Eric Lin's Reviews > Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point

Absolutely American by David Lipsky
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's review
Aug 29, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: current-nonfiction
Read from August 22 to 29, 2012

Lipsky follows cadets through 4 years of West Point, who graduate after the 9/11 attacks. I pulled a couple late nights reading this, so the people in the book are definitely compelling. You really feel for them as you read about their lives.

I think the biggest realization I came to while reading this book, was that people at West Point are pretty diverse. They have moments of weakness, they rely on each other, they fail (for guys like George, they fail often). But man. Such heart. Such conviction. It's not me, but I respect the idea these guys embody.

I came away feeling like you've gotta be crazy to go to West Point. It was also interesting to see how serious people some of the students took everything. It seemed like you had to decide after your second year whether you'd be army to the core, or if you're willing to walk away eventually. It's unfortunate that there is so much pressure on cadets to join the army, and that so many feel guilty when they realize that a career in the military may not be what they really want. Can't there be another way that doesn't rob these kids of so much of their lives?

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Reading Progress

08/23/2012 page 120
31.0% "Apparently West Point is intense.

What I don't understand about this book is the chronology. The author is supposed to be following a class of cadets through 4 years of the academy, but it seems like he spends most of the time telling stories from their post-Academy lives, and telling relevant stories from their years at West Point at various points." 1 comment
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