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Bridging the Military-Civilian Divide: What Each Side Must Know About the Other - And About Itself Hardcover – October 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc. (October 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597974285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597974288
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,024,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Bruce Fleming has taken on a topic of critical importance to our modern democracy—the misunderstanding between our society and its military, and its impact on the roles and missions of the latter. Professor Fleming has had a privileged view from within the U.S. Naval Academy as a civilian and scholar for nearly twenty years. His message is equally valuable for those who serve and for those who realize the responsibility to understand and use the military wisely in these complex times."—Kathy Roth-Douquet, co-author of AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes from Military Service and How It Hurts the Country

About the Author

Bruce Fleming has been a professor in the English Department of the U.S. Naval Academy since 1987. The author of Annapolis Autumn, Why Liberals and Conservatives Clash, and numerous other books and articles on a wide range of issues, he has received an O. Henry short story award and the Antioch Review Award for Distinguished Prose, a career award. He is also a regular columnist with A native of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Fleming lives outside of Annapolis with his family.

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Floyd DaBarber on January 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because I thought the author, as a civilian professor at the US Naval Academy, would have a balanced view of both sides of the -- at times tenuous -- relationship between the civilian and military aspects of our national defense. I have a relative who is considering attending a service academy (not USNA) and thought I'd pick this up, read it, and then pass it on to him. I'm glad I read it first myself (actually, I gave up about two-thirds of the way through).

The book was boring, repetitive, and at times difficult to follow. But beyond that, the author obviously has a personal and political agenda that is presented in a non-academic, non-logical fashion that wears thin before long. While he does attempt to lay out the reasons why the divide exists, he skews toward why conservatives should not be so pro-military and why the military needs to understand and adjust to the new order of things. He gives relatively short treatment to any consideration of the ways in which liberals and the media misinterpret the military culture. He appears to have an axe to grind and expects you to pay to listen to the grinding noise.

If you seek a book that provides insight into the Civilian-Military relationship, look at the other "related" books in Amazon. This one, on the other hand, ended up in my recycling bin. Disappointing because I truly hoped to enjoy it.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Serious Reader on November 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
We usually think of the military world and the civilian one as total antitheses, but Bruce Fleming, a man with his foot in two camps, shows how it is possible to bridge the gap between them. He presents a gripping and sane assessment of life in today's military academy, and he does so with intelligence, wit, and candor. A civilian employee at the US Naval Academy, Fleming brings to bear on his subject an outsider's sober eye and an insider's sympathetic one.
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8 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Halibut on February 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Professor Fleming makes sweeping generalizations about "the military" hating civilians, and tries to justify his assertions with more generalizations. I have read a couple of articles written by him, and found their counter-traditional positions about the military interesting, especially coming from his position at the Naval Academy.

As a young Naval Officer, I had experience serving in Naval Labs that were mixed military/civilian. My experience was that there were competent, highly-motivated individuals in both categories. There were also some whiners in both, who always seemed to be extra loud.

In retrospect, my experience with conflict in these Navy labs seems identical to the conflict I experienced between engineers and sales people in high-tech companies I worked for after I finished my Naval service.

Instead of finding enlightenment in Professor Fleming's book, I became bored with his "whining," and quit after 120 pages. The din from his pulpit was too high!
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