DUTY, HONOR, VIETNAM: Twelve Men of West Point Tell Their Story by Ivan Prashker

DUTY, HONOR, VIETNAM: Twelve Men of West Point Tell Their Story

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A discontinuous series of absorbing interviews with an imposing group of military professionals--whose only common denominators are ties to West Point and combat duty in Vietnam. For the most part, Prashker lets his subjects speak for themselves. While this approach effectively demolishes the notion that USMA grads are as alike as peas in a pod, it has certain limitations, not the least of which is the lack of a unifying theme. Nor does the author make any sustained effort to reach general conclusions about the Army's field-grade officer corps. As a not necessarily representative sample, however, those who agreed to share their thoughts with Prashker are an impressive and analytic lot. Foot soldiers predominate among the author's brass, but their ranks also encompass artillerymen, an engineer, tankers, and even a medical doctor. On the roster as well is a Special Forces colonel who fought with irregulars throughout Southeast Asia long before the American public became aware of Vietnam. Many of the men Prashker persuaded to sound off have earned advanced degrees. One such is the muster's sole general, a Ph.D. historian who, despite being an alumnus of the U. of Michigan, now serves as the dean of faculty at West Point. The careers and viewpoints of the dozen individuals who, Prashker apparently believes, typify the best and the brightest of the US Army's middle managers are not without interest. But, unfortunately, without perspectives and informed commentary, they are largely without significance. The text includes mug shots (not seen) of the ten serving officers and two retirees who talked with the author.

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 1988
Publisher: Arbor/Morrow