A Soldier's Duty: A Novelby Thomas E. Ricks
Majors Cindy Sherman and Bud Lewis are the best young combat officers the army has, and they’ve both been tapped for plum positions as aides-de-camp for two of the Pentagon’s most senior generals. The Pentagon is a cauldron of careerist jockeying and factional squabbling in the best of times, though, and these are not the best of times. A president whom the officer class widely loathes sits in the White House, and grumblings that he’s steering the military onto the rocks are growing louder. Some officers are openly asking: If you believe the president is betraying his country, where does your duty lie?
- Random House Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1 ED
- Product dimensions:
- 6.48(w) x 9.64(h) x 1.03(d)
Read an Excerpt
Memorial Bridge Before dawn, Friday, July 8
The U.S. military is headquartered in Washington, but it is not of Washington. Its heart lies a thousand miles away, or more-in the Army, at Fort Leavenworth; in the Air Force, along a dozen different runways in the South and Southwest; in the Navy, in Norfolk, San Diego and Pearl Harbor. For most in Washington, Congress is the engine that drives daily life. When Congress is in session, there is an extra energy in Washington's downtown. When Congress is "in," people work later hours, and spouses are often missing at dinner parties. But even so, the pace is generally the pace of Congress-rising late and not engaging the world until about ten in the morning. The military sticks by its own timetable in Washington, one that pre-dates democracy. It is a schedule set on thousands of battlefields, where the most dangerous time of day is just before sunrise, when it is light enough to attack but still dark enough to conceal many movements. Even in Washington, the military rises in the darkness most of the year and is at work by dawn. The effect of this is that the military has the city largely to itself at that time of day.
Meet the Author
Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post Pentagon correspondent Thomas E. Ricks lectures widely to the military and is a member of Harvard University’s Senior Advisory Council on the Project on U.S. Civil-Military Relations. He is the author of the bestselling book Making the Corps. He lives outside Washington, D.C., with his wife and children.
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Though written from the 'outside', this book does an excellent job at displaying the nuances of modern military leadership. Quite prophetic in describing the rise (and fall) of senior military leaders, Thomas E. Ricks does a great job of describing the role of duty in the life of an officer.
This is one of the best books about the military I have ever read. Once you start reading, you will not want to stop. Even though I did not like all the stereotypes in the book, based on my ten years in the military, I have to admit that the author very accurately portrays the military, its members, and their attitudes. The book, set in 2004, tells the story of how several military members deal with controversial policies and missions dictated to them by the White House. As you read the book, the characters¿ ethical conflicts of duty versus loyalty, duty versus honesty, and duty versus honor raise the stakes to the point of life and death. Life and death for the characters as well as life and death of good order and discipline of the armed forces. There is nothing in this book that is unbelievable. To the contrary, many of the conflicts and debates contained within this book have already taken place. That fact makes the conflicts in the book that have not taken place yet, all the more believable. This is a must read for members of the military!
Outstanding work that deals with the conflict officers regarding duty and doing what's moraly right. For a while, you don't know what side to take...until later in the book where a plot turn gives the reader a clear choice. I found that to be unfortunate, and I wish Ricks would have had Ames take another action. Could be a good study on a soldier's obligations to obey orders vs. doing what you believe is moraly correct.