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Unofficial Ambassadors: American Military Families Overseas and the Cold War, 1946-1965 annotated edition Edition

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0814705018
ISBN-10: 0814705014
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“In this excellent monograph, Donna Alvah combines gender history and political history to produce a comprehensive and engaging examination of the role, experience, and significance of American service families based overseas during the first twenty years of the Cold War.”
-The Journal of American History



“Alvah uses a deft comparison of U.S. policies toward military families—and these women's own ideas about what they were doing--on American bases to reveal how 'soft power' was as crucial as 'hard power' in waging war.”
-Cynthia Enloe,author of The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire



“Alvah’s impressive and well-written account shines light on a time when American leaders understood that friendship mattered in foreign relations--a lesson well worth learning today.”
-Elaine Tyler May,author of Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era



“This is a valuable and important study on a long-neglected but vital part of military life and the cold war. The research is impressive and the book is filled with entertaining and moving vignettes that illuminate the experience of the overseas community. The book is a testimony to the generosity, patriotism, self-sacrifice, and spirit of adventure of military families, and also makes a convincing argument for their importance in “winning” the cold war.”
-The Register



“A fascinating, well-researched, and theoretically-informed contribution to the scholarship integrating the personal and political components of America’s Cold War empire. Donna Alvah’s impressive book traces the contradictions that resulted when some of the half-million American wives and children who were overseas with U.S. military personnel tried to reach out to their German, Okinawan, or other foreign hosts while also affirming the supposed superiority of the American way of life. A natural for courses on foreign relations or gender history.”
-Frank Costigliola,author of France and the United States: The Cold Alliance Since World War II

About the Author

Donna Alvah is assistant professor and Margaret Vilas Chair of U.S. History at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 291 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press; annotated edition edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814705014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814705018
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,929,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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I'm doing research on Americans in Germany in the 50's and found this book extremely helpful. The reading can be a bit dry, but it is very informative. I especially enjoyed the information on DoDEA schools in Germany since I am a DoDEA teacher. Military and history buffs will enjoy this book as well as those interested in women's history.
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Unofficial Ambassadors: American Military Families Overseas and the Cold War, 1946-1965
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