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The Modern American Military 1st Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0199895946
ISBN-10: 0199895945
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Editorial Reviews


"Academic yet accessible, this volume offers thoughtful and occasionally disturbing insights into the workings of the world's most powerful war machine." --Publishers Weekly

"The world has changed dramatically for the American military in recent years. The volunteer army, re-examined in this book, has seen increased media scrutiny, questions arising from the use of contractors in war zones, and-of course-new technologies like remotely piloted aircraft that have dramatically changed the nature of warfare. And yet there are few scholarly works that look comprehensively at the challenges that the armed forces face and the responses that are required. The thoughtful essays in David Kennedy's new book explore this uniquely American institution both through the lens of history and current circumstances. We owe it to our servicemen and women and to those who command them to examine critically and debate the state of military affairs. This book is a significant contribution to that cause."-Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State

"The Modern American Military is essential reading. It brightly illuminates how profoundly the armed services have changed with the advent of new enemies, new weapons, new doctrines and a new generation of volunteer forces. Equally important, it insightfully shows how those changes are reshaping the critical relationship between the American military and American society."-Philip Taubman, former New York Times Washington bureau chief, consulting professor at Stanford University and author of The Partnership, Five Cold Warriors and Their Quest to Ban the Bomb

"A collection of incisive and controversial essays covering matters as diverse - and essential - as military culture and technology, contracting and doctrine, this is a book for anyone interested in the armed forces of what remains the most powerful country on earth."-Eliot A. Cohen, Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

About the Author

David M. Kennedy is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History at Stanford University and the Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. He won the Bancroft Prize for Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Over Here: The First World War and American Society, and won the Pulitzer Prize for History for Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945. He is also the editor of the renowned Oxford History of the United States.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (June 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199895945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199895946
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James McKenna on August 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I chose this book for an undergraduate seminar on the relationship between the military and civilian society. Perry's Foreword is a bit too soft, the chapter on Casualties could have been longer. The chapter on contractors left out some key issues. All in all, though, I'm happy with the choice.
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8 of 15 people found the following review helpful By James O. Clifford on July 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Not what I expected. Kennedy is a respected historian so I thought he wrote the book, which turned out to be a collection of essays, mainly by professors. I think there was one veteran in the lot. Some of the contributions, particularly the one on women in the military, are so politically correct they struck me as being written by commissars.
Have all the good military writers gone over the hill? There is Bing West, but he is a military writer's writer. Ricks? Seems to me, he,like many of the authors here, is most concerned about a military subculture, a subject dealt with much better in a 1970s book called "The Straw Giant." Even Rachel Maddow's "The Drift" was superior on that matter.
Like Ricks and Maddow, the contributors to "The Modern American Military" are uneasy about the armed forces not reflecting America's wider culture. True enough and thank God for that. None of them seem to be very concerned about Americans inability to view their shoes or stay committed to any ideal. They never ask key questions, such as wondering if a country that can't have a draft is worth defending.
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