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A Sense of Honor

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  273 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Former Secretary of the Navy, Navy Cross recipient, and Marine officer James Webb lit the fires of controversy with this startling inside look at life at the U.S. Naval Academy when "A Sense of Honor" was first published in 1981. Some of his fellow Academy graduates attacked it as exaggerated and extreme, but Webb's portrayal of a gung-ho first classman's campaign to sheph ...more
Paperback, 308 pages
Published May 1st 1995 by US Naval Institute Press (first published January 1st 1981)
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Chris Dickerson
Whenever I encounter someone who is thinking about applying to Annapolis (I am class of 1984), I give them a copy of this book (along with A Message to Garcia). I think it provides a insight to life at the Naval Academy and military service that is hard to articulate. Senator Webb does an excellent job here bringing life to both the good and the bad and what it means to serve.
Steve Woods
Well this one doesn't pull any punches about the vagaries and the intensity of life at Anapolis. The same story could probably be told about any of the elite Officer training establishments in any western idustrialized country at the same time. This would certainly include Sandhurst in the UK and Duntroon in Australia. They were without doubt brutal places and the hoops through which cadets have to jump were always irrational, pressured, humiliating and dehumanising. But then a person needs to r ...more
After having read The Nightingale's Song, which profiled James Webb's life along with the lives of four of his Naval Academy classmates (Oliver North, John McCain, Bud McFarland and John Poindexter) it is easy to project those men into the characters in Webb's novel. The story paints a clear picture of unique conditions that shape cadets into officers.
Chris Wolak
Jun 12, 2011 Chris Wolak rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: vets and civilians who want a glimpse into one type of military mindset
I think this is one of the best military novels ever written. It brings life to the love/hate relationship that so many Marines and sailors have toward their service. I first read this book as a 19 year old Marine. I don't really remember what I liked about it back then, but it was probably the hard core nature of guys like Fogarty. Now in my 40s, this book resonates for different reasons, chief among them are the bitter-sweet nature of gaining life experience and having to work within a system. ...more
Bob and I knew the author, James Webb, when we were in the miliary (Marine Corps Basic School in Quantico, VA). Bob said then, "James Webb is going to the the Commandant of the Marine Corps some day!". He's actually done better: Secretary of the Navy, and now Senator. He also served in Vietnam. This book is excellent. Set in the late 60s with Vietnam looming in young men's lives. The hero is at Annapolis (like the author) and learning the ropes. Pretty interesting and well written. He's a smart ...more
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I didn't expect to like this as much as I did, but it's an interesting story about the Naval Academy. The main characters are a few midshipmen and a professor (marine) there. The book highlights the changes in what we perceive as honorable and good, and takes place during the Vietnam war. The book is fiction, and is hard to put down.
Zachary Nelson
Great book with fantastic insight into the Academy, especially if you attend the Naval Academy now or did previously. Goes in depth with three fictional characters. James Webb lays out the three characters thoughts perfectly throughout the book.
A good story about the experiences of midshipmen while attending the U.S. Naval Academy. Having attended the USNA, I can say this book does a good job of telling an entertaining story while keeping true to the way things actually happen at the academy.
If you attended the Naval Academy, dated someone who went there, or have a family member/friend who went there, you will love this book. So well written (and by the former Secretary of the Navy/current senator to Virginia), and so funny.
Excellent book. I read this during my senior year at Annapolis and look forward to reading it a few years in the future. The story alludes to the ever-present Athens or Sparta debate among the military academies.
Richard Edwards
It reminded me of the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M, as the Viet Nam war came to a close. Warriors are a special class, and the requirements to defend our country are not always pretty.
Thomas Hamilton
I read this book when I was in High School and it was one of the infulences that led me to Valley Forge Military College. I found out later that VF was a lot tougher than NAVY.
Stephen Murley
Classic book on life at Annapolis. Poignant and informative. Any young person wth the goal of attending one of the service academies needs to read this book.
One of the best books written about the Viet-Nam War. Buy it - read it - treasure it.
Very interesting inside view of the Naval Academy by the senator from Virginia.
Robert Devine
For me, remains best fictional account of Naval Academy experience.
abi gaskins
My second favorite James Webb novel. Love it!
Ben Loory
good book... david mamet keeps steering me right.
3.5 if I could use that number
James Webb for President.
Anne marked it as to-read
Nov 14, 2015
Richard Scholtz
Richard Scholtz marked it as to-read
Oct 16, 2015
Lisa marked it as to-read
Oct 10, 2015
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James Henry "Jim" Webb, Jr. (born February 9, 1946) is the junior Senator from Virginia. He is also an author and a former Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

A 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Webb served as a Marine Corps infantry officer until 1972, and is a highly decorated Vietnam War combat veteran. During his four years with th
More about James Webb...

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