In this sympathetic history of a maligned decade, Marty Jezer, a fellow antiwar activist, details Abbie Hoffman's humor, manic energy, depressive spells, political skills, & above all, his incurable & still contagious optimism. He presents a thoughtful, solidly researched biography of the wildly creative & iconoclastic Yippie, portraying Hoffman as a fresh force in American political culture. Jezer surveys in detail the politics, philosophies, & struggles of the antiwar movement.
"... Abbie, more than any other radical, showed potheads how to demonstrate and radicals how to dance." -- Chicago Tribune
"... deeply sympathetic and scrupulously detached-a triumph of judicious empathy." -- MARTIN DUBERMAN, Distinguished Professor of History, Lehman/The Graduate School, C.U.N.Y.
"... details Hoffman's humor, manic energy, depressive spells, political skills, and above all, his Incurable and still contagious optimism." -- Entertainment Weekly
"Here's the Abbie I knew and loved! Marty Jezer has captured him in all his complexity, dedication, humor, and heart." -- ANITA HOFFMAN
William Halsey, the most famous naval officer of World War II, was known for fearlessness, steely resolve, and impulsive errors. In this definitive biography, Thomas Hughes punctures the popular caricature of the fighting admiral to present a revealing human portrait of his personal and professional life as it was lived in times of war and peace.
Togo Heihachiro (1848-1934) was born into a feudal society that had lived in seclusion for 250 years. As a teenage samurai, he witnessed the destruction wrought upon his native land by British warships. As the legendary "Silent Admiral", he was at the forefront of innovations in warfare, pioneering the Japanese use of modern gunnery and wireless communication. He is best known as "the Nelson of the East" for his resounding victory over the Tsar's navy in the Russo-Japanese War, but he also lived a remarkable life: studying at a British maritime college, witnessing the Sino-French War, the Hawaiian Revolution, and the Boxer Uprising. After his retirement, he was appointed to oversee the education of the Emperor, Hirohito. This new biography spans Japan's sudden, violent leap out of its self-imposed isolation and into the 20th century. Delving beyond Togo's finest hour at the Battle of Tsushima, it portrays the life of a diffident Japanese sailor in Victorian Britain, his reluctant celebrity in America (where he was laid low by Boston cooking and welcomed by his biggest fan, Theodore Roosevelt), forgotten wars over the short-lived Republics of Ezo and Formosa, and the accumulation of peacetime experience that forged a wartime hero.
The first biography in a decade of Afghan resistance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud.
When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the forces of resistance were disparate. Many groups were caught up in fighting each other and competing for Western arms. The exception were those commanded by Ahmad Shah Massoud, the military strategist and political operator who solidified the resistance and undermined the Russian occupation, leading resistance members to a series of defensive victories.
Sandy Gall followed Massoud during Soviet incursions and reported on the war in Afghanistan, and he draws on this first-hand experience in his biography of this charismatic guerrilla commander. Afghan Napoleon includes excerpts from the surviving volumes of Massoud’s prolific diaries—many translated into English for the first time—which detail crucial moments in his personal life and during his time in the resistance. Born into a liberalizing Afghanistan in the 1960s, Massoud ardently opposed communism, and he rose to prominence by coordinating the defense of the Panjsher Valley against Soviet offensives. Despite being under-equipped and outnumbered, he orchestrated a series of victories over the Russians. Massoud’s assassination in 2001, just two days before the attack on the Twin Towers, is believed to have been ordered by Osama bin Laden. Despite the ultimate frustration of Massoud’s attempts to build political consensus, he is recognized today as a national hero.
Portugal’s poor military performance in the First World War, notably in Africa, restricted Afonso Costa's (1871-1937) ability to secure his diplomatic aims which, in any case, were highly unrealistic. Nevertheless, his loyal press in Portugal described him as the ‘leader of the small nations’, and reported his every statement as a major triumph. Afonso Costa’s most important intervention took place in May 1919, when he denounced the Allies' unwillingness to make Germany pay for all the damage she had caused during the conflict; this speech led to a number of newspaper interviews in which Costa restated his position. The final draft of the Treaty was a complete shock to Portuguese public opinion: It effectively spelt the end of Costa’s political career. This book considers the political implications of Portugal’s participation in the First World War and of the ‘defeat’ in Paris. Reconciliation between the rival parties – and between factions within parties – became impossible, as did, as a result, the formation of a stable cabinet.
After the Humiliating Defeat at Yorktown in 1781, George III Vowed to Keep Fighting the Rebels and Their Allies Around the World, Holding a New Nation in the Balance
Although most people think the American Revolution ended with the British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781, it did not. The war spread around the world, and exhausted men kept fighting—from the Arctic to Arkansas, from India and Ceylon to Schenectady and South America—while others labored to achieve a final diplomatic resolution.
After Cornwallis’s unexpected loss, George III vowed revenge, while Washington planned his next campaign. Spain, which France had lured into the war, insisted there would be no peace without seizing British-held Gibraltar. Yet the war had spun out of control long before Yorktown. Native Americans and Loyalists continued joint operations against land-hungry rebel settlers from New York to the Mississippi Valley. African American slaves sought freedom with the British. Soon, Britain seized the initiative again with a decisive naval victory in the Caribbean against the Comte de Grasse, the French hero of Yorktown.
In After Yorktown: The Final Struggle for American Independence, Don Glickstein tells the engrossing story of this uncertain and violent time, from the remarkable American and French success in Virginia to the conclusion of the fighting—in India—and then to the last British soldiers leaving America more than two years after Yorktown. Readers will learn about the people—their humor, frustration, fatigue, incredulity, worries; their shock at the savage terrorism each side inflicted; and their surprise at unexpected grace and generosity. Based on an extraordinary range of primary sources, the story encompasses a fascinating cast of characters: a French captain who destroyed a British trading post, but left supplies for Indians to help them through a harsh winter, an American Loyalist releasing a captured Spanish woman in hopes that his act of kindness will result in a prisoner exchange, a Native American leader caught “between two hells” of a fickle ally and a greedy enemy, and the only general to surrender to both George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte. Finally, the author asks the question we face today: How do you end a war that doesn’t want to end?
In the war on Iraq, the Bush administration has advanced a strategy of preemption—striking in advance of any realized threat. Creating its own reality of war and presenting the destabilization of a supposed threat as a measure of success, preemption allows victories to be declared in advance and justifies violent and unilateral strikes on peoples, on liberties, on perception, and on truth. Against Preemptive War, a special issue of positions: east asia cultures critique, is a call for critical and international opposition to the logic of preemptive war.
Gathering material from politically active scholars, artists, and authors from Europe, Asia, and North America, this collection reflects on the likely fallout from the corruptive U.S. strategy of preemption. In the introduction, the editors criticize the American press for being, with few exceptions, easily if not willingly deceived by the Bush administration’s propaganda regarding weapons of mass destruction. One contributor redefines fascism as a situation in which contradictions are evident but blatantly ignored, one which creates a false sense of cohesion between events. Another argues that U.S. military bases around the world are now maintained not for military defense and quick mobilization but to create a culture of American militarism, noting that troops were sent from the U.S. for the invasion of Iraq rather than from closer bases around the world. Finally, the issue raises a formidable question: how do we end war waged against what might come to pass rather than what actually is?
Contributors. Tani Barlow, Jim Bonk, Josh Brown, Bei Dao, Carolyn Eisenberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Matthew Fryslie, Sue Golding (as johnny de philo), Freda Guttman, Yukiko Hanawa, Harry Harootunian, Sharon Hayashi, Reynaldo C. Ileto, Joy Kogawa, Thomas LaMarre, The Liberal Islam Network, Sumit K. Mandal, Edoarda Masi, Brian Massumi, Anne McKnight, Carel Moiseiwitsch, Alberto Moreiras, Claudia Pozzana, Alessandro Russo, Ukai Satoshi, Laurie Sears, Kuang Xinnian, Marilyn Young
This book describes the tragic and bloody collapse of Roman civilization in the West in the fifth century and the near ruin of the Eastern Roman Empire. The hundred years from the death of Theodosius I to the conquest of Italy by Theodoric the Ostrogoth were years of chaos, havoc, and destruction. In the East we see the confusion of the imperial government, the palace intrigues, and the sinister role of the palace eunuchs—but survival. The events are dramatically described by eyewitnesses to the disasters—the Byzantine historians Priscus, Malchus, Olympiodorus, John of Antioch, and Candidus. The contemporary accounts are translated into English and provided with a running commentary by C. D. Gordon to form a continuous narrative of an age of turmoil—the Age of Attila.
David S. Potter has added translations of significant passages not in the original volume. He has also added extensive new notes to place the book in the contemporary study of the ancient world, as well as a new bibliography and a concordance with modern editions.
“David Potter’s re-edition, really updating, expanding, reshaping, and refreshing Colin Gordon's classic Age of Attila is a very welcome development. The Age of Attila, in Potter's expanded version, provides in English the most important literary sources for the immensely important period of the transition or decline, depending on one's view, of the Roman empire to the post-Roman kingdoms in the West, and for Roman history in the fifth century CE in general. This decisive century has always been hotly debated, but rising interest in economic history and a new wave of Attila books make this an especially fortuitous moment to have Gordon anew: no historian, no student of the later Roman Empire will be able to live without David Potter's edition of Gordon's Age of Attila!”
—Susanna Elm, University of California, Berkeley
“It has been half a century since C. D. Gordon published this valuable introduction to the fifth century, a narrative reconstituted from the fragmentary but tantalizing sources remaining for the period. David Potter has revitalized this classic work, updating it with reference to the latest critical editions and rewriting its notes to take account of recent scholarship. The book provides an excellent entry point into a world that saw the western Roman Empire crumble, Byzantium rise from its remains, and the barbarian peoples of central and western Eurasia reshape human history.”
