If you love nonfiction, which reads like a novel, multiple award-winning "PATH to FREEDOM: My Story of Perseverance" is for you. Little about Conrad Taylor's upbringing in a remote mining town in Guyana, South America, prepared him for West Point - at the height of the Vietnam War. An extraordinary opportunity for most, the highly-regimented United States Military Academy was a life-changer for him. Enduring culture shock and surviving rude awakenings hardened the rigorous West Point Experience. And, Third World politics after West Point - because of West Point - tested it severely. The truth-is-stranger-than-fiction memoir has a simple proposition. Fly-or-die!
"PATH to FREEDOM: My Story of Perseverance" describes what happened upon Taylor's return to a government turned repressive, anti-American, and paranoid - overnight. The Soviet-leaning, Cold-War-era dictatorship feared regime change. Its power-hungry leaders obsessed about him being a spy for the United States. His was the impossible task of proving that he was not - or else!
The historically-accurate, coming-of-age book provides a unique prism through which to see the cultural trauma of emigration, the unique experience that is West Point, the personal side of Cold-War-era geopolitics, and the mayhem of Third World politics. The view will be nostalgic for some, shocking to many, and enlightening for others. Its subtly-threaded love story will enchant - at the very least.
The Smithsonian Institute displays PATH to FREEDOM: My Story of Perseverance in its Anacostia Museum Library. The world's premier archive selected the inspiring memoir as a source of insights about the history and culture of black people in the Western Hemisphere.