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Those Who Have Borne the Battle: A History of America's Wars and Those Who Fought Them Hardcover – May 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; First Edition edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610390725
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610390729
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Dr. John Nagl, Minerva Professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and retired Army officer
"Former Marine and Dartmouth President Jim Wright has written a concise military history of the United States with a focus on the veterans of our wars.  It is empathetic, informed by his personal knowledge of the sacrifices and joys of military service, and deeply compelling.  I know of no more ambitious work on how our nation cares for those who have borne the burden of her battles, nor one that achieves its goals so well.  In this time of too many wars, it should be read by every American."

Richard H. Kohn, Professor Emeritus of History and Peace, War, and Defense, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Chief of Air Force History for the USAF, 1981-1991
"In this unflinchingly honest portrait of the American military experience, James Wright explains how our recent wars have differed from those of earlier times. Informed by a tour in the Marines, a lifetime devoted to educating the country’s youth, and more recently, repeated visits to wounded vets, this important book talks sense to the American people about our wars and their consequences.  Engaging, wise, and filled with keen insights for all Americans, their military and political leaders in particular."

Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
"Finally – a comprehensive book chronicling the journey of the American veteran. From the camps of Valley Forge to the beachfronts of Normandy to the sands of Iraq, James Wright weaves together a full history that is both engaging and alive. Some were citizen soldiers. Some were draftees. Some were volunteers. But they all served their country when called upon. Wright’s book is required reading for anyone who wants to understand the wars and warriors of our past – and perhaps the wars and warriors of our future."

Kirkus Reviews
“A thoughtful account of how America treats its soldiers…An astute view of America’s enthusiastic but often-unrealistic attitude toward those who fight its wars."

New York Times Book Review
“The familiar narrative of the American military experience traces the long, occasionally glorious, always bloody monarchy from Lexington and Concord to Iraq and Afghanistan. Those Who Have Borne the Battle amends that account by adding two subjects of acute contemporary relevance: how the United States has raised the forces with which it wages war; and how, in the aftermath of battle, it cares for and remembers those who fought.”

Military Times
“Eloquent and evocative.”

The VVA Veteran
“Offering much more than a dry retelling of America’s wars, Wright’s book allows readers to follow the evolution of important trends in American warfare and to easily pick up and trace the author’s line of reasoning."

TIME Magazine
“A must in any American military buff’s library.”

About the Author

The son of a World War II veteran, James Wright joined the marines at age seventeen and served for three years, primarily with the First Marine Brigade in Hawaii and Japan. He earned a PhD at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, became a history professor at Dartmouth College in 1969, and served as president of Dartmouth from 1998 to 2009. Since 2005 he has visited military hospitals over two dozen times and has worked to establish educational counseling programs for wounded veterans, efforts featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, ABC World News, and VFW Magazine, and recognized by educational, veteran, and service organizations. He and his wife, Susan, live in New Hampshire.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mark H. Smoller on April 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an important book. It is a sober and balanced account of this nation's military adventures to date. In the end, it relates via historical content, the populace of our nation's reactions to wars beginning with the Revolutionary War. It traces not only the wars themselves but more importantly the impact of the wars on our society and society's's response within the context of the participants today.. In the end it calls for a response to the concept of war and the ease with which we commit to such, only to regret it later. It offers a formula , conceived in the context of today whereby those who who advocate for war must consider aspects of war which because of the the lack of a citizen army representative of all the people prevail at this time. It suggests the necessity of paying on the line for our bellicose adventures as the costs accrue, and thereby at least allowing everyone to participate minimally in the cost for the war instead of having those who fight and fought come home to a debt which they will ultimately have to pay.But even more than that it suggests more thoughtful considerations before entering into any such adventures. Very powerful!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jim Moore on July 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I can't recall reading a more important book on the topic of how we as a nation--collectively and as individual citizens--view and absorb the overarching narrative of our military history and how we care--or perhaps think we care--for the men and women who have done the rough work of war. Karl Marlantes' latest book,What It Is Like to Go to War should be a companion-piece.

James Wright, former president of Dartmouth, and a former Marine, has done his homework with this book, and he learned the lessons quite well.

Dr. Wright takes on the formidable task of comparative analyses of our major wars and the roles of soldiers, veterans, the socio-political machinations, and the lessons that we can learn from them, or the myths about them of which we need to dispose. He takes the apples and oranges of truths, half-truths, and outright fiction that are so often piled into one media-easy silver bowl about wars and the veterans who fought them and sorts them into their proper baskets--or tosses them out when they're rotten.

Dr. Wright's military sources and quotable experts--from WWII through Afghanistan--are many, varied, and respectable. His Civil War history as relates to the topic presented several new lessons to me--and, near the end of the book, Dr. Wright's passages on Gettysburg are downright moving. His review and analysis of America's 10-year journey in Vietnam is a strikingly and appropriately blunt, well-developed and compelling assessment not only of the life of the troops--enlistees and draftees, 17-year old kids, 22-year-old lieutenants--but of calculating politicians, ground-breaking journalism, and an eventually-polarized public unsettled by a wandering war.
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By rix vue on April 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Mr. Wright has a good writing style that was easy to read. This important message needs to be read by all who would send us to war. Wars create veterans and survivors. Compensation payments to them will continue for decades. Wars continue to affect veterans and all of us for years. A brief history of the Veterans Affairs Department would have been welcome.
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By fritzon on November 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author tells it in a uniqe way, that is to the point, and encompasses the true feelings only experienced in combat. As a former US Navy salvage diver, stationed in Vung Tau, Vietnam, I appreciate more than some, the telling of a combat experience...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Follows the lives of average soldiers thru American history, both during and after the battles. Revolutionary war veterans received no benefits after the war, because it was felt it was their duty to protect freedom. Great reading.
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