—Noel Lenski, University of Colorado Boulder
Often described as the misuse of science, chemical and biological weapons have incurred widespread opposition over the years. Despite condemnation from the United Nations, governments, and the disarmament lobby, they remain very real options for rogue states and terrorists. In this new edition of Agents of War, Edward M. Spiers has expanded and updated this much-needed history with two new chapters on political poisoning and chemical weapons in the Middle East. Spiers breaks new ground by presenting his analysis in both historical and contemporary contexts, giving a comprehensive chronological account of why, where, and when such weapons were used or suspected to be deployed.
The inspiring story of the men and women who risked their lives alongside the soldiers fighting some of the most desperate actions in American history
Bataan, Anzio, Bastogne, Chosin, Khe Sanh: names that define the American spirit. They are synonymous with courage, resilience, and determination against great odds. At each of these battles American soldiers and Marines weathered desperation and fear to survive, advance, and triumph. Along with these heroes of the battlefield were no less determined and courageous providers of medical care. From the heat and disease-ridden jungles of Bataan, the precarious beachhead of Anzio, the encircled town of Bastogne, the frozen fields of Chosin, and the forsaken plateau of Khe Sanh, doctors and nurses worked under intense conditions with whatever means at hand, to staunch bleeding, repair damage, and resurrect the dying. In so doing they gave a glimmer of hope for the warriors facing possible death or capitulation. Often completely cut off from vital supplies and modern technology, and under the threat of enemy fire, these medical professionals—men and women—never lost sight of their passionate commitment to the sick and wounded. As noncombatants, this took extraordinary resolve to ignore the mortal threats of explosions and gunfire to focus on the mission of relieving pain, dragging from the brink of death damaged soldiers completely dependent on their resourcefulness. Some of these brave men and women would suffer the same fate as their fighting comrades, cut down by enemy fire in the prime of life, many times in the very task of rendering the bottomless compassion that was their hallmark and sometimes their only tonic.
In The Agony of Heroes: Medical Care for America’s Besieged Legions from Bataan to Khe Sanh, distinguished surgeon Thomas S. Helling relates the inspirational and compelling stories of the doctors, nurses, corpsmen, aides, and others who braved the most frightening conditions in order to save lives. Their experiences testify to the indomitable human grit that, when asked, transforms ordinary behavior into extraordinary achievements.
Hugh Dowding may be described as the prime architect of British victory in the battle of Britain, and thus as one of a handful of officers and men most responsible for ensuring that Hitler’s planned invasion of England never occurred. Dowding was born in 1882 at the apex of British imperial power and had an early career as a gunner on the fabled North-West Frontier of the British Indian Empire. During the first year of World War I, he served with distinction as a combat pilot in France, but his real test would come in 1936, when he was assigned the critical task of reorganizing the Air Defense of Great Britain as the first air officer commanding-in-chief of the new RAF Fighter Command. In that capacity he stood up to senior staff—and Winston Churchill—by preventing the dismantling of British air defenses during the Battle of France in the spring of 1940, defying pressure from the British Army, Britain’s French allies, and His Majesty’s Government to send the bulk of the RAF’s front-line fighters to the Continent in what Dowding predicted would be a futile effort to stem the German onslaught. While holding back as many of his best fighter aircraft as he could, in June Dowding deployed 11 Group under his hand-picked lieutenant, Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park, to repulse the Luftwaffe over Dunkirk, covering the evacuation of some 338,000 British and French troops from the Continent. During the three months of fighting known as the Battle of Britain, the integrated air defense system organized and trained by Dowding fought the vaunted Luftwaffe to a standstill in daylight air-to-air combat. In October, the Germans abandoned their attempt to win a decisive battle for air superiority over England, turning instead to the protracted campaign of attrition by nighttime area bombing known as the Blitz. In building, defending, and overseeing the operations of Fighter Command, Dowding was thus not only one of the master builders of air power, but also the only airman to have been the winning commander in one of history’s decisive battles.
Air Power and Armies
Sir John Cotesworth Slessor, and foreword by Phillip Meilinger University of Alabama Press, 2009 Library of Congress UG635.G7S45 2009 | Dewey Decimal 358.403
An account of Sir John Cotesworth Slessor (1897–1979), one of Great Britain's most influential airmen
Sir John Slessor played a significant role in building the World War II Anglo-American air power partnership as an air planner on the Royal Air Force Staff, the British Chiefs of Staff, and the Combined Chiefs of Staff. He coordinated allied strategy in 1940–41, helped create an Anglo-American bomber alliance in 1942, and drafted the compromise at the Casablanca Conference that broke a deadlock in Anglo-American strategic debate.
Slessor was instrumental in defeating the U-boat menace as RAF Coastal Commander, and later shared responsibility for directing Allied air operations in the Mediterranean. Few aspects of the allied air effort escaped his influence: pilot training, aircraft procurement, and dissemination of operational intelligence and information all depended to a degree on Slessor. His influence on Anglo-American operational planning paved the way for a level of cooperation and combined action never before undertaken by the military forces of two great nations.
Air Power in War
Arthur W. Tedder University of Alabama Press, 2010 Library of Congress D785.T4 2010 | Dewey Decimal 940.544
The architect of the successful air strategy which led to Allied victory
Arthur Tedder, who was knighted and raised to the peerage for his contributions to the Allied victory in World War II, served in the British air force in World War I and played an important role in professionalizing and organizing British air forces between the two world wars. During World War II, he held a succession of increasingly vital air force posts.
In addition to his achievements as Air Commander-in-Chief in the North African theater early in the war, Tedder’s most lasting contribution was as Deputy Supreme Commander under Dwight D. Eisenhower. He deserves much credit for keeping the Allied command functioning and harmonious. He was also the architect of the successful air strategy Eisenhower adopted for the Normandy invasion of 1944, which departed from both the British and American existing doctrine and models by concentrating on German rail systems rather than on either civilian or industrial targets.
Over the course of the past two hundred years, only one United States territory has experienced foreign occupation: Alaska. Available for the first time in paperback, Alaska at War brings readers face to face with the North Pacific front in World War II. Wide-ranging essays cover the war as seen by Alaskan eyes, including the Japanese invasion of the Attu and Kiska islands, the effects of the war on Aleutian Islanders, and the American campaign to recover occupied territory. Whether you’re a historian or a novice student interested in this pivotal period of American history, Alaska at War provides fascinating insight into the background, history, and cultural impact of war on the Alaskan homefront.
On the eve of World War II, the national interests of Japan, the United States, and the Soviet Union collided in the North Pacific.
Alaska's Hidden Wars tells the story of the war in the North Pacific, a story of savage weather, isolation, and sacrifice.
Two island chains, the Aleutians and the Kuriles, became the focus of a series of major campaigns that pitted the Americans against the Japanese. Alaska's Hidden Wars chronicles the role of Japanese-American intelligence specialists and reveals a Japanese eyewitness account of the defense of Attu. Two virtually unknown aspects of the North Pacific war are also exposed: the brutal North Pacific weather and the imprisonment of American airmen in Kamchatka.
In 1942, the Japanese raided Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands and occupied the islands of Kiska and Attu. The Americans mounted a vigorous campaign, and the Japanese retreated to the Kuriles. For the next two years, the Americans launched air raids and fleet bombardments, while American soldiers maintained lonely outposts along Aleutian coasts. But in 1945, when Japan finally surrendered, the Kuriles were taken, not by the waiting Americans, but by the Soviets.
Alaska's Hidden Wars is a fast-moving history that brings declassified archival sources to light and draws the reader into the lonely, bitter war fought in the North Pacific.
Aleksandur Stamboliiski was one of the most original politicians of the 20th century. His tragedy was that he came to power at the end of the First World War in which Bulgaria had been defeated. It fell to him, therefore, to accept and apply the peace settlement. This created tensions between him and traditional Bulgarian nationalism, tensions which ended with his murder in 1923. The book will examine the origins of this traditional nationalism from the foundation of the Bulgarian state in 1878, and of the agrarian movement which came to represent the social aspirations of the majority of the peasant population. It will also illustrate Stamboliiski's rise to power and examine his ideology. Emphasis will be placed on how this ideology clashed with the monarchy, the military, and the nationalists. Stamboliiski's policies in the Balkan wars and the First World War will be described before the details of the 1919 peace settlement are examined. The implementation of those terms will then be discussed as will the coup of 1923. The legacy of the peace treaty in the inter-war period and of Stamboliiski's image in the years after his downfall will form the final section of the book.
Alexander William Doniphan (1808-1887)--Missouri attorney, military figure, politician, and businessman--is one of the most significant figures in antebellum Missouri. From the 1830s to the 1880s, Doniphan was active in a variety of affairs in Missouri and held firm to several underlying principles, including loyalty, hard work, the sanctity of the republic, and commitment to Christian charity. However, the key to Doniphan's importance was his persistent moderation on the critical issues of his day.
Doniphan became a household name when he served as the commanding officer of the famed First Missouri Mounted Volunteers during the Mexican-American War. It was during this time that he won two battles, established an Anglo-American-based democracy in New Mexico, and paved the way for the annexation of the territory that became New Mexico and Arizona. He is also recognized by the Mormons for his assistance to their beleaguered church during Missouri's "Mormon War" and for his refusal to execute Joseph Smith when ordered to do so by his commanding officer.
Although Doniphan was a slaveholding unionist, he sought a middle ground to stave off war in the 1850s and early 1860s and served as a delegate to the Washington Peace Conference in 1861. When conflict escalated along the western border of Missouri in 1862, Doniphan moved to St. Louis, where he worked as a lawyer with the Missouri Claims Commission, seeking pensions for refugees.
