Lewis Sorley, a former soldier and then civilian official of the Central Intelligence Agency, is a third-generation graduate of the United States Military Academy who also holds a doctorate from the Johns Hopkins University. He has served on the faculties at West Point and the Army War College.
His Army assignments also included leadership of tank and armored cavalry units in Germany, Vietnam, and the United States and staff positions in the offices of the Secretary of Defense and the Army Chief of Staff.
He is the author of a book on foreign policy entitled Arms Transfers under Nixon and three biographies, including Thunderbolt: General Creighton Abrams and the Army of His Times and Honorable Warrior: General Harold K. Johnson and the Ethics of Command. The Johnson biography received the Army Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Book Award. An excerpt of the Abrams biography won the Peterson Prize as the year’s best scholarly article on military history. His most recent biography, Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam, also received the Army Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Writing Award. He has also received the General Andrew Goodpaster Prize for military scholarship from the American Veterans Center.
His book A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His edited work Vietnam Chronicles: The Abrams Tapes, 1968-1972 received the Army Historical Foundation’s Trefry Prize for providing a unique perspective on the art of command. A second edited work, The Vietnam War: An Assessment by South Vietnam’s Generals, provides the under-represented South Vietnamese outlook on the war and its outcome.
Dr. Sorley has also written Honor Bright: History and Origins of the West Point Honor Code and System, a book commissioned by the United States Military Academy’s Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic. At the Army’s request he also compiled and edited a two-volume work entitled Press On! Selected Works of General Donn A. Starry, published by the Combat Studies Institute Press at Fort Leavenworth.
Dr. Sorley is Executive Director Emeritus of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States and an Emeritus Director of the Army Historical Foundation. During the Spring 2009 semester he was the first Gottwald Visiting Professor of Leadership and Ethics at Virginia Military Institute. Also in 2009 he was named a Distinguished Eagle Scout by the Boy Scouts of America. In 2010 the U. S. Army War College designated him an Outstanding Alumnus, and in 2011 he was named a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Military Academy.