Soldiers First: Duty, Honor, Country, and Football at West Point

Times Bks: Holt. Sept. 2012. c.288p. ISBN 9780805094909. $26. SPORTS
Sportswriter Drape (New York Times; The Race for the Triple Crown) covers the 2011 football season at West Point. He provides a clear view of the experience of the cadets, all of whom recognize that there are things of greater significance in life, and in their obligations, than football. Having conducted many interviews, Drape recounts the season mostly through the eyes of several prominent players and the head coach, with the rich history of West Point itself folded in. Unfortunately, the book would have held greater interest if the 2011 Black Knights had done better than finishing 3-9, including another loss to Navy.
VERDICT Drape succeeds at capturing the spirit of football at the U.S. Military Academy well. His book will appeal primarily to those interested in the service academies, football and all.
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