Doniphan early adopted the Whig ideal of the "positive liberal state" and sought to use the power of government to remake society into something better. Once he saw the heavy-handed use of state power during Reconstruction, however, Doniphan reversed his views on the role of the government in society. For the rest of his life, he resisted government incursions into the lives of the people and sought to restore a healthy Union.
Alexander William Doniphan will be of interest to academic specialists and general readers alike, especially those interested in Mormon studies, Missouri history, military history, and Western history.
Frank Kearns was the go-to guy at CBS News for danger- ous stories in Africa and the Middle East in the 1950s, ‘60s, and early ‘70s. By his own account, he was nearly killed 114 times. He took stories that nobody else wanted to cover and was challenged to get them on the air when nobody cared about this part of the world. But his stories were warning shots for conflicts that play out in the headlines today.
In 1957, Senator John Kennedy described America’s view of the Algerian war for independence as the Eisenhower Administration’s “head in the sand policy.” So CBS News decided to find out what was really happening there and to determine where Algeria’s war for independence fit into the game plan for the Cold War. They sent Frank Kearns to find out.
Kearns took with him cameraman Yousef (“Joe”) Masraff and 400 pounds of gear, some of which they shed, and they hiked with FLN escorts from Tunisia, across a wide “no-man’s land,” and into the Aures Mountains of eastern Algeria, where the war was bloodiest. They carried no passports or visas. They dressed as Algerians. They refused to bear weapons. And they knew that if captured, they would be executed and left in unmarked graves. But their job as journalists was to seek the truth whatever it might turn out to be.
This book presents an overview of thedecisive Battle of Aljubarrota (1385). Theauthors embody the conflict in the context ofIberian relations during the fourteenthcentury, and integrate the battle in themacro European conflict of the <i>HundredYears War</i>. They go on to reflect on theimplications of the Anglo-Portuguesealliance, regarded as a turning point in theestablishment of national identity. The bookconcludes with a presentation of how thebattlefield site is preserved today and how toconvey the medieval site to new generations.
In the summer of 1917 three Wisconsin National Guard companies came together to form the 150th Machine Gun Battalion of the now famous 42nd “Rainbow” Division. As true comrades, they relied on one another for support as they fought in every major battle of the American Expeditionary Forces, including the landmark battle of Chateau Thierry, which cost the unit dearly. As one of Wisconsin’s most celebrated units, a soldier coming from the battalion was selected to represent the state at the unveiling of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C., in 1921. Today, the 150th is all but forgotten, in part because their unit history was never written. Through letters, diaries, and other recollections, Larson tells us the story of these Guardsmen’s experiences. He traces the path of their wartime service and considers the impact of war’s trauma and tedium on their lives.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor and the entry of the United States into World War II, many commercial advertisers and their Madison Avenue ad agencies instantly switched from selling products and services to selling the home front on ways to support the war. Ads by major manufacturers showcased how their factories had turned to war production, demonstrating their participation in the war and helping people understand, for instance, that they couldn’t buy a new washing machine because the company was making munitions. Other ads helped civilians cope with wartime rationing and shortages by offering advice on how to make leftovers tasty, make shoes last, and keep a car in good working order. Ads also encouraged Victory Gardens, scrap collecting, giving blood, and (most important) buying War Bonds. In this book, Jones examines hundreds of ads from ten large-circulation news and general-interest magazines of the period. He discusses motivational war ads, ads about industrial and agricultural support of the war, ads directed at uplifting the morale of civilians and GIs, and ads promoting home front efficiency, conservation, and volunteerism. Jones also includes ads praising women in war work and the armed forces and ads aimed at recruiting more women. Taken together, war ads in national magazines did their part to create the most efficient home front possible in order to support the war effort.
The Ambiguity of Virtue
Bernard Wasserstein Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress D804.6.W3713 2014 | Dewey Decimal 940.531809492352
Working with the Nazi-appointed Jewish Council in Amsterdam, Gertrude van Tijn helped many Jews escape. But she faced difficult moral choices. Some called her a heroine; others, a collaborator. Bernard Wasserstein's haunting narrative draws readers into this twilight world, to expose the terrible dilemmas confronting Jews under Nazi occupation.
The Spanish Civil War (1936—1939) was a confrontation between supporters of Spain's democratically elected Republic—including peasants, communists, union workers, and anarchists—and an alliance of nationalist Army rebels and upper-class forces, including the Catholic Church and landlords, led by General Francisco Franco. In the political climate of the time, this civil war became the focus of foreign interests advocating conflicting ideas of democracy and fascism. Spain became a training ground where Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy tested military techniques intended for use in a yet to be declared wider world war. Although most Western nations embraced a neutrality pact, individual volunteers from around the world, including the United States, made their way to Spain to support the Republican cause.
Among the Americans was Robert Hale Merriman, a scholar who had been studying international economics in Europe. He and his wife, Marion, joined volunteers from fifty-four countries in International Brigades. Merriman became the first commander of the Americans; Abraham Lincoln Battalion and a leader among the International Brigades. Now available in a new paperback edition, American Commander in Spain is based on Merriman and Marion's diaries and personal correspondence, Marion's own service at his side in Spain, as well as Warren Lerude's extensive research and interviews with people who knew Merriman and Marion, government records, and contemporary news reports. This critically acclaimed work is both the biography of a remarkable man who combined his idealism with life-risking action to fight fascism threatening Europe and Marion's vivid first-hand account of life in Spain during the civil war that became a prologue to the Second World War.
During the 1910s, films about war often featured a female protagonist. The films portrayed women as spies, cross-dressing soldiers, and athletic defenders of their homes—roles typically reserved for men and that contradicted gendered-expectations of home-front women waiting for their husbands, sons, and brothers to return from battle. The representation of American martial spirit—particularly in the form of heroines—has a rich history in film in the years just prior to the American entry into World War I. The American Girl Goes to War demonstrates the predominance of heroic female characters in in early narrative films about war from 1908 to 1919. American Girls were filled with the military spirit of their forefathers and became one of the major ways that American women’s changing political involvement, independence, and active natures were contained by and subsumed into pre-existing American ideologies.
"Cooke's examination of the Special Services and PX System during World War II, a subject previously overlooked by scholars, shows that these goods and services kept the armed forces' spirits up under the alienating conditions of global war."—Dennis Showalter, author of Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century
As World War II dawned in Europe, General George C. Marshall, the new Army Chief of Staff, had to acknowledge that American society—and the citizens who would soon become soldiers—had drastically changed in the previous few decades. Almost every home had a radio, movies could talk, and driving in an automobile to the neighborhood soda fountain was part of everyday life. A product of newly created mass consumerism, the soldier of 1940 had expectations of material comfort, even while at war. Historian James J. Cooke presents the first comprehensive look at how Marshall’s efforts to cheer soldiers far from home resulted in the enduring morale services that the Army provides still today.
Marshall understood that civilian soldiers provided particular challenges and wanted to improve the subpar morale services that had been provided to Great War doughboys. Frederick Osborn, a civilian intellectual, was called to head the newly formed morale branch, which quickly became the Special Services Division. Hundreds of on-post movie theaters showing first-run movies at reduced prices, service clubs where GIs could relax, and inexpensive cafeterias were constructed. The Army Exchange System took direction under Brigadier General Joseph Byron, offering comfort items at low prices; the PX sold everything from cigarettes and razor blades to low-alcohol beer in very popular beer halls.
The great civic organizations—the YMCA, the Salvation Army, the Jewish Welfare Board, and others—were brought together to form the United Service Organizations (USO). At USO Camp Shows, admired entertainers like Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Frances Langford brought home-style entertainment to soldiers within the war zones. As the war heightened in intensity, the Special Service Companies grew to over forty in number, each containing more than one hundred enlisted men. Trained in infantry skills, soldiers in the companies at times would have to stop showing movies, pick up their rifles, and fight.
The Special Services Division, PX, and USO were crucial elements in maintaining GI morale, and Cooke’s work makes clear the lasting legacy of these efforts to boost the average soldier’s spirits almost a century ago. The idea that as American soldiers serve abroad, they should have access to at least some of the comforts of home has become a cultural standard.
A firsthand account of the American Jewish experience on the front lines of the Korean War
During the height of the Korean conflict, 1950–51, Orthodox Jewish chaplain Milton J. Rosen wrote 19 feature-length articles for Der Morgen Zhornal, a Yiddish daily in New York, documenting his wartime experiences as well as those of the servicemen under his care. Rosen was among those nearly caught in the Chinese entrapment of American and Allied forces in North Korea in late 1950, and some of his most poignant writing details the trying circumstances that faced both soldiers and civilians during that time.
As chaplain, Rosen was able to offer a unique account of the American Jewish experience on the frontlines and in the United States military while also describing the impact of the American presence on Korean citizens and their culture. His interest in Korean attitudes toward Jews is also a significant theme within these articles.
Stanley R. Rosen has translated his father’s articles into English and provides background on Milton Rosen’s military service before and after the Korean conflict. He presents an introductory overview of the war and includes helpful maps and photographs. The sum is a readable account of war and its turmoil from an astute and compassionate observer.
After more than four decades, the Viet Nam War continues to haunt our national memory, culture, politics, and military actions. In this probing interdisciplinary study, Susan Lyn Eastman examines a range of cultural productions—from memorials and poetry to cinematic and fictional narratives—that have tried to grapple with the psychic afterlife of traumatic violence resulting from the ill-fated conflict in Southeast Asia.
