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Soldier Dead: How We Recover, Identify, Bury, & Honor Our Military Fallen Kindle Edition
The first book to address the complicated issues surrounding what happens to members of the United States Armed Forces after they die.
Why does recovering the remains of servicepeople matter? Soldier Dead examines this question and provides a thorough analysis of the processes of recovery, identification, return, burial, and remembrance of the dead. Sledge traces the ways in which the handling of our Soldier Dead has evolved over time and how these changes have reflected not only advances in technology and capabilities but also the shifting attitudes of the public, government, and military. He also considers the emotional stress experienced by those who handle the dead; the continuing efforts to retrieve bodies from Korea and elsewhere; and how unresolved issues regarding the treatment of enemy dead continue to affect U.S. foreign relations.
Skillfully incorporating excerpts from interviews, personal correspondence and diaries, military records, and journalistic accounts—as well as never-before-published photographs and his own reflections—Michael Sledge presents a clear, concise, and compassionate story about what the dead mean to the living. Throughout Soldier Dead, the voices of the fallen are heard, as are those of family members and military personnel responsible for the dead before final disposition. At times disturbing and at other times encouraging, they are always powerful as they speak of danger, duty, courage, commitment, and care.
“A timely and detailed investigation into the moral conscience of American society which will be of interest to anyone concerned with the human costs of war. An important and passionate book which deserves a wide readership.”—Chris Shilling, University of Portsmouth, UK
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
1. Why It Matters
2. Combat Recoveries
3. Noncombat Recoveries
5. The Return of the Dead
7. All Bodies Are Not the Same
8. Open Wounds
- ASIN : B00A0XJK1W
- Publisher : Columbia University Press (April 26, 2005)
- Publication date : April 26, 2005
- Language : English
- File size : 14423 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 371 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #925,614 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #96 in Military Life & Institutions History
- #276 in Sociology of Death (Kindle Store)
- #278 in Social Customs & Traditions
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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Sledge's discusses how we recover dead both during combat, after combat, and after the war. He discusses policies and difficulties of identifying war dead, our changing policies on returning the remains to families, and burial practices. Although Sledge does cover some the treatment of dead during the Civil War and Spanish-American War, most of his focus is on the 20th century wars.
Sledge is not a historian, nor does he have a military background; instead, he has extensively studied sociology and psychology. However, his perspective works because he brings in outside analyses to help explain why we treat our military dead this way, why it is difficult for families whose loved ones are still missing, and the ways people react to their losses.
The book is well-researched, although it is apparent that sometimes the available material on the subject is slim. Because the book is organized thematically and not chronologically, he has to re-cover the same ground repeatedly, and this detracts from the work. Still, although this book can be difficult to read at times, it tells the important and compelling story of how America uses our vast resources to try to recover and honor our war dead.
Lynn H. Hahn
Served with the 148th Graves Registation Company in Korea, 1952-53