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American Civil-Military Relations: The Soldier and the State in a New Era Paperback – September 4, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0801892882 ISBN-10: 0801892880 Edition: 1st

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American Civil-Military Relations: The Soldier and the State in a New Era + The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations (Belknap Press S) + Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; 1 edition (September 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801892880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801892882
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Scholars and students of civil-military relations will want to read this book. This is an excellent time for this book to appear as there have been substantial advancements in the study of civil-military relations over the past decade.

(Thomas Langston, Tulane University)

American Civil-Military Relations is a valid and vital updating of Huntington's work and should be on every military reading list today.

(Colonel (Ret.) Robert Killebrew Parameters)

An extremely valuable addition to the literature on civil-military relations, a vitally important issue for both scholars and all government policymakers.

(John R. Ballard On Point)

About the Author

Suzanne C. Nielsen is an associate professor and the director of the International Relations and National Security Studies Program at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, and coeditor of the widely used textbook American National Security, sixth edition, also published by Johns Hopkins. Don M. Snider is an emeritus professor of political science at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, a visiting research professor at the Army War College, and coeditor of The Future of the Army Profession.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Collins on October 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
Edited volumes are often uneven and not worth the price of admission. The best of them, however, are worth their weight in gold. To get to this stage, the book has to be organized along a clear theme; it has to be original work; it has to be well designed; and it has to be tightly edited.

Suzanne Nielsen and Don Snider's volume, American Civil-Military Relations: The Soldier and the State in a New Era is one such work and a valuable addition to the literature on civil-military relations, a vitally important issue for both scholars and practitioners. Getting the balance right between civilian authority and military competence is vital to the republic in war and peace.

The book came from original contributions from experts who attended the West Point Senior Conference in 2007, which was devoted to a festschrift on the 50th anniversary of the publication of Samuel Huntington's epic, The Soldier and the State. The book is best remembered for suggesting that the optimum division of labor is for civilians to make policy, but for the military to give advice, avoid politics, and be accorded professional space in the conduct of tactical and operational affairs. After a few days discussion and subsequent editing, the contributors to this volume --- including Columbia's Dick Betts, UNC's Dick Kohn, Duke's Peter Feaver --- had covered the waterfront, not only critiquing Huntington's basic theory but bringing the analysis forward 50 years to the present day. New material was presented by Colonel Matt Moten on the affair Shinseki, the famous case where a serving Chief of Staff of the Army was "dissed" by senior civilians for giving his honest opinion to Senate questioners.
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