Underpinning the book is the notion of “prosthetic memory,” which involves memories acquired by those with no direct experience of the war, such as readers and filmgoers. Prosthetic memories, Eastman argues, refuse to relegate the war to the forgotten past and challenge the authenticity of experience, thus ensuring its continued relevance to debates over America’s self-conception, specifically her coinage of the “New Vietnam Syndrome,” and the country’s role in world affairs when it comes to contemporary military interventions.
With the notable exception of the Veterans’ Memorial in Washington, Eastman’s focus is on works produced from the Persian Gulf War (1990–91) through the post-9/11 “War on Terror.” She looks not only at American representations of the war—from movies like Randall Wallace’s We Were Soldiers to poems by W. D. Ehrhart, Yusef Komunyakaa, and others—but also at novels by Vietnamese authors Bao Ninh and Huong Thu Duong. The experiences of women figure prominently in the book: Eastman devotes a chapter to the Vietnam Women’s Memorial and another to Sandie Frazier’s novel I Married Vietnam and Oliver Stone’s film Heaven and Earth, based on memoirs by Le Ly Hayslip. And by examining Jessica Hagedorn’s Dream Jungle, a novel inspired by the filming of Apocalypse Now, she considers how the war’s repercussions were felt in other countries, in this case the Philippines. Her investigation of Vietnamese American authors Lan Cao, Andrew Lam, and GB Tran adds a transnational dimension to the study.
With its up-to-date perspective on recent works that have heretofore received scant critical notice, this book offers new ways of thinking about one of the most polemic chapters in U.S. history.
SUSAN LYN EASTMAN teaches in the Department of English at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
American War Stories
Brenda M. Boyle Rutgers University Press, 2021 Library of Congress HM554.B698 2020 | Dewey Decimal 303.66
American War Stories asks readers to contemplate what traditionally constitutes a “war story” and how that constitution obscures the normalization of militarism in American culture. The book claims the traditionally narrow scope of “war story,” as by a combatant about his wartime experience, compartmentalizes war, casting armed violence as distinct from everyday American life. Broadening “war story” beyond the specific genres of war narratives such as “war films,” “war fiction,” or “war memoirs,” American War Stories exposes how ingrained militarism is in everyday American life, a condition that challenges the very democratic principles the United States is touted as exemplifying.
How is it that the United States—a country founded on a distrust of standing armies and strong centralized power—came to have the most powerful military in history? Long after World War II and the end of the Cold War, in times of rising national debt and reduced need for high levels of military readiness, why does Congress still continue to support massive defense budgets?
In The American Warfare State, Rebecca U. Thorpe argues that there are profound relationships among the size and persistence of the American military complex, the growth in presidential power to launch military actions, and the decline of congressional willingness to check this power. The public costs of military mobilization and war, including the need for conscription and higher tax rates, served as political constraints on warfare for most of American history. But the vast defense industry that emerged from World War II also created new political interests that the framers of the Constitution did not anticipate. Many rural and semirural areas became economically reliant on defense-sector jobs and capital, which gave the legislators representing them powerful incentives to press for ongoing defense spending regardless of national security circumstances or goals. At the same time, the costs of war are now borne overwhelmingly by a minority of soldiers who volunteer to fight, future generations of taxpayers, and foreign populations in whose lands wars often take place.
Drawing on an impressive cache of data, Thorpe reveals how this new incentive structure has profoundly reshaped the balance of wartime powers between Congress and the president, resulting in a defense industry perennially poised for war and an executive branch that enjoys unprecedented discretion to take military action.
Interweaving personal stories with historical photos and background, this lively account documents the history of the more than 40,000 women who served in relief and military duty during World War I. Through personal interviews and excerpts from diaries, letters, and memoirs, Lettie Gavin relates poignant stories of women's wartime experiences and provides a unique perspective on their progress in military service. American Women in World War I captures the spirit of these determined patriots and their times for every reader and will be of special interest to military, women's, and social historians.
America's Army is the story of the all-volunteer force, from the draft protests and policy proposals of the 1960s through the Iraq War. Based on exhaustive archival research, as well as interviews with Army officers and recruiters, advertising executives, and policy makers, America's Army confronts the political, moral, and social issues a volunteer force raises for a democratic society as well as for the defense of our nation.
Oral history by Marines who fought to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein's invading forces.
America's Battalion tells the experiences of one unit, the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, during Operation Desert Storm—the first Gulf War. Building from interviews with the members of the batallion, Otto Lehrack examines the nature of warfare in the Persian Gulf. The terrain of the Arabian Peninsula and the disposition of the enemy dictated conventional warfare requiring battalion and regimental assaults coordinated at the division level, so interviewees are primarily the officers and senior non-commissioned officers concerned.
The 3rd of the 3rd, also known as "America's Battalion," had just returned from deployment in the summer of 1990 when they were required to immediately re-deploy to a strange land to face a battle-hardened enemy after Iraq invaded Kuwait. Theirs was only the second Marine battalion to arrive in Saudi Arabia. They participated in the first allied ground operation of the war, played a key role in the battle for the city of Khafji, and were the first to infiltrate the Iraqi wire and minefield barrier in order to provide flank security for the beginning of the allied offensive.
Facing an enemy that had used some of the most fearsome weapons of mass destruction—chemical and biological agents—against its former opponents and against its own people, the Marines had been prepared for the worst. Lehrack has documented this unit's remarkable performance through the accounts of those who participated in the historic events in the Persian Gulf and returned home to tell of them.
In a brilliant new interpretation, Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall reexamine the successes and failures of America’s Cold War. The United States dealt effectively with the threats of Soviet predominance in Europe and of nuclear war in the early years of the conflict. But by engineering this policy, American leaders successfully paved the way for domestic actors and institutions with a vested interest in the struggle’s continuation. Long after the USSR had been effectively contained, Washington continued to wage a virulent Cold War that entailed a massive arms buildup, wars in Korea and Vietnam, the support of repressive regimes and counterinsurgencies, and a pronounced militarization of American political culture.
“A creative, carefully researched, and incisive analysis of U.S. strategy during the long struggle against the Soviet Union.”
—Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy
“Craig and Logevall remind us that American foreign policy is decided as much by domestic pressures as external threats. America's Cold War is history at its provocative best.”
—Mark Atwood Lawrence, author of The Vietnam WarThe Cold War dominated world affairs during the half century following World War II. America prevailed, but only after fifty years of grim international struggle, costly wars in Korea and Vietnam, trillions of dollars in military spending, and decades of nuclear showdowns. Was all of that necessary?
In this new edition of their landmark history, Campbell Craig and Fredrik Logevall include recent scholarship on the Cold War, the Reagan and Bush administrations, and the collapse of the Soviet regime and expand their discussion of the nuclear revolution and origins of the Vietnam War to advance their original argument: that America’s response to a very real Soviet threat gave rise to a military and political system in Washington that is addicted to insecurity and the endless pursuit of enemies to destroy. America’s Cold War speaks vividly to debates about forever wars and threat inflation at the center of American politics today.
America’s Miracle Man in Vietnam rethinks the motivations behind one of the most ruinous foreign-policy decisions of the postwar era: America’s commitment to preserve an independent South Vietnam under the premiership of Ngo Dinh Diem. The so-called Diem experiment is usually ascribed to U.S. anticommunism and an absence of other candidates for South Vietnam’s highest office. Challenging those explanations, Seth Jacobs utilizes religion and race as categories of analysis to argue that the alliance with Diem cannot be understood apart from America’s mid-century religious revival and policymakers’ perceptions of Asians. Jacobs contends that Diem’s Catholicism and the extent to which he violated American notions of “Oriental” passivity and moral laxity made him a more attractive ally to Washington than many non-Christian South Vietnamese with greater administrative experience and popular support.
A diplomatic and cultural history, America’s Miracle Man in Vietnam draws on government archives, presidential libraries, private papers, novels, newspapers, magazines, movies, and television and radio broadcasts. Jacobs shows in detail how, in the 1950s, U.S. policymakers conceived of Cold War anticommunism as a crusade in which Americans needed to combine with fellow Judeo-Christians against an adversary dangerous as much for its atheism as for its military might. He describes how racist assumptions that Asians were culturally unready for democratic self-government predisposed Americans to excuse Diem’s dictatorship as necessary in “the Orient.” By focusing attention on the role of American religious and racial ideologies, Jacobs makes a crucial contribution to our understanding of the disastrous commitment of the United States to “sink or swim with Ngo Dinh Diem.”
Honorable Mention, 2016 Lyman Awards, presented by the North American Society for Oceanic History
This book is a thrillingly-written story of naval planes, boats, and submarines during World War I.
When the U.S. entered World War I in April 1917, America’s sailors were immediately forced to engage in the utterly new realm of anti-submarine warfare waged on, below and above the seas by a variety of small ships and the new technology of airpower. The U.S. Navy substantially contributed to the safe trans-Atlantic passage of a two million man Army that decisively turned the tide of battle on the Western Front even as its battleship division helped the Royal Navy dominate the North Sea. Thoroughly professionalized, the Navy of 1917–18 laid the foundations for victory at sea twenty-five years later.
This report analyzes defense options available to the United States in responding to current and emerging threats to U.S. security and interests in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. It focuses on ways that the United States might adapt military instruments to meet these emerging challenges, assessing in broad terms the cost of defense investments commensurate with the interests at stake.
