If the USA is one big book club then the American Corner and the Steverson Collection Book Club must have been hoping that this would be the week that everyone was talking about “CONDUCT UNBECOMING an Officer and Lady”, Judge London Steverson’s most recent revelation concerning the trial and conviction of the first Coast Guard Academy cadet in the history of this small military academy in New London, CT..(www.judgelondonsteverson.com)
This case really made news and generated a lot of changes in the way sexual assaults are reported and investigated in the military academies. Read in full, this book is a new American Tragedy. It has the virtues and limitations of Theodore Dreiser’s original American Tragedy: contemporary, still unfolding history, shadows of power, teenage binge drinking, inter-racial sexual encounters of the worst kind, and immorality at the highest levels of the military. That means an all knowing, seemingly eyewitness, mind-reading author; an unbelievable dialogue of incrimination and recrimination, back and forth he-said, she-said. One is left with the unmistakable feeling that someone must be telling the truth, but who?
If the male cadet-accused is, then the female cadet-accuser is a woman of easy virtue times two. Also, she would have to be a pathological liar.
If the female cadet-accuser is telling the truth, then the accused male cadet is a Jim Dandy, smooth, athletic, lady’s man, who finally gets hoisted on his own petard.
This book is non-fiction, and it is based on a true story. It is an analysis of the latest bomb to come out of the annals of inter-class, inter-racial, misconduct at the Coast Guard Academy.
Analysis, background, and exposition necessarily take a back seat to exaggeration. There is no need to inflate the facts; this truth is more fascinating than fiction.
After showing that the accused is not the sexual predator that he was alleged to have been by senior officials, the book demonstrates how the justice system was used to pervert justice in a case of few complicated facts. This case actually went all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
In addition to exposing the trial for what it was; that is to say, a kangaroo court; the author actually paints a detailed and accurate description of the real Coast Guard Academy sexual predator.