Friday, July 24, 2009

Absolutely American

I've been wanting to read Absolutely American by David Lipsky for quite some time so I decided to feature it on the student services blog this month. Kind of appropriate for July with Independence Day and all, it would have been better if I'd gotten my act together a bit earlier in the month though.

Writer David Lipsky's first encounter with West Point came when he was given an assignment to write a feature on the United States Military Academy for Rolling Stone. As Lipsky explains,
The initial idea was for me to spend a few weeks on post, follow around a bunch of plebes, write something short. I ended up staying most of the year.
When that time was over, I didn't believe the story was fully told. I decided to rent a house in Highland Falls, [NY] and stayed until the plebe class graduated four years later--the only time West Point has let a writer in for such an extended tour of hanging out.
The result of that 4-year stint is Absolutely American, a fascinating look at life at the Academy and those who live it.

Absolutely American flows well and is eminently readable. Lipsky is a keen observer and thoughtful chronicler. Even those with little interest in the military will find the book compelling reading.

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