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Bridging the Military-Civilian Divide: What Each Side Must Know About the Other—and About Itself Hardcover – Bargain Price, October, 2010
"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 --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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 military.com. A native of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Fleming lives outside of Annapolis with his family.
Top customer reviews
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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!
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.