“A retired major general of the Marine Corps offers here an interpretive history of the campaign culminating in the battle of New Orleans, based on a meticulous review of the sources and employing the perceptive of modern military doctrine. Written with a military regard for precision . . . [the book] nevertheless gathers force and even suspense though its emphasis on the importance f the events at hand . . [T]his is now probably the best book on the topic.”—Choice
Until well into the twentieth century, pack animals were the primary mode of transport for supplying armies in the field. The British Indian Army was no exception. In the late nineteenth century, for example, it forcibly pressed into service thousands of camels of the Indus River basin to move supplies into and out of contested areas—a system that wreaked havoc on the delicately balanced multispecies environment of humans, animals, plants, and microbes living in this region of Northwest India.
In Animal Labor and Colonial Warfare, James Hevia examines the use of camels, mules, and donkeys in colonial campaigns of conquest and pacification, starting with the Second Afghan War—during which an astonishing 50,000 to 60,000 camels perished—and ending in the early twentieth century. Hevia explains how during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries a new set of human-animal relations were created as European powers and the United States expanded their colonial possessions and attempted to put both local economies and ecologies in the service of resource extraction. The results were devastating to animals and human communities alike, disrupting centuries-old ecological and economic relationships. And those effects were lasting: Hevia shows how a number of the key issues faced by the postcolonial nation-state of Pakistan—such as shortages of clean water for agriculture, humans, and animals, and limited resources for dealing with infectious diseases—can be directly traced to decisions made in the colonial past. An innovative study of an underexplored historical moment, Animal Labor and Colonial Warfare opens up the animal studies to non-Western contexts and provides an empirically rich contribution to the emerging field of multispecies historical ecology.
By the time the United States officially entered World War II, more than half of American anthropologists were using their professional knowledge and skills to advance the war effort. The range of their war-related work was extraordinary. They helped gather military intelligence, pinpointed possible social weaknesses in enemy nations, and contributed to the army’s regional Pocket Guide booklets. They worked for dozens of government agencies, including the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the Office of War Information. At a moment when social scientists are once again being asked to assist in military and intelligence work, David H. Price examines anthropologists’ little-known contributions to the Second World War.
Anthropological Intelligence is based on interviews with anthropologists as well as extensive archival research involving many Freedom of Information Act requests. Price looks at the role played by the two primary U.S. anthropological organizations, the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology (which was formed in 1941), in facilitating the application of anthropological methods to the problems of war. He chronicles specific projects undertaken on behalf of government agencies, including an analysis of the social effects of postwar migration, the design and implementation of OSS counterinsurgency campaigns, and the study of Japanese social structures to help tailor American propaganda efforts. Price discusses anthropologists’ work in internment camps, their collection of intelligence in Central and South America for the FBI’s Special Intelligence Service, and their help forming foreign language programs to assist soldiers and intelligence agents. Evaluating the ethical implications of anthropological contributions to World War II, Price suggests that by the time the Cold War began, the profession had set a dangerous precedent regarding what it would be willing to do on behalf of the U.S. government.
Between 1914 and 1918, German anthropologists conducted their work in the midst of full-scale war. The discipline was relatively new in German academia when World War I broke out, and, as Andrew D. Evans reveals in this illuminating book, its development was profoundly altered by the conflict. As the war shaped the institutional, ideological, and physical environment for anthropological work, the discipline turned its back on its liberal roots and became a nationalist endeavor primarily concerned with scientific studies of race.
Combining intellectual and cultural history with the history of science, Anthropology at War examines both the origins and consequences of this shift. Evans locates its roots in the decision to allow scientists access to prisoner-of-war camps, which prompted them to focus their research on racial studies of the captives. Caught up in wartime nationalism, a new generation of anthropologists began to portray the country’s political enemies as racially different. After the war ended, the importance placed on racial conceptions and categories persisted, paving the way for the politicization of scientific inquiry in the years of the ascendancy of National Socialism.
A first-hand account of the USS England's accomplishments, written by its commanding officer
The USS England was a 1200-ton, 306-foot, long-hull destroyer escort. Commissioned into service in late 1943 and dispatched to the Pacific the following February, the England and its crew, in one 12-day period in 1944, sank more submarines than any other ship in U.S. naval history: of the six targets attacked, all six were destroyed. For this distinction, legendary in the annals of antisubmarine warfare, the ship and her crew were honored with the Presidential Unit Citation.
After convoying in the Atlantic, John A. Williamson was assigned to the England—first as its executive officer, then as its commanding officer—from the time of her commissioning until she was dry-docked for battle damage repairs in the Philadelphia Naval Yard fifteen months later. Besides being a key participant in the remarkable antisubmarine actions, Williamson commanded the England in the battle of Okinawa, where she was attacked by kamikaze planes.
Williamson narrates his memoir with authority and authenticity, describes naval tactics and weaponry precisely, and provides information gleaned from translations of the orders from the Japanese high command to Submarine Squadron 7. The author details the challenges of communal life aboard ship and explains the intense loyalty that bonds crew members for life. Ultimately, Williamson offers a compelling portrait of himself, an inexperienced naval officer who, having come of age in Alabama during the Depression, rose to become the most successful World War II antisubmarine warfare officer in the Pacific.
The Anti-Warrior: A Memoir
Milt Felsen University of Iowa Press, 1989 Library of Congress DP269.9.F36 1989 | Dewey Decimal 940.548173
In 1937 thirty-six nervous young men dressed in ill-fitting blue suits, wearing berets, and carrying identical black valises, were given tickets for an American Export Lines ship. They were told to conduct themselves as ordinary tourists, to be "inconspicuous." They were volunteers for the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, traveling the French underground to join in the fight against Franco. Among them was Milt Felsen, a young New Yorker and radical antiwar activist on the University of Iowa campus who had decided that fascism had to be opposed. Some of these young men never made it to their destination. But Milt Felsen did, beginning a march across the Pyrenees which was only the first of his many battles and adventures.
Told with uncommon wit and verve, this memoir of war and resistance is a stirring account of Felsen's involvement in two decades of battle. Surprisingly, this is a spirited and even funny book, infused with Felsen's unbeatable personality. After the Spanish Civil War, Felsen helped form the O.S.S. in World War II. Taken prisoner of war, he escaped in his inimitable style during a 1,200-mile prisoner-of-war march and drove out of Nazi Germany in a Mercedes-Benz. He returned to the United States more convinced than ever of war's insanity and its extreme human cost.
Most of us are only spectators of the world's larger events. Milt Felsen knew the excitement and despair of being a participant. While most war books abound in details of what happened, this one also delves into why. Felsen's straightforward account is refreshingly frank and doesn't pretend to be more than it is—his own lived version of war and common truths.
New oral histories from Black Namibian and Angolan troops who fought in apartheid South Africa’s security forces reveal their involvement, and its impact on their lives to be far more complicated than most existing historical scholarship has acknowledged.
In anticolonial struggles across the African continent, tens of thousands of African soldiers served in the militaries of colonial and settler states. In southern Africa, they often made up the bulk of these militaries and, in some contexts, far outnumbered those who fought in the liberation movements’ armed wings. Despite these soldiers' significant impact on the region’s military and political history, this dimension of southern Africa’s anticolonial struggles has been almost entirely ignored in previous scholarship.
Black troops from Namibia and Angola spearheaded apartheid South Africa’s military intervention in their countries’ respective anticolonial war and postindependence civil war. Drawing from oral history interviews and archival sources, Lennart Bolliger challenges the common framing of these wars as struggles of national liberation fought by and for Africans against White colonial and settler-state armies.
Focusing on three case studies of predominantly Black units commanded by White officers, Bolliger investigates how and why these soldiers participated in South Africa’s security forces and considers the legacies of that involvement. In tackling these questions, he rejects the common tendency to categorize the soldiers as “collaborators” and “traitors” and reveals the un-national facets of anticolonial struggles.
Finally, the book’s unique analysis of apartheid military culture shows how South Africa’s military units were far from monolithic and instead developed distinctive institutional practices, mythologies, and concepts of militarized masculinity.
Apocalypse Never illuminates why we must abolish nuclear weapons, how we can, and what the world will look like after we do. The twenty-first century has ushered in a world at the atomic edge. The pop culture days of Dr. Strangelove have been replaced by the all-too-real single day of 24. Tad Daley has written a book for the general reader about this most crucial of contemporary challenges.
Apocalypse Never maintains that the abolition of nuclear weapons is both essential and achievable, and reveals in fine detail what we need to do--both governments and movements--to make it a reality. Daley insists that while global climate change poses the single greatest long-term peril to the human race, the nuclear challenge in its many incarnation--nuclear terror, nuclear accident, a nuclear crisis spinning out of control--poses the single most immediate peril. Daley launches a wholesale assault on the nuclear double standard--the notion that the United States permits itself thousands of these weapons but forbids others from aspiring to even one--insisting that it is militarily unnecessary, morally indefensible, and politically unsustainable. He conclusively repudiates the most frequent objection to nuclear disarmament, "the breakout scenario"--the possibility that after abolition someone might whip back the curtain, reveal a dozen nuclear warheads, and proceed to "rule the world."
On the wings of a brand new era in American history, Apocalypse Never makes the case that a comprehensive nuclear policy agenda from President Obama, one that fully integrates nonproliferation with disarmament, can both eliminate immediate nuclear dangers and set us irreversibly on the road to abolition. In jargon-free language, Daley explores the possible verification measures, enforcement mechanisms, and governance structures of a nuclear weapon-free world. Most importantly, he decisively argues that universal nuclear disarmament is something we can transform from a utopian fantasy into a concrete political goal.
In this far-reaching exploration of the evolution of warfare in human history, Jack S. Levy and William R. Thompson provide insight into the perennial questions of why and how humans fight. Beginning with the origins of warfare among foraging groups, The Arc of War draws on a wealth of empirical data to enhance our understanding of how war began and how it has changed over time. The authors point to the complex interaction of political economy, political and military organization, military technology, and the threat environment—all of which create changing incentives for states and other actors. They conclude that those actors that adapt survive, and those that do not are eliminated. In modern times, warfare between major powers has become exceedingly costly and therefore quite rare, while lesser powers are too weak to fight sustained and decisive wars or to prevent internal rebellions.
