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America's Victories: Why the U.S. Wins Wars and Will Win the War on Terror Paperback – May 29, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


Schweikart dares to tell the truth about America’s military heritage, showing why it can deservedly be called nothing short of glorious. -- National Review Online

About the Author

Larry Schweikart is the co-author of A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror, and is a professor of history at the University of Dayton. He has written more than 20 books on national defense, business, and financial history.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Sentinel Trade (May 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595230386
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595230386
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,176,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Larry Schweikart, a former rock drummer who opened for "Steppenwolf," is a professor of history at the University of Dayton. In addition to some of the books mentioned here, he has authored over 50 academic articles, dozens of book reviews, and has been a regular guest on "Fox and Friends."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is really a series of eight essays on various aspects of the culture and character of the United States Military and how those qualities have led to the strength of our fighting forces in battle and in peace. The author, Professor Larry Schweikart, teaches at the University of Dayton and has written on military matters in the past and is the co-author of "A Patriot's History of the United States".

The first chapter describes how Americans have treated prisoners throughout our history versus the standard treatment of prisoners by other nations and then uses that context to give a clearer picture of Abu Graib and Gitmo. While the outrages our soldiers have suffered in no way excuses any abuses we commit, he also notes our punishment of those committing those abuses.

The second chapter goes into how our armed forces have learned from failure and loss throughout our history. The real danger of loss is the paralyzing effects it has on the ability to make decisions and continue to take the fight to the enemy. Our ability to recoup, gather new approaches, and become stronger is duly noted.

In the third chapter Schweikart takes us through the role of the Citizen soldier throughout our history. Especially comparing the militia versus the professional soldier. It has given our military a special character. Particularly interesting is his debunking of the constitution of our current volunteer army and the vested interest some have in perpetuating the false picture of our military as kids who can't succeed in life at anything else. Nothing could be further from the truth!
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"America's Victories" is essentially a discussion of American exceptionalism in the context of her military and conduct of wars. America is often viewed by adversaries as an essentially unwarlike people--the Japanese, for example, thought that one hard blow would so discourage Americans that the country would turn its back upon the Western Pacific. Nor has the military traditionally been the path to wealth or status within American society as it has been in the societies of many of America's opponents. So how is it that Americans, nevertheless, generally win wars?

This book addresses these questions. As one might expect from the co-author of "A Patriot's History of the United States," the basic thesis of this work is that the American military is a reflection of what works in other American institutions. The author notes that the military draws from America's incredibly diverse citizenry (and sometimes non-citizenry) and has traditionally been a place where soldiers could overcome disadvantages of birth or class. The traditional American high value of individual life and aversion to casualties has remorselessly forced the military to devise ways of fighting wars that minimize both American and enemy casualties. (An interesting corrollary to this: no other country has repeatedly sought to liberate its POWs during conflicts as America has in WW2 and Vietnam, for instance.) American free enterprise creates better and more innovative weapons and tactics than those of centrally-planned totalitarian states, just as her consumer economy produces innovative civilian products to which Soviet-style command economies cannot compare. American soldiers, while disciplined, are thinking citizen-soldiers, not cannon fodder in the disciplined Prussian mold.
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Roberts on June 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
America's Victories is a popular, not scholarly or analytical, explanation of several more or less unique factors about how America has fought throughout its history. The general thesis of the author is that the combination of these factors, which reflect a uniquley American (beyond merely Western) culture -born from the Revolution- makes the American military singularly effective at wining wars.

Each chapter goes into a factor, which include: Our relatively humane treatment of prisoners, our ability to learn from losses because we don't have too much pride to investigate our mistakes, our citizen solider ethos, our encouragement of individual initiative in our armed forces, our free-market derived mass production power, the ability of our branches to operate in a joint manner as a single unified force, and how anti-war protests have focused our military to avoid losses and thus become a more effective killing force.

The book reads very easy and is enjoyable, but each chapter comes off like a loose assortment of facts. There is a lot of good information and interesting revelations in the book which certainly makes it worthwhile, but the presentation of the argument is not really comprehensive or focused enough to sway those who have an anti-military bent, or to serve to inform professional warfighters how to plan and lead combat. In all fairness however the above two goals would have been excruciatingly difficult to achieve, especially in a book the length of this one, and the author probably didn't have either of them in mind when writing this text. Just an FYI for anyone possibly expecting the book to deliver this, as the subtitle could suggest.
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