L. Powell

“More of a biography of a generation than of a class at West Point… Stark, shocking, jolting.” —John Eisenhower, Chicago Tribune (front page review)

“Journalism elevated to narrative history, a book like Neil Sheehan's Pulitzer Prize-winning A Bright Shining Lie. But better.” —USA Today

“A work as masterfully executed as it was conceived.” —Philadelphia Inquirer

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805099638
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
05/28/2013
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
640
Sales rank:
620,786
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Rick Atkinson is the bestselling author of An Army at Dawn (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for history), The Day of Battle, The Long Gray Line, In the Company of Soldiers, and Crusade. His many other awards include a Pulitzer Prize for journalism, the George Polk award, and the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award. A former staff writer and senior editor at The Washington Post, he lives in Washington, D.C.

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Long Gray Line 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every military officer should read this book about graduating into the Vietnam war. The book is the best one i have found on the academy life of cadets at any of the academies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the truly most novelistic history books I have ever read. The flow of the writing is fluid and ever engaging. Rick Atckinson has given us a yet larger panorama of the the unforgotten acts of courage and valor that characterized the fighting men in Vietnam. Uncommon valor was as common a virtue for the patriotic civilian soldier as for the veteran. These soldiers should never be forgotten. Anti-war protesters have condemned these soldiers for cooperating with their government like good civilians, have spat on them, rejected them, and for some, sadly destroyed the patriotic feelings that ever existed in them by making these brave soldiers question who and what kind of culture they were fighting for.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic account of the West Point class of '66, from Beast to the battlefields. This ranks with Timberg's The Nightingale's Song in explaining the personal accounts of Vietnam from the perspective of the products of our nation's military academies.
Henrys8 More than 1 year ago
A very well written story about the class of 1966 at West Point. The book gives you a lot of details about their lives before, during, and after their time at West Point.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An exquisitely detailed journey down The Long Gray Line and particularly poignant look at the Class of 1966. It is so richly detailed that I can close my eyes and imagine myself (having also been there) walking the hallowed grounds of West Point! Rick Atkinson is one of our GREATEST historical writers!!!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that it was a great book. Follows the class of '66 all the way through there lives!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The writing itself was brilliant, and I really grew close to the characters themselves. How could you not? They were real people! I actually had the opportunity to visit West Point and see their graves. A must read. I'm a GIRL and I couldn't put it down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I give this book 2 stars for being well written. I found it quite boring, however. I also found it to be surprisingly negative. For example, I don't think it's the kind of book I would give to prospective students if I were in admissions at West Point.