In the Company of Men: A Woman at the Citadel

ISBN: 0689840039
ISBN 13: 9780689840036
By: Nancy L. Mace Mary Jane Ross

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About this book

When Nancy Mace entered the Citadel, the United States government had just recently overturned the ruling that women were not allowed to enter the "Corps of Cadets." Having grown up in a military family, Nancy was not unfamiliar with the harsh realities of military life. But upon entering those imposing gates. Nancy soon found out that she wasn't just fighting the tradition of the corps, but the culture and city that surrounded it. Steeped in tradition and lore, the grand bastion known as El Cid is considered one of the South's most infamous and controversial institutions. Built in 1842, it has turned out a unique brand of Southern man -- and now woman. This is the true account of one young woman's battle to be a part of the long gray line.

Reader's Thoughts


In the late 1990's, Nancy Mace decided to follow in her father's footsteps and go to college at The Citadel, a prestigious military college. Many of the trials and tribulations she experienced during her first year at this institution are detailed in her account. Her courage and perseverance are obvious in the face of discrimination and resentment. It is much more an emotional retelling - how Nancy felt during that time - than it is a history of The Citadel or factual accounting of events. She does detail some of the hard work and physical demands of the experience, but something was missing for me.


i don't know why this was on my list- or why i loved it so much, but there it is. i guess i'm just a sucker for "the first woman to" books.

Karin Tome

The author of the book was the first female graduate of the Citadel, South Carolina's unique military force (separate from every branch of the US Military). It's a fascinating peek inside the deep prejudices of the southern male world.


this was a veryo boo for me, mostly because i always wanted to go to the citadel for colledge (not the female part). I got a chance to learn about all the aspects of the Citadel that I missed when I was there. Other than that though the book was about one of the first females allowed into the CItadel Military Academy and about all of her struggles with being the only female in a group of males. Non yo mention the fact that her father was the comandant of the Marine Corps during this time so she got even more speculation and suspision. but i do not want to ruin the rest of the book for you,so please check out the book and read it.


Heroism and courage take many forms. Many feel that it's about saving the lives of someone, or climbing the highest mountain, or breaking the color barrier in baseball. To be sure, it is all of these things, but Nancy Mace's book showed a heroism and courage of a different sort. The daughter of a Citadel graduate, she always wanted to attend this school. At the time, it was an all-male military school with a rich tradition dating back before the Civil War. Nancy and three others were accepted by the school after a law was passed. She and the others suffered not only the same activities the other "knobs" did, but being the only women there, under the circumstances, other challenges confronted them. Nancy not only survived, but was one of the most outstanding students/cadets. Her determination, poise, and grace under fire is an example for ALL of us, both male and female to emulate. An interesting and inspiring read.


An inspiring autobiography about the first female cadet in the Citadel. Humbling to hear about all that she went thru on a daily basis and yet was still able to focus on her long term goal and deliver high in both academics and athleticism.

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