If you like nonfiction that reads like a suspense novel, multiple award-winning PATH to FREEDOM: My Story of Perseverance is for you. Its author, upon graduating from West Point, unwittingly returned to a government which had become a dictatorship - overnight. Its leaders obsessed about him being a spy for the United States - because of West Point. The Smithsonian displays the historically-accurate, coming-of-age memoir in its Anacostia Museum Library. Little about Conrad Taylor's upbringing in a vibrant remote mining town - deep in impenetrable tropical rain forests of Guyana, South America - prepared him for West Point. An extraordinary opportunity for most, attending the highly-regimented United States Military Academy was a life-changer for him. Enduring culture shock, navigating rude awakenings, and surviving the rigorous West Point Experience hardened Taylor for return to a government turned repressive, anti-American, and paranoid - overnight. Paranoid about regime change, leaders of the dictatorship were fearful about the young graduate being a spy for the United States - because of West Point. His was the impossible task of proving that he was not - or else! PATH to FREEDOM: My Story of Perseverance offers a ringside seat to the cultural trauma of emigration, the unique experience that is West Point, the personal side of superpower geopolitics, and the mayhem of Third World politics. The narrative charts a sometimes-humorous journey of resilience, hope, survival, and love. Its revelations will be nostalgic for some, shocking to many, and enlightening for others. Its subtly-threaded love story will enchant - at the very least. PATH to FREEDOM has a simple proposition. Fly-or-die!
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About the Author
Conrad Taylor is a West Point and MIT graduate, whose multiple award-winning memoir, PATH to FREEDOM: My Story of Perseverance is on display at The Smithsonian's Anacostia Museum Library. The renowned Institute selected the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction nonfiction as a source of insights about the history and culture of black people in the Western Hemisphere.Taylor grew up in a remote mining town in the upper reaches of the Amazon rainforests in Guyana, South America. His was an ordinary upbringing, until the extraordinary happened. Conrad won a coveted scholarship to the United States Military Academy in 1969. Attending the highly-regimented institution during the height of the Cold War, the Vietnam conflict, and the 60s counterculture upheavals thrust him on a collision course with a paranoid dictatorship after West Point - because of West Point. He barely escaped its grasp.Humble roots, rude awakenings, and the life changer that is the West Point Experience inform Taylor's perspective as an author and business professional. The avid soccer fan and former youth soccer coach played for ARMY West Point in three NCAA soccer playoffs.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Path to Freedom: My Story of Perseverance based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
I was asked to read and review this book from the author. This is a coming of age auto biographical book, that follows the author through some main points of his young life up living in Guyana South America, follows him through his scholarship to West Point, then after he went back to Guyana, where is government thinks he's a spy for America. My favorite part of the entire book was the beginning. The author clearly loves where he grew up his description of the beautiful of Guyana, and the waterfalls, and wild life and trees, I really need to add this place to my bucketlist to go see all of it, especially the waterfall. I've never heard of Guyana before, but the description made me feel like I was there. There were a few points through the book that I wish were elaborated on, because the briefest mention was made, but then nothing beyond that, curious minds need to know ALL. The memories and culture shock of arriving in America were interesting to read, I wish there were more mention, if he had problems as far as racism or anything like that, There were a lot of hazing and seemingly awful memories of West Point, I kind of wondered if there were many good memories, and wish I had gotten to read some of those. I'm walking away from this book with the thoughts of bullying and WP being awful, there didn't seem to be any happiness except for when there were more freedom allowed to go visit Ona (girlfriend at the time). Oh and why after marrying Ona did he go back but she stay in the US? I was confused at that part. It was an easy read, though filled with lots of facts and details about political things going on at the time, both in Guyana and West Point. The author is very articulate and well written, and it was obvious he went through so much, and it was obviously painful to go through that, when he the place where he was born. Good book!
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite Path to Freedom: My Story of Perseverance is author Conrad Taylor’s captivating memoir of his life journey from a humble beginning in Guyana to the elite West Point institute, back to Guyana and eventually settling down in the U.S. for good. Conrad Taylor is the first of two Guyanese admitted to the United States Military Academy. He won one of ten scholarships awarded to students from Latin America and the Caribbean to attend the world-famous institution in 1969. Taylor grew up in a vibrant mining community deep in the impenetrable tropical rain forests of Guyana. Raised in his rough and tumble hometown of Mackenzie, Taylor recalls the place as “home to boisterous, fun-loving, hard-living, raucous types,” a beautiful place where anything seemed possible. His ties to West Point didn't serve him well when he went back to Guyana and got caught up in an anti-American political environment. We can definitely relate to Conrad Taylor’s emotions, aspirations, hopes, as well as uncertainties in this memoir. To read about an oppressive government in the midst of political paranoia reminds me to be grateful for never having to endure that kind of turmoil. At the same time, it gives me another level of understanding of what Third World citizens have to go through to obtain freedom as an unconditional human right. Path to Freedom is an extremely interesting read, thanks to Taylor’s talent for illustrating his life’s journey in such a fascinating way that I found this book difficult to put down until the end. For those looking to be inspired, as well as broaden their knowledge about Guyana and Third World political affairs, this commendable memoir is highly recommended.
We are proud to announce that Path to Freedom: My Story of Perseverance by Conrad Taylor is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!
Conrad Taylor 's journey from a small village in Guyana to the pinnacle of military training at West Point and back presents a compelling glimpse of what actually happened behind the scenes in a closed developing nation. Taylor chronicles the stresses and strains that occur when personalities, cultures and civilizations clash. his is a personal story that shines the spotlight on how poor communications, suspicion, petty jealousies and lack of understanding among people, nations and governments can have a devastating impact on the lives of those young minds who are so critical to the development of poorer nation states that need their talents. In spite of it all, Taylor's story is a tale of triumph. a real coming of age story that proves the truth of the words of William Cullen Bryant and Theodore Parker. and quoted by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. .. "Truth crushed to earth will rise again." "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." 'Path to Freedom' is a must read!