Alexander Mui was a sophomore at the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad 12 years ago when he discovered the school’s long-neglected history museum. It was out of this find and years of in-depth research that his book, “Army & Navy Academy: History of the West Point of the West” (History Press: $22.99) was born.
“No one had opened the museum in a long time,” Mui explained during a phone interview from Austin, Texas. “There were a lot of old newspapers and books, and everything was covered with mold. I started a project with a parent to renovate the museum and preserve as many artifacts as possible.”
Mui’s book is not only a history of the Carlsbad academy, but of the country’s military schools.
“There had never been a book written about American military schools,” Mui explained. “Much of the book is original research. There was a lot of piecing together scraps of newspapers.”
Through the process, the author realized how important military schools were to the history of Southern California and North County.
“(They) used to be a hotbed for military schools,” he said.
A native of California whose ancestors immigrated to the United States from China, Mui graduated in 2008 from the academy. He went on to study molecular and cellular biology at Johns Hopkins University, where he also began writing a history of that school.