West Point Leadership: Profiles of Courage, by D.E. Rice, J.A. Vigna, and G.E. Mathieson Sr.

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

With nearly 200 biographical entries of West Point graduates, this hefty, lavishly illustrated book offers readers a decent overview of the qualities that make a soldier into a respected military leader. Each essay is accompanied by three or more photographs of each person covered, and the essay is written by another graduate, who summarizes the career of the subject in about 500-1000 words. Major Keith Walters (class of '97), for example, has produced a graceful and touching biography of General Jonathan (Skinny) Wainwright, the officer who shouldered the sad duty of commanding the soldiers who defended Bataan against the Japanese in 1942, while Major Christian Teutsch (also class of '97) writes an impressive sketch of one of Wainwright's classmates, Joseph (Vinegar Joe) Stillwell, whose career culminated in China in 1945. Taken together, the essays thus can offer readers a good overview of American wars as experienced by many of its heroes and top commanders.

Established in 1802 on the grounds of a Revolutionary War fort, West Point has graduated nearly 65,000 officers, who are trained primarily in engineering studies, command, and national history. The school did not admit any female cadets until 1976, and as a consequence not many sketches of female officers are to be found in this volume. Indeed, selecting 200 from such an enormous pool is a difficult task. But those that are profiled in the volume provide a good overview of the many duties that West Point graduates subsequently perform, and a fine summary of the service all US Army officers give to their country.

Although WEST POINT LEADERSHIP may deter some potential readers due to its hardback price tag, the book will be a valuable reference for military historians, career Army officers and serious American military enthusiasts.

Reviewed by: Terry Shoptaugh (2014)


Author's Synopsis

The most unique book ever published highlighting West Point graduates who have shaped our world. This book has over 200 biographies and over 2,000 unique photos from history highlighting heads of state, generals, Medal of Honor recipients, astronauts, politicians, captains of industry, scholars and other leaders.