Conceptually innovative and historically sweeping, The Arc of War represents a significant contribution to the existing literature on warfare.
Architects of Globalism provides the first comprehensive analysis of American Blueprints for the reconstruction of the world after the defeat of Hitler and his allies. Working closely with Roosevelt and Truman, State Department officials assumed primary responsibility for drafting these plans. Hearden shows that bitter rivalries frequently divided these officials, but that there was remarkable agreement among them on fundamental principles. These architects of globalism sought to create a liberal capitalist world system, in which foreign markets would absorb the surplus products of American farms and factories so that the United States would be able to maintain high levels of employment without further government intervention in the economy. Hearden shows these men contending with the vital issues of the day: decolonization and the dismantling of empires, relations with the Soviet Union, the formation of the United Nations, the economic reconstruction of war-torn countries, the forging of new relations with Germany and Japan, the twin problems of Palestine and petroleum. Based on extensive new research in primary sources — from policymakers' private letters and personal diaries to official correspondence — this exciting book documents the formation of the postwar world.
Argonne Days in World War I
Horace L. Baker, Edited & Intro by Robert H. Ferrell University of Missouri Press, 2007 Library of Congress D545.A63B35 2007 | Dewey Decimal 940.436
When he took ship for France in the spring of 1918, Horace Baker was ill prepared for war. A private in the American Expeditionary Forces, the unassuming Mississippi schoolteacher joined the renowned Thirty-second Division and learned his soldiering skills from men who’d already fought in the Aisne-Marne offensive. Before long, he was to put those skills to use in the largest and most costly battle ever fought by the U.S. Army.
This poignant memoir recalls the great battle of the Meuse-Argonne, an epic conflict waged by well over a million men that saw casualties of 26,277 killed and 95,786 wounded. Many books have been written about General Pershing’s planning of the offensive; this one tells what happened to the soldiers who had to carry out his orders.
The Thirty-second was a shock division made up largely of National Guard units—farm boys from the Upper Midwest. But as casualties mounted, replacements were rushed into battle with little training—and devastating results. Baker knew friends and tent mates who were alive one day, dead the next, and he kept track of the battle in diary entries tucked into his Bible—and made evasively short in case of capture.
He shares his and his comrades’ thoughts about fighting in a harsh climate and terrain, relates their ongoing problems with short supplies, and tells how they managed to overcome their fears. It is a straightforward narrative that doesn’t glorify battle or appeal to patriotism yet conveys the horrors of warfare with striking accuracy. Historian Robert Ferrell’s new introduction puts Baker’s recollections in the context of the larger theater of war.
Baker fleshed out his diary in a book that saw limited publication in 1927 but has remained essentially unknown. Argonne Days in World War I is a masterpiece brimming with insight about the ordinary doughboys who fought in the European trenches. It conveys the spirit of a man who did his duty in a time of trouble—and is a testament to the spirit shared by thousands like him.
It was a cold, gray morning in northeast France when Pfc. Silvestre Herrera's unit came under heavy fire from a Nazi artillery barrage. Armed with only a hand grenade and his M1 rifle, Herrera fixed his bayonet and mounted a one-man charge, single-handedly capturing eight German soldiers, then killing two more and pinning down the enemy despite having had both feet blown off by a mine. A few months later he was back home in Phoenix when the telegram arrived notifying him that he was to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Herrera was just one of Arizona's sons and daughters who answered their country's call in World War II. Their exploits—and the adventures of those on the home front—are now celebrated in a book that brings that era engagingly to life.
Arizona Goes to War takes readers back to a time when military installations sprang up all over the state as thousands of airmen arrived to train in Arizona's clear desert skies, and when soldiers destined for North Africa came to get their first taste of desert sands. In its pages, readers will learn not only of the green recruits who passed through Arizona, but also of the state's Native Americans who registered for the draft in record numbers, of Japanese Americans unjustly incarcerated in desert detention centers, and of ordinary citizens who did their bit for the war effort. Included in the book are some of World War II's most incredible stories, such as the testing of tank engines in Arizona dust storms for the North Africa campaign, the interrogation of Japanese consular diplomats from Honolulu at the Triangle T Guest Ranch near Dragoon, and the escape of 25 German POWs from a detention camp outside of Phoenix—called the greatest escape by Axis prisoners from a U.S. compound during the war. A separate chapter pays tribute to Arizona's war heroes: not only Silvestre Herrera, but also fighter ace Grant Turley, Midway hero John C. Butler, and Pima Indian Ira Hayes, who helped raise the flag on Iwo Jima. A host of profiles and sidebars bring people and events of the wartime era to life, and a useful appendix provides a traveler's guide to Arizona's World War II sites.
World War II may have transformed Arizona more than it did any other state; not only did Arizona's industry blossom, its population did as well when servicemen who had been stationed there returned to put down stakes. Arizona Goes to War recaptures the glory and spirit of that era and reminds us that the people who lived through those years are well worth commemorating.
While little has been written about the USS Arkansas, this battleship carried the state’s name through two world wars, a Mexican invasion, and into the atomic age. The USS Arkansas, measuring almost the length of two football fields, went to sea in 1911 and sailed the world until 1946 when it served as a target for the atomic bomb tests in the South Pacific. In between, the ship participated in the invasion of Vera Cruz, Mexico; served in World War I; helped Arkansas get an official flag; and assisted in the World War II battles at Normandy, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. Highlighting the narrative with previously unpublished photos, the authors tell the facinating story of the ship and its men by referencing handwritten journals penciled in the midst of service and combat.
Using a life-cycle model for Roman soldiers, Johan Nicolay interprets the large quantity of first-century finds as personal memorabilia brought home by ex-soldiers as a reminder of their twenty-five years of service and a symbol of their newly-acquired veteran status. Underpinning Nicolay’s research is an extensive inventory of militaria from urban centers, rural settlements, rivers, and graves—presented in nearly one hundred individual color plates. Introducing a considerable body of unpublished data, as well as offering a perspective on daily life in the northern frontier of the Roman Empire, this volume is a valuable addition to Roman military and material history.
"A classic..., a brilliant interpretation of the origins of mass warfare. In Arms and Men, Walter Millis has helped to explain not only how war has come to dominate our age, but the often troubled, anomalous relationship between the military and the rest of American society. For everyone, from the beginning student to the advanced scholar, there is not a more comprehensive, more stimulating, or more lively introduction to the men, the ideas, the policies, and the forces that have shaped the development of American military power."
--Richard H. Kohn
"In my opinion Arms and Men is a splendid piece of work, clearly organized, well argued and beautifully written. We have long needed an informed and intelligent commentary on the evolution of American military policy; and in Mr. Millis' book we have it. I think that his book will awaken great interest and be widely used. I am sure also that professional students of the subject will find it possible, after reading this book, to see the course of American military affairs with a new perspective. That is one of the great services performed by Mr. Millis. He has covered the whole subject with authority, but - thank heaven - in a short book, in which the arguments are not blunted by unnecessary detail."
--Gordon A. Craig
"This author knows weapons, politics and human nature. His perceptive grasp of these complexes shines in the writing."
--The New York Times
The Army and Democracy
Aqil Shah Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress UA853.P18S53 2014 | Dewey Decimal 322.5095491
In sharp contrast to neighboring India, the Muslim nation of Pakistan has been ruled by its military for over three decades. The Army and Democracy identifies steps for reforming Pakistan's armed forces and reducing its interference in politics, and sees lessons for fragile democracies striving to bring the military under civilian control.
Army and Nation
Steven I. Wilkinson Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress UA840.W55 2014 | Dewey Decimal 322.50954
Steven I. Wilkinson explores how India has succeeded in keeping the military out of politics, when so many other countries have failed. He uncovers the command and control strategies, the careful ethnic balancing, and the political, foreign policy, and strategic decisions that have made the army safe for Indian democracy.
A high-spirited idealist who craved excitement when he enlisted in the Eighth Illinois Volunteers for three months and reenlisted for three years, Charles W. Wills of Canton, Illinois, wrote frequently to his sister Mary Emily Wills and kept a diary of General William T. Sherman’ s campaigns during the last year of the war. In the beginning of his service, Wills could boast that his company refused to enlist "roughs." He reported that he and his comrades "drink no liquors and keep ourselves as cleanly as possible.... Almost all are reading or writing, and I defy anyone to find 75 men without any restraint, paying more attention to the Sabbath. . . . Health generally excellent in our company, because we are all careful."
A student and store clerk before enlisting, Wills found that army life "beats clerking." He enlisted as a private at the age of twenty-one and by twenty-four was a major. He had thought he might receive an infantry commission eventually, but when the opportunity arose for promotion to first lieutenant in the Seventh Illinois Cavalry, "cupidity and ambition" caused him to abandon the Eighth, enabling him to hold rank "without so much walking." For a while, though, he seriously rued his lack of action. "Haven’ t I a brilliant record," he wrote. "Thirty-three months in service and not a battle." As Simon points out, however, "in the year ahead, Wills would have more than his fill of battles." Battle starved once, his enthusiasm for carnage waned as he marched with Sherman to the sea. Yet Major Wills was impressed by his troops’ "endurance, spirit and recklessness."
Wills matured in the army. He joined solely to preserve the Union, and his early comments on slaves "lacked sympathy, even decency," according to Simon. Later he came to the point where he would arm blacks— in part, with an eye toward gaining rank by leading the new regiments. Yet he was not blind to the anomalies of a slave society.
