In The Smithsonian Institute's Anacostia Museum
2014 Readers' Favorite International Book Award Winner
Readers' Favorite 5 Star Recipient
B.R.A.G. MedallionTM Honoree
Royal Palm Literary Award Winner
Little about Conrad Taylor's upbringing in a remote mining town, carved into the upper reaches of the Amazon jungle, prepared him for a first-of-a-kind scholarship to West Point. An extraordinary opportunity for most, it was a life-changer for him. Culture shock hardened the ensuing West Point Experience. And, Third World politics tested it - severely. The book has a simple proposition. Fly-or-die!
"PATH to FREEDOM: My Story of Perseverance" charts a sometimes-humorous journey of perseverance, resilience, hope, survival, and love. It traverses between the ecologically-exotic Guyana, South America and the wind-swept plains of the highly-regimented United States Military Academy - at the height of the Vietnam War. The narrative sums up rude awakenings, especially after West Point - because of West Point.
The book offers up a ringside seat to Taylor’s journey. It 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 account 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!
More than a memoir, The Smithsonian has archived the historically-accurate “PATH to FREEDOM: My Story of Perseverance.” The Institution displays the resource in its Anacostia Museum Library as a reference on the history and culture of Black people in the Western Hemisphere.
"PATH to FREEDOM: My Story of Perseverance" reads like a novel.