Buckley ’81 Releases “Born in the Shadow of History”

Category: Grad News
Class Years:

John Buckley, a Class of 1981 graduate of West Point who lived on post for 13 years before donning the gray, explores the early history of the region and the Academy in his new book “Born in the Shadow of History: West Point’s Early Years and the American Revolution.” 

Buckley asks West Point graduates the question “how much do you really know about the genesis of your alma mater?” General George Washington, Commander of the Continental Army, famously called West Point “the key to the continent.” Why did he and the British think that this remote position in the Hudson Highlands was so important?

Buckley paints a vivid account of the evolution of the region from the dawn of time to the early days of the Academy in the 19th century. West Point was born of the American Revolution, so that is where Buckley focuses most of his attention. He closely examines the battles and the movements of armies and key influencers in the Hudson Highlands, but the book also looks at some of the other battles that drove the direction of the war, especially the climatic engagement at Yorktown. Buckley pays particular attention to Benedict Arnold, whose story is intimately bound to the fate of West Point.

The appendix includes a look at the fictional experience of both a Hessian and a Patriot soldier through the many years of the conflict, which depicts the personal side of war, both its terrors and triumphs. 

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