Wills died in 1883. To preserve his memory, his sister (now Mary Kellogg) printed his diary in 1904. Two years later, Kellogg combined the diary with the letters Wills had written to her earlier in the war. Simon renders this assessment: "Wills had a sparkling, witty style that contrasted sharply with that of both his contemporaries in the field and the seven regimental veterans who compiled their diaries. In assembling this book, Mary E. Kellogg wisely allowed her brother to speak for himself; rarely intruding a comment of her own, excising from his letters home inevitable expressions of concern for his sister and her welfare but leaving intact the sparkling flow of camp gossip and military speculation."
The literature describing social conditions during the post–World War II Allied occupation of Germany has been divided between seemingly irreconcilable assertions of prolonged criminal chaos and narratives of strict martial rule that precluded crime. In The Art of Occupation, Thomas J. Kehoe takes a different view on this history, addressing this divergence through an extensive, interdisciplinary analysis of the interaction between military government and social order.
Focusing on the American Zone and using previously unexamined American and German military reports, court records, and case files, Kehoe assesses crime rates and the psychology surrounding criminality. He thereby offers the first comprehensive exploration of criminality, policing, and both German and American fears around the realities of conquest and potential resistance, social and societal integrity, national futures, and a looming threat from communism in an emergent Cold War. The Art of Occupation is the fullest study of crime and governance during the five years from the first Allied incursions into Germany from the West in September 1944 through the end of the military occupation in 1949. It is an important contribution to American and German social, military, and police histories, as well as historical criminology.
An insightful account of the challenges of neutrality in an era of total war, The Art of Staying Neutral shows how the Netherlands remained peaceful throughout World War I. This sustained neutrality, Maartje Abbenhuis demonstrates, was the result of many factors, including masterly diplomacy, careful adherence to international laws and a decisive measure of good fortune. Neutrality, however, did not come without considerable costs to the nation’s economy and security.
This book is a major contribution both to the study of neutrality and the domestic history of the Netherlands.
How do we know when a war ends? For many, the resolution of a conflict comes not with the last traces of smoke left on the battlefield, but with the formal ceremonies of surrender: possession and repossession, the signing of treaties, and the pomp and circumstance that mark them. Historically, most conflicts have ended with such rituals. But, as Robin Wagner-Pacifici reveals in The Art of Surrender, they should not be seen as merely a matter of giving up. They also offer ways of holding back and signal early fault lines that give rise to later undoings and conflicts.
The Art of Surrender explores these ritual concessions as acts of warfare, performances of submission, demonstrations of power, and representations of shifting, unstable worlds. Wagner-Pacifici analyzes three significant military surrenders in the history of warfare—the Thirty Years' War of the seventeenth century, the American Civil War, and World War II—through the use of period documents and forms, maps, literature, witness accounts, photographs, and paintings that were left as proof of victory and defeat. In her analyses of such archival material and iconic works of art, she considers the limits of sovereignty at conflict's end, showing how the ways we concede loss can be as important as the ways we claim victory.
Art of War
Niccolò Machiavelli University of Chicago Press, 2003 Library of Congress U101.M1613 2003 | Dewey Decimal 355.02
Niccolò Machiavelli's Art of War is one of the world's great classics of military and political theory. Praised by the finest military minds in history and said to have influenced no lesser lights than Frederick the Great and Napoleon, the Art of War is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the history and theory of war in the West—and for readers of The Prince and Discourse on Livy who seek to explore more fully the connection between war and politics in Machiavelli's thought.
Machiavelli scholar Christopher Lynch offers a sensitive and entirely new translation of the Art of War, faithful to the original but rendered in modern, idiomatic English. Lynch's fluid translation helps readers appreciate anew Machiavelli's brilliant treatments of the relationships between war and politics, civilians and the military, and technology and tactics. Clearly laying out the fundamentals of military organization and strategy, Machiavelli marshals a veritable armory of precepts, prescriptions, and examples about such topics as how to motivate your soldiers and demoralize the enemy's, avoid ambushes, and gain the tactical and strategic advantage in countless circumstances.
To help readers better appreciate the Art of War, Lynch provides an insightful introduction that covers its historical and political context, sources, influence, and contemporary relevance. He also includes a substantial interpretive essay discussing the military, political, and philosophical aspects of the work, as well as maps, an index of names, and a glossary.
The magnum opus of one of America's most respected military historians, The Art of War in the Western World has earned its place as the standard work on how the three major operational components of war--tactics, logistics, and strategy--have evolved and changed over time. This monumental work encompasses 2,500 years of military history, from infantry combat in ancient Greece through the dissolution of the Roman Empire to the Thirty Years' War and from the Napoleonic campaigns through World War II, which Jones sees as the culmination of modern warfare, to the Israeli-Egyptian War of 1973.
A Rediscovered History That Will Become Essential Reading for Civil War Studies
The Artillery Service in the War of the Rebellion, 1861–65, is a comprehensive overview and analysis of the U.S. Army’s field artillery service in the Civil War’s principal battles, written by John C. Tidball, a distinguished artilleryman of the era. The overview, which appeared in the Journal of the Military Service Institution from 1891 to 1893, and nearly impossible to find today, examines the Army of the Potomac, including the battles of Fair Oaks, Gaines’s Mill, Mechanicsville, Malvern Hill, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg; the Army of the Tennessee, including the battles of Stones River and Chickamauga, and the Army of the Ohio’s battle of Shiloh. Tidball, a decorated Civil War veteran and superintendent of artillery instruction for the army, expertly presents the war through an artilleryman’s eyes in explaining the organization, equipping, and manning of the artillery service. His analysis highlights how the improper use of artillery, tying batteries down to relatively small infantry commands that diluted their firepower, seriously undermined the army’s effectiveness until reforms produced independent artillery commands that could properly mass artillery fire in battle.
The Artillery Service in the War of the Rebellion, edited by historian Lawrence M. Kaplan and presented here in one volume for the first time, includes additional material from an unpublished paper Tidball wrote in 1905 which contains further insights into the artillery service, as well as a general overview of the Petersburg campaign. A major new discovery in Civil War scholarship, The Artillery Service in the War of the Rebellion contains essential information that will change earlier historical interpretations of key battles and will be essential reading for all those interested in the war or contemplating writing about it.
Today's protracted asymmetrical conflicts confuse efforts to measure progress, often inviting politics and wishful thinking to replace objective evaluation.
In Assessing War, military historians, social scientists, and military officers explore how observers have analyzed the trajectory of war in American conflicts from the Seven Years’ War through the war in Afghanistan. Drawing on decades of acquired expertise, the contributors examine wartime assessment in both theory and practice and, through alternative dimensions of assessment such as justice and proportionality, the war of ideas and economics. This group of distinguished authors grapples with both conventional and irregular wars and emerging aspects of conflict—such as cyberwar and nation building—that add to the complexities of the modern threat environment. The volume ends with recommendations for practitioners on best approaches while offering sobering conclusions about the challenges of assessing war without politicization or self-delusion.
Covering conflicts from the eighteenth century to today, Assessing War blends focused advice and a uniquely broad set of case studies to ponder vital questions about warfare's past—and its future. The book includes a foreword by Gen. George W. Casey Jr. (USA, Ret.), former chief of staff of the US Army and former commander, Multi-National Force–Iraq.
When H. Byron Earhart’s father enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942, young Byron and his family moved into his grandparents' old-fashioned home with a coal-fired range and potbelly stove, and his mother took charge of the family business, a frozen food locker. Grandma was the undisputed head of the family. While his father served on the battleship USS Missouri, his grandparents and mother held the family and the business together. At Grandma’s House is a tribute to everyday Americans who provided the social glue for a country at war as they balanced fear and anxiety for loved ones with the challenges and pleasures of daily life. The experiences of the Earhart family and this Midwestern community, supplemented by contemporary documents, family photos, and professional illustrations, recount with vivid local color the drama that played out on the national and international stage.
The country’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, its interventions around the world, and its global military presence make war, the military, and militarism defining features of contemporary American life. The armed services and the wars they fight shape all aspects of life—from the formation of racial and gendered identities to debates over environmental and immigration policy. Warfare and the military are ubiquitous in popular culture.
At War offers short, accessible essays addressing the central issues in the new military history—ranging from diplomacy and the history of imperialism to the environmental issues that war raises and the ways that war shapes and is shaped by discourses of identity, to questions of who serves in the U.S. military and why and how U.S. wars have been represented in the media and in popular culture.
On the day that Paris fell to the Nazis, R. G. Waldeck was checking into the swankiest hotel in Bucharest, the Athene Palace. A cosmopolitan center during the war, the hotel was populated by Italian and German oilmen hoping to secure new business opportunities in Romania, international spies cloaked in fake identities, and Nazi officers whom Waldeck discovered to be intelligent but utterly bloodless. A German Jew and a reporter for Newsweek, Waldeck became a close observer of the Nazi invasion. As King Carol first tried to placate the Nazis, then abdicated the throne in favor of his son, Waldeck was dressing for dinners with diplomats and cozying up to Nazi officers to get insight and information. From her unique vantage, she watched as Romania, a country with a pro-totalitarian elite and a deep strain of anti-Semitism, suffered civil unrest, a German invasion, and an earthquake, before turning against the Nazis.
A striking combination of social intimacy and disinterest political analysis, Athene Palace evokes the elegance and excitement of the dynamic international community in Bucharest before the world had comes to grips with the horrors of war and genocide. Waldeck’s account strikingly presents the finely wrought surface of dinner parties, polite discourse, and charisma, while recognizing the undercurrents of violence and greed that ran through the denizens of Athene Palace.
