Sea Change at Annapolis: The United States Naval Academy, 1949-2000

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Sep 15, 2009 - History - 416 pages
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Since 1845, the United States Naval Academy has prepared professional military leaders at its Annapolis, Maryland, campus. Although it remains steeped in a culture of tradition and discipline, the Academy is not impervious to change. Dispelling the myth that the Academy is a bastion of tradition unmarked by progress, H. Michael Gelfand examines challenges to the Naval Academy's culture from both inside and outside the Academy's walls between 1949 and 2000, an era of dramatic social change in American history.

Drawing on more than two hundred oral histories, extensive archival research, and his own participatory observation at the Academy, Gelfand demonstrates that events at Annapolis reflect the transformation of American culture and society at large in the Cold War and post-Cold War periods. In eight chapters, he discusses recruiting and minority midshipmen, the end of mandatory attendance at religious services, women's experiences as they sought and achieved admission and later served as midshipmen, and the responses of multiple generations of midshipmen to societal changes, particularly during the Vietnam War era. This cultural history not only sheds light on events at the Naval Academy but also offers a novel perspective on democratic ideals in the United States.


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1 An Introduction to the United States Naval Academy
Race and Recruiting through 1964
Race and Recruiting since 1964
Anderson v Laird and the End of Mandatory Chapel Attendance
Women at the Naval Academy through 1976
Women in the Class of 1980
Women at the Naval Academy since 1980
The Creation of the Honor Concept Protests Pranks and Other Remarkable Activities
Note on the Sources
Statistical Appendix

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Page xviii - I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.
Page 9 - To develop midshipmen morally, mentally, and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, honor, and loyalty in order to provide graduates who are dedicated to a career of naval service...
Page 9 - Through study and practical instruction to provide the midshipmen with a basic education and knowledge of the naval profession; to develop them morally, mentally, and physically; and by precept and example to indoctrinate them with the highest ideals...

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About the author (2009)

H. Michael Gelfand is assistant professor of history at James Madison University.

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