• Absolutely American

  • Four Years at West Point
  • By: David Lipsky
  • Narrated by: David Lipsky
  • Length: 7 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (139 ratings)

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Absolutely American  By  cover art

Absolutely American

By: David Lipsky
Narrated by: David Lipsky
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Publisher's Summary

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.
©2003 David Lipsky (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Addictive....A story that could inspire even nonmilitary buffs to follow the cadets' careers like those of their favorite sports heroes." (Newsweek)
"A superb description of modern military culture and one of the most gripping accounts of university life....Powerful....Wonderfully told." (The New York Times Book Review)

What listeners say about Absolutely American

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

He got it right.

I'm an Annapolis graduate but have found that we share the same memories and call to duty as West Point and Air Forc alumni. Lipsky captures the good and bad parts of an experience that is becoming more and more unique in America.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Lost opportunity for excellence

My son and I looked forward to listening to this book together. Unfortunately it was a disappointment for both of us.
The reason: the book focuses on mediocrity at an institution that should be the culdron for excellence. The author obviously has very limited personal military experience and chooses to focus on telling the story of the cadets who rather than excell at the academy choose to only meet the minimum. Yes, as with any underdog story he tries to get the reader to root for the runt of the litter. Instead I found myself wish that the main characters, who we in the Army referr to a shammers, would have been kicked out. These cadets are supposed to be leaders not the marginal at best that he shows them to be in the book.
I found myself in constant disbelief, as a MAJOR at 37 years of age even I passed the APFT for Airborne school, the same criteria that the one of the main characters failed over and over.

This could have been a book of excellence penned by an author with obvious talents. But by focusing on those who barely meet the minimum requirements he misses by a long shot the true character of the academy. Very unfortunate, and a very disappointing read.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Been There...Done That

Great insight into the Academy...even if I'm nearly 15 years removed - I guess some things are timeless...even if the Corps has. Even greater insight into the emerging leaders of today's Army - the struggles they face to live up to the most stringent standards...the ones they place on themselves...as they prepare to lead our sons and daughters into combat. Well done Mr. Lipsky.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story that hits the spot

Incredibly intersting peek into West Point life, and life after West Point. I found myself getting attached to the cadets as they're going through their successes and failures. The only drawback to this audiobook is that the author reads his book as if he's reading someone else's book for the first time.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

It skipped half the book

It doesn’t read the whole book if you are trying to read along. It’s terrible

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely American a very fitting title

This book is simply great, it shows why West Point is so special and what truly makes it and America The greatest. My only regret is not being able to attend the academy.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

200 Years of History, Unhampered by Progress

The closest you will ever get to being there without going there as a Cadet. The author spent time with many cadets, officers and administrators at the real Military Academy. I have spoken with friends that he interviewed. He catches the spirit of what is great about the Military Academy

Beat Navy

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Dan R

A well spoken book that will make you proud of our military youth.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding! Life inside the Academy

This book exceeded my expectations, brought us inside the modern world of West Point listening to what really happens with cadets as of around 2002. It’s like following a buddy around the halls, hearing the inside jokes and gripes. If you are considering application, excellent prep. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like as a cadet, this is authentic. This book is NOT a history of West Point. It will make your roar with laughter, feel sorry for those that suffered, and pride for these young men and women who lead our military and corporations. The author is very creative, painting brilliant word vignettes to illustrate the story. Definitely recommend!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Ok read but lost interest 1/2 way through.

it was ok but I lost interest 1/2 way through. Story is average/ not compelling.