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Soldiers First: Duty, Honor, Country, and Football at West Point
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Soldiers First: Duty, Honor, Country, and Football at West Point

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  91 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Bestselling author Joe Drape reveals the unique pressures and expectations that make a year of Army football so much more than just a tally of wins and losses.

The football team at the U.S. Military Academy is not like other college football teams. At other schools, athletes are catered to and coddled at every turn. At West Point, they carry the same arduous load as their f
ebook, 288 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Times Books
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Jim V
Interesting read about being a scholar, leader, soldier and if time allows playing a little bit of D1 football. These guys play for the love of the game, but know they are in school for a much greater purpose.
O.k. so i won this on goodreads from firstreads. I thought the book was extremely well written, almost too good. I had to re-read through parts of it to fully understand what was going on. I loved the idea that this group of soldiers gave an insightful view on how much they sacrifice to be able to hold up perfect grades on top of playing some very competitive games of football, and being soldiers for our country. These men show an extraordinary skill of tolerance, and also patience if you ask me ...more
This should be required reading for all college football fans.

ETA 1/3/15: I just reread this book for work (it's January's book for my nonfiction book discussion group at the library) and this time I have a little more to say. I stand by my 2013 "review": this book should be required reading for college football fans. But I would just as soon recommend it to non-football fans, too. While there are play-by-play breakdowns of several Army football games from their 2011 season, the book is about s
This book about Army Football at the United States Military Academy at West Point offers up a different perspective on college game in a number of ways.
A timely book as we again come into a new season. With the scandals of Penn State, Ohio State, and others usually dominating the sports news Joe Drape reveals a side of the college game we don’t hear much about. One based on dedication, discipline, and personal sacrifice, what Army football is about.

He takes us through the 2011 season for the Bla
Priscilla Melchior
Anyone who loves college football has been mourning for the past few years as power after vaunted power has been humbled by scandal. Division I sports is reeling under the weight of investigations at schools such as Penn State, USC, Auburn, Miami and the University of North Carolina, with no end in sight.

Enter New York Times sportswriter Joe Drape and his latest offering, "Soldiers First: Duty, Honor, Country and Football at West Point." If Drape gets his way, we'll all view the Black Knights of
Joalby Phoenix
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I feel that the writing, attention to detail and the writers desire to showcase a side of not only the US Army, but of College Football and West Point were presented in a way that made it accessible to the reader.
The selection of what was presented was done in a way that all readers, regardless of their chosen genres of literature could come away enjoying the book.
I have only recently become pulled in by USA Military History, Military Academies, and presen
Ruth Ann
Great non-fiction writing! Joe Drape has captured the spirit of West Point and the special place Coach Ellerson has in the faculty - honoring academics, and leadership and military training, before Division I football. What other college sports program can say anything similar?

Ellerson's coaching style may need a couple of more seasons to show success on the field, but the young men he leads each year are fortunate to have him now. He allows football to be fun, although demanding; he adjusts pr
Samantha Plotkin
Soldiers First: Duty, Honor, Country, and Football at West Point Soldiers First: Duty, Honor, Country, and Football at West Point was an interesting look into the lives of the soldiers who play for the Army football team at West Point. I found the layout of the book somewhat spasmodic, jumping from player to player and through the different facets of West Point life seemingly randomly at times. (view spoiler) ...more
I won this book from a pre release give away.
I thought that this was a really good book. I learned about about how the foot ball team at west point conducts itself and how much of a sacrifice and hard time it is going to the united states military academy. I have always wondered why the ARMY football team seems to not be any good while Air Force and navy have been doing really for the last decade. This book gives good insight into that aspect as well as the changes that are being made to try an
Chris K.
I loved learning more about Army football. This book told a great story and everything was in detail. It explained very well how difficult being a student at Army is, especially a football player. I rated this book four stars because the story was told extremely well but it was a little boring at times and repeated itself a little bit. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in football or Army. It will give you a well-written story with many interesting facts about Army football.
I'd read Joe Drape's other book on Kansas high school football and had to read this one about West Point football's 2011 season. Same formula as Joe immerses himself into the lives of the team. Seen it, heard it, lived it, nothing new here for me as I'm a USNA grad (the enemy who is a brother) but it was told with passion and intensity just like the other book, so much so that even I was cheering them on (except for when they played Navy).
Okay book. Second book by the author. For some reason I find kind of fascinating stories about the US Military academy. Have other better books about West Point but the author was passionate about the story of the 2010 Football team at the Academy. You fall in love with some of the atheletes portrayed in the book, and learn to respect and admire the committment they have made to our country.
Aug 11, 2012 Kristina marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
*** I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads ***
** The Giveaway was Listed By Henry (of MacMillan books) **
* I received my copy on Sat, Aug 11 2012 *


I will follow with a full review after reading.
Bill Allen
Very good book. Well written because it covers both the academy/soldier aspect (as the title implies) but also the football story as well. These cadets are a special breed all unto themselves and should be honored for their commitment and service to our country !!
Great! What these guys learn in te classroom they take to the football field. What they learn on the field they take back to the classroom They combine both for life. These guys are leaders for life.
Excellent account of football at USMA, and life in general at USMA from the perspective of the football players. Makes me want to see some games up there!
Mike Ryan
Great book, I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys military history and learning more about the soldiers who protect us.
Jim L.
A very good book for football fans or people in interested in West Point.
Jake Kirkendall
Great read about one of our opponents this season
Jero marked it as to-read
Nov 15, 2015
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Nick Conlan marked it as to-read
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Joe Drape is a reporter for The New York Times and the author of the New York Times Best Seller Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen. He also is the author of The Race for the Triple Crown and Black Maestro. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, he previously worked for The Dallas Morning News and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. When he doesn’t live in Kan ...more
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