A Sense of Honor
Former Secretary of the Navy, Navy Cross recipient, and Marine officer James Webb lit the fires of controversy with this startling inside look at life at the U.S. Naval Academy when "A Sense of Honor" was first published in 1981. Some of his fellow Academy graduates attacked it as exaggerated and extreme, but Webb's portrayal of a gung-ho first classman's campaign to shepherd an unprepared plebe through the academy's complex and unforgiving ethos was hailed as a "considerable achievement" by the "New York Times" and "a remarkable moral statement" by the "Boston Globe."
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This book was a required read during my freshman year at the Air Force Academy....and I've had it on my bookshelf at home ever since. It's been 9 years since I was first required to read this book, and have read it close to a hundred times since. The heartbreaking tale of the senior midshipman, who couldn't dream of anything other than being a Marine Corps officer, is one that stuck with me throughout my entire time at USAFA. This book gives a very accurate portrayal of the harsh times of life as a freshman at a service academy; but at the same time, shows how much one can truly grow while undergoing such difficulties. I have told my wife numerous times, if our son asks me about my time at the Air Force Academy, all I will do is hand him this book and say, "Just read..."