West Point’s Reading List

The United States Military Academy, commonly known as West Point, was established in 1802. It is the oldest of the Nations Five Service Academies, located in New York. Notable graduates include Ulysses Grant, George Patton and Douglas MacArthur. If you are a Cadet at West Point, friends or family of a Cadet or simply want to learn more about this historic military institution you will enjoy this collection of literature.

The USMA Commandant’s Academic Year 2020 Reading List

Additional West Point Reading

West Point History

The Long Grey Line- The American Journey of West Point’s Class of 1966 by Rick Atkinson

This book spans 25 years and follows three graduates during their cadet years, their time in Vietnam and the post war years. This historical accurate book reads like a novel and captures the audience speaking for generations of Americans who lived during this challenging era.

Duty Honor Country A History of West Point by Stephen Ambrose

This book chronicles the impressive history of the school, beginning with its inception and ending in 2000.

Famous Graduates

West Point 1915: Eisenhower, Bradley and the class the stars fell on by Michael E Haskew

This book looks at the graduates of one remarkable class, 1915. Of these graduates 36% went on to become Generals. These graduates were a significant part of the Allied success in World War I, World War II as well as post war policies like the creation of NATO.

The Class of 1846: From West Point to Appomattox: Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan and Their Brothers by John Waugh

This book features another significant class of West Point Grads, 1846. These men fought in 3 wars and left the nation a lasting legacy of bravery, brilliance, and bloodshed. The book follows men such as George Pickett, Stonewall Jackson and George McClellan.

Admissions- Parents Guide and the West Point Experience

The West Point Candidate Book: How to prepare, How to get in, How to Survive by Sue Roth and Randy Lee

The title says it all- this is a must read for aspiring cadets and their families.

West Point Leadership: Profiles of Courage by Daniel Rice and John Vigna

This inspirational and award winning book features 200 authorized biographies and interviews of notable graduates along side over 1600 beautiful photographs. 


Duty First- West Point and the Making of Military Leaders Ed Ruggero

This book, written by a West Point graduate looks at the inner working of the academy and the tumultuous lives of cadets. The book details their grueling training, the strict student hierarchy and intense classroom work, and the interaction between the lowly first-year plebes and the upper-class cadets who train them all in the name of building “leaders of character” who will command the nation’s military. While the focus is on West Point the lessons reverberate far beyond West Point, because while the specific goals and methods of developing leaders differ, the fundamental values courage, commitment, selfless sacrifice – are the same for all leaders.

The Unforgiving Minute- A Soldiers Education by Craig Mullaney

This coming of age novel features a student who becomes a soldier and and puts to practice the education he received at West Point. After his time serving in Afghanistan he comes back to the military Academy and teaches his experience and lessons to the next generation.

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