Soldier's Duty: A Novel

Soldier's Duty: A Novel

by Thomas E. Ricks

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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?

Just as Sherman and Lewis ease into their jobs — and into a deepening romance — a secret pressure group of military officers called the Sons of Liberty begins to carry out covert protests, symbolic at first, against White House policy. It is with shock that Lewis comes to suspect the group’s leader is his own boss and hero, General B.Z. Ames, and that the man in the center of Ames’s target is Sherman’s boss, General John Shillingworth. As the White House keeps the army grinding through a miserable third-world brushfire war, the Sons of Liberty’s activities grow more treasonous, and their efforts to avoid detection more ruthless, until Majors Sherman and Lewis find themselves in a vicious game with life-and-death stakes and the future of the American military hanging in the balance.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781588360151
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/12/2001
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
File size: 392 KB

About 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.

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.

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