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Our Army: Soldiers, Politics, and American Civil-Military Relations Paperback – December 27, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


"There is a general perception that US military institutions are heavily dominated by the Republican Party and, consequently, an unacceptable number of army officers have combined their political and professional identities, which has created a sense of discomfort among the American public. Dempsey presents a comprehensive, well-researched assessment of the political and social attitudes of members of the US Army on social and political issues. This in-depth analysis explains the similarities and differences in opinions and attitudes on social and political issues among the military and the civilian population."--Choice

"Jason K. Dempsey's Our Army adds to the work of military sociology in important ways and is useful fodder for thought for soldiers and civilians. . . . Dempsey has written a powerful book that deserves a place on the same shelf as the works of Janowitz and Huntington."--COL Gregory Fontenot, Army Magazine

"Through its careful assessment of results from a unique, original survey instrument, Our Army offers an important corrective to the conventional view of an increasingly conservative, politically active army that threatens to upend established norms of civil-military relations. It offers a wealth of new data for scholars to explore, and it suggests avenues for future research that will further bolster our understanding of the army and its intricate relations with the political branches of government."--Douglas L. Kriner, Public Opinion Quarterly

From the Back Cover

"Interesting and important. Dempsey presents a wealth of original survey data on the views of army personnel. He shows that soldiers hold views that are not dramatically different from those of the American people as a whole, but that differences between officers and the general public exist on many issues. Dempsey points to the dangers of having the military aligned to one political party."--Ole R. Holsti, professor emeritus, Duke University

"This is the only analysis of a random-sample survey of the U.S. Army that probes in some depth the political attitudes of army personnel. Dempsey shows that the army as a whole is more conservative and Republican than comparable civilian cohorts but, because of the large number of African Americans and a blue-collar enlisted ranks, is not overwhelmingly conservative and Republican. This is a valuable book with one-of-a-kind data that will be a great resource and stimulus for research and debate."--Peter D. Feaver, coauthor of Paying the Human Costs of War


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (December 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691142254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691142258
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,269,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By J. A. Grubbs on February 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
A focus of LTC Dempsey's book is to display the wide range of political views within the military to the American public. Dempsey describes a "perfect storm" of events which have slowly moved public perception of our Army in a potentially damaging direction. These events include an increased separation of the military from the rest of society due to the all-volunteer force, improved absentee voting laws which have made military participation in elections more efficient, and a division amongst the political parties in their foreign policy positions following the end of the Cold War. Public perception of the military in recent years is that we are an active supporting bloc for the Republican Party.
Dempsey's research showed that the Army looks much like a similar American public would in terms of political party affiliation. The Federal Voting Assistance Program has contributed to the perception that the Army is more politically active than the rest of society, by falsely claiming high participation rates during the Presidential elections in 2000 and 2004. While this study shows that the Army is not a threat to impact federal elections as a cohesive voting bloc, the perception remains among the Parties themselves, the Public, and many of our Officers and Soldiers.
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