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Extended Audio Sample Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point, by David Lipsky Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (558 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Lipsky Narrator: David Lipsky Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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As David Lipsky follows a future generation of army officers from their proving grounds to their barracks, he reveals the range of emotions and desires that propels these men and women forward. From the cadet who struggles with every facet of West Point life to those who are decidedly huah, Lipsky shows people facing challenges so daunting and responsibilities so heavy that their transformations are fascinating to watch. Absolutely American is a thrilling portrait of a unique institution and those who make up its ranks. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • A 2003 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Katy Guthrie | 2/20/2014

    " One of my all time favorites. This books provides the reader with the best parts ofilitary and college life when your adult life is just getting started. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Cameron Hackett | 2/12/2014

    " This book, written by David Lipsky, is a series of stroies that confront a lot of issues that cadets face at West Point. The stories are told through cadet life and how it affects them. One of the issues is professionalism. In the late 1990s the Army began experimenting with ways to improve retention among junior officers and noncommissioned officers by reorganizing according to business models. The rationale is that this will help the Army to compete with higher-paid professionals in the civilian world. But some are dissatisfied, believing this approach is counterproductive to recruiting and retaining selfless leaders. The academy has recently tried to make West Point a school where the cadets can become successful after their military duties. However, this is at the expense of turing them into trained leaders of character who can lead men as officers in the United States Army. Lipsky also aims at presenting a comparison of West Point and other institutions. One major issue confronting the cadets is dating, and in a broader sense, the role of women in the Army. The men seem to dislike the social reengineering of the military at their expense, as the women are caught up in the militaristic ideals and also with wanting to start a family. Usually the issue is resolved in one of two ways: The men either date the women or ignore them. David Lipsky wrote this book because Some believe that there is a growing gap between the American military and the civilian world. To address the concern, Rolling Stone's David Lipsky wrote an article about the young people matriculating to the United States Military Academy at West Point in the fall of 1998. That assignment sparked his imagination, and soon he was living in an apartment off campus, experiencing one of America's most enduring institutions. As a child, Lipsky's father told them to stay away from the military, so Lipsky took caution towards this book. All in all, the theme of this book,Absolutely American, is about the transformation of teenagers into leaders. But the real story is not about the cadets, it is about the transformation of David Lipsky. The one career field that his father prohibited was the military, and in the preface Lipsky admits that when he began the book, he did not realize that soldiers are people too. Lipsky is representative of many Americans today, to whom the military is strange and foreign, something associated with World War II, Vietnam or the nightly news. But watching the lives of these remarkable young people brings us closer to the elite world of West Point. By graduation, these cadets have been changed forever, and the reader cannot help but feel pride in the people who have walked, and those who will one day walk, the long gray line. I would recommend this book to a reader. I think that it shows that soldiers are people too even in today's world. I think that it clearly shows that West Point is not a prison and the cadets there face many of the same problems normal students do. The stories told through the cadets are interesting and keep the story going. Sometimes, the stories are suspenseful and leave the reader dying to know what happens. Overall, this is a good read for people who wish to see the true side of West Point and its overall mission for the cadets. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by MJL Dosh | 2/12/2014

    " One of the best books I have ever read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Craig Peterson | 2/11/2014

    " I heard the author interviewed while my son was in the process of applying for admission to West Point and bought it for him to gain a better understanding of life as a cadet. After he finished it, I read it. Then I read it again after my son's second year at West Point. That second read was much more relevant to me, having seen what my son had experienced to-date. My son graduated from West Point in 2008 and is now 4 years into active service in the army. I've been approached by a number of parents for advice about their child's application to West Point. I tell them that Absolutely American should be required reading for their child as well as themselves. Even if you don't anticipate ever having a direct connection with West Point, this book is a great way to gain insight into the average life of a student at a military academy. After reading it, you'll never look at those cadets on TV during the Army/Navy game in quite the same way. "

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