Two views of West Point

Two more West Point items (yet another part of the largish section of my site on the history of West Point): one of them pretty good, the other pretty bad; but as Pliny the Elder said, no book is ever so bad that something useful can’t be got from it.

The good one is an 1869 article on The System of Instruction at West Point, laudatory but not unthinkingly so, by a young graduate of Yale who finds much in Sylvanus Thayer’s educational system that might be profitably applied to civilian universities.

The other is a paper published in a 1901 medical weekly, The Nervous Exhaustion due to West Point Training. The author — a graduate of Annapolis, natch — just embarking on a mercifully brief career as a crackpot eugenicist, tells us that West Pointers are fragile (as you can tell by observing any grade-school playground), die easily in the tropics, are permanently induced to a lifetime of bibliophobia; and a bit more leisure time and vacation couldn’t do them any harm: as I said, some good points. An entertaining read, and I’ve intentionally not quoted you the most bizarre item of the lot, which has to be seen to be believed.

The homepage of my American history site (24 books, 11,000 pages of print, 600 images in 700+ webpages) is here.

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