James L. Nolan Harvard University Press, 2020 Library of Congress R725.5.N65 2020 | Dewey Decimal 174.2
An unflinching examination of the moral and professional dilemmas faced by physicians who took part in the Manhattan Project.
After his father died, James L. Nolan, Jr., took possession of a box of private family materials. To his surprise, the small secret archive contained a treasure trove of information about his grandfather’s role as a doctor in the Manhattan Project. Dr. Nolan, it turned out, had been a significant figure. A talented ob-gyn radiologist, he cared for the scientists on the project, organized safety and evacuation plans for the Trinity test at Alamogordo, escorted the “Little Boy” bomb from Los Alamos to the Pacific Islands, and was one of the first Americans to enter the irradiated ruins of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Participation on the project challenged Dr. Nolan’s instincts as a healer. He and his medical colleagues were often conflicted, torn between their duty and desire to win the war and their oaths to protect life. Atomic Doctors follows these physicians as they sought to maximize the health and safety of those exposed to nuclear radiation, all the while serving leaders determined to minimize delays and maintain secrecy. Called upon both to guard against the harmful effects of radiation and to downplay its hazards, doctors struggled with the ethics of ending the deadliest of all wars using the most lethal of all weapons. Their work became a very human drama of ideals, co-optation, and complicity.
A vital and vivid account of a largely unknown chapter in atomic history, Atomic Doctors is a profound meditation on the moral dilemmas that ordinary people face in extraordinary times.
A-Train is the story of one of the black Americans who, during World War II, graduated from Tuskegee (AL) Flying School and served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps’ 99th Pursuit Squadron. Charles W. Dryden presents a fast-paced, balanced, and personal account of what it was like to prepare for a career traditionally closed to African Americans, how he coped with the frustrations and dangers of combat, and how he, along with many fellow black pilots, navigators, bombardiers, and crewmen, emerged with a magnificent war record.
Under the command of Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Jr., the Tuskegee airmen fought over North Africa, Sicily, and Europe, escorting American bomber crews who respected their "no-losses" record. Some were shot down, many of them were killed or captured by the enemy, and several won medals of valor and honor. But the airmen still faced great barriers of racial prejudice in the armed forces and at home. As a member of that elite group of young pilots who fought for their country overseas while being denied civil liberties at home, Dryden presents an eloquent story that will touch each and every reader.
In the early 20th century, the diesel-electric submarine made possible a new type of unrestricted naval warfare. Such brutal practices as targeting passenger, cargo, and hospital ships not only violated previous international agreements; they were targeted explicitly at civilians. A deviant form of warfare quickly became the norm.
In Atrocity, Deviance, and Submarine Warfare, Nachman Ben-Yehuda recounts the evolution of submarine warfare, explains the nature of its deviance, documents its atrocities, and places these developments in the context of changing national identities and definitions of the ethical, at both social and individual levels. Introducing the concept of cultural cores, he traces the changes in cultural myths, collective memory, and the understanding of unconventionality and deviance prior to the outbreak of World War I. Significant changes in cultural cores, Ben-Yehuda concludes, permitted the rise of wartime atrocities at sea.
“In the first twenty-seven months of combat 175,000 Southern soldiers died. This number was more than the entire Confederate military force in the summer of 1861, and it far exceeded the strength of any army that Lee ever commanded. More than 80,000 Southerners fell in just five battles. At Gettysburg three out of every ten Confederates present were hit; one brigade lost 65 percent of its men and 70 percent of its field officers in a single charge. A North Carolina regiment started the action with some 800 men; only 216 survived unhurt. Another unit lost two-thirds of its men as well as its commander in a brief assault.”
Why did the Confederacy lose so many men? The authors contend that the Confederates bled themselves nearly to death in the first three years of the war by making costly attacks more often than the Federals. Offensive tactics, which had been used successfully by Americans in the Mexican War, were much less effective in the 1860s because an improved weapon – the rifle – had given increased strength to defenders. This book describes tactical theory in the 1850s and suggests how each related to Civil War tactics. It also considers the development of tactics in all three arms of the service during the Civil War.
In examining the Civil War the book separates Southern from Northern tactical practice and discusses Confederate military history in the context of Southern social history. Although the Southerners could have offset their numerical disadvantage by remaining on the defensive and forcing the Federals to attack, they failed to do so. The authors argue that the Southerners’ consistent favoring of offensive warfare was attributable, in large measure, to their Celtic heritage: they fought with the same courageous dash and reckless abandon that had characterized their Celtic forebears since ancient times. The Southerners of the Civil War generation were prisoners of their social and cultural history: they attacked courageously and were killed – on battlefields so totally defended by the Federals that “not even a chicken could get through.”
In the quiet of morning, exactly six months after Pearl Harbor, the Japanese touched down on American soil. Landing on the remote Alaska island of Attu, they assailed an entire village, holding the Alaskan villagers for two months and eventually corralling all survivors into a freighter bound for Japan.
One of those survivors, Nick Golodoff, became a prisoner of war at just six years old. He was among the dozens of Unangan Attu residents swept away to Hokkaido, and one of only twenty-five to survive. Attu Boy tells Golodoff’s story of these harrowing years as he found both friendship and cruelty at the hands of the Japanese. It offers a rare look at the lives of civilian prisoners and their captors in WWII-era Japan. It also tells of Golodoff’s bittersweet return to a homeland torn apart by occupation and forced internments. Interwoven with other voices from Attu, this richly illustrated memoir is a testament to the struggles, triumphs, and heartbreak of lives disrupted by war.
U.S. counterterrorism operations rely on authorizations established in 2001 and 2002. This report surveys the debate over the requirements for a new congressional authorization for the use of military force against terrorist groups and examines the current terrorist challenge, the purposes and key elements of such legislation, and options for Congress.
Most Civil War historians now agree that the guerrilla conflict shaped the entire war in significant ways. Some of these “bushwhackers”—Nathan Bedford Forrest, William Clarke Quantrill, John Singleton Mosby—have become quite infamous. Illiterate Sam Hildebrand, one of Missouri’s most notorious guerrillas—often compared to “Rob Roy,” and the subject of dime novels—was one of the few to survive the war and have his story taken down and published. Shortly after this he was killed in a barroom brawl. “I make no apology to mankind for my acts of retaliation; I make no whining appeal to the world for sympathy. I sought revenge and I found it; the key of hell was not suffered to rust in the lock while I was on the war path.” —Sam Hildebrand Hildebrand’s reign of terror gave the Union army fits and kept much of the Trans-Mississippi, especially Missouri, roiling in the 1860s. Over seven years of fighting he and his men killed dozens of soldiers and civilians, whites and blacks; he claimed to have killed nearly one hundred himself. He was accused of many heinous acts. The historical significance of Hildebrand’s story is substantial, but his bloody tale is eminently readable and stands quite well on its own as a cold-blooded portrait of a violent time in American history. Like the nightmarish and depraved world of the Kid in Cormac McCarthy’s novel Blood Meridian, Hildebrand’s world is truly ruthless and his story is brutally descriptive in its coolly detached rendering of one man’s personal war. Published in 1870, Hildebrand’s autobiography has long been out of print and has been a rare and highly prized acquisition among Civil War
Autobiography of Silas Thompson Trowbridge M.D. is a remarkable account of nineteenth-century medicine, politics, and personal life that recovers the captivating experiences of a Civil War– era regimental surgeon who was also a president of the Illinois State Medical Society and a United States consul in Mexico. First published in 1872 by Trowbridge’ s family and even printed on a family-owned press, only a handful of copies of the initial publication survive. In this first paperback edition, Trowbridge’ s memoirs are reprinted as they originally appeared.
Indiana-born Trowbridge moved to Illinois in his early twenties. A teacher by trade, he continued that career while he began the study of medicine, eventually starting a medical practice near New Castle, which he later moved to Decatur. Though respected by the community, Trowbridge lacked an authentic medical degree, so he enrolled in a four-month course of medical lectures at Rush Medical College in Chicago. Autobiography describes the atmosphere of the medical school and delineates Trowbridge’ s opinions on the lack of quality control in medical colleges of the day.
Although three years of study and two annual terms of sixteen weeks were the actual requirements for the degree, Trowbridge was allowed to graduate after a single course of lectures and completion of a twenty-page thesis due to his previous experience. He then married a young widow and returned to Decatur, where he began a partnership with two local physicians and inaugurated a county medical society. In addition to practicing medicine, he was known and respected for regulating it, too, having supported legislation that would legalize dissection and prohibit incompetent persons from practicing medicine.
In 1861, Trowbridge began service as a surgeon of the 8th Illinois Volunteer Infantry commanded by Colonel Richard J. Oglesby. Autobiography describes his experiences beginning in Cairo, Illinois, where the infantry was involved in several expeditions and where Trowbridge made his “ debut at the operating table.” Revealing a litany of surgical duties, replete with gruesome details, these war-time recollections provide a unique perspective on medical practices of the day. Likewise, his commentaries on political issues and his descriptions of combat serve to correct some of the early written histories of the war’ s great battles.
After receiving an honorable discharge in 1864, Trowbridge returned to Decatur to resume his partnership with Dr. W. J. Chenoweth and devote himself to surgery. His reminiscences recount several difficult surgeries, his efforts to reorganize the county medical society (which had collapsed during the war), and his communications to the Illinois legislature to set higher qualifications for practicing physicians. He was later elected president of the Illinois State Medical Society and appointed by President Grant United States Consul to Vera Cruz on the eastern coast of Mexico, where he studied and challenged the treatment of yellow fever. The autobiography ends in 1874 with a six-day family vacation and the marriage of his daughter to a merchant of Vera Cruz.