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Making the Corps

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The bestselling, compelling insider’s account of the Marine Corps from the lives of the men of Platoon 3086—their training at Parris Island, their fierce camaraderie, and the unique code of honor that defines them.

The United States Marine Corps, with its proud tradition of excellence in combat, its hallowed rituals, and its unbending code of honor, is part of the fabric of American myth. Making the Corps visits the front lines of boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. Here, old values are stripped away and new Marine Corps values are forged. Bestselling author Thomas E. Ricks follows these men from their hometowns, through boot camp, and into their first year as Marines. As three fierce drill instructors fight a battle for the hearts and minds of this unforgettable group of young men, a larger picture emerges, brilliantly painted, of the growing gulf that divides the military from the rest of America.

Included in this edition is an all-new afterword from the author that examines the war in Iraq through the lens of the Marines from Platoon 3086, giving readers an on-the-ground view of the conflict from those who know it best.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 03, 1997 – Journalist Ricks first became fascinated by the Marines in 1992, when he lived among them during an assignment to cover U.S. troops in Somalia. Noting that he himself was ill-prepared for life in that distant equatorial land, Ricks was deeply impressed by the Marines' remarkable deportment. At one point, Ricks, Pentagon correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, was safely led through a night combat zone by a 22-year-old corporal. "In my office back in Washington," Ricks writes, "we wouldn't let a twenty-two-year-old run the copying machine without adult supervision." Intrigued by the differences between Marines and civilians, Ricks later attached himself to a single Marine training platoon and followed its members from boot camp through their first year of life in the Corps. The result is more than just a carefully drawn portrait of how this legendary service shapes men into troops. Ricks finds a powerful morality within Marine culture, and juxtaposes it against the relative chaos of civilian society as seen through the eyes of recruits like the young pacifist who nearly fails training only to blossom just before graduation. Qualities that the Marines value highly--loyalty and discipline--are shown to be the building blocks of the social structure underpinning the formidable fighting force. This is a work that puts contemporary American culture--with all its "skaters, skins, punks, and junkies"--on trial and finds that "discipline" should no longer be a dirty word, even among nonleathernecks.

Customer Reviews

Making the Corps

The description of Marine Corps basic training is superb, unsurpassed. More uneven, the discussion of military political evolvement poses far more questions than it answers. The latter subject deserves more reflection.

Making the Corps
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Military
  • Published: Jul 31, 2007
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings