A People's History of the U.S. Military
Ordinary Soldiers Reflect on Their Experience of War, from the American Revolution to Afghanistan
By Michael A. Bellesiles
(New Press, Hardcover, 9781595586285, 375pp.)
Publication Date: September 2012
List Price: $29.95*
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In A People’s History of the U.S. Military, historian Michael A. Bellesiles draws from three centuries of soldiers’ personal encounters with combatthrough fascinating excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, as well as audio recordings, film, and blogsto capture the essence of the American military experience firsthand, from the American Revolution to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Military service can shatter and give meaning to lives; it is rarely a neutral encounter, and has contributed to a rich outpouring of personal testimony from the men and women who have literally placed their lives on the line. The often dramatic and always richly textured first-person accounts collected in this book cover a wide range of perspectives, from ardent patriots to disillusioned cynics; barely literate farm boys to urbane college graduates; scions of founding families to recent immigrants, enthusiasts, and dissenters; women disguising themselves as men in order to serve their country to African Americans fighting for their freedom through military service.
A work of great relevance and immediacyas the nation grapples with the return of thousands of men and women from active military dutyA People’s History of the U.S. Military will become a major new touchstone for our understanding of American military service.