How does a young person who volunteers to serve in the U.S. military become a war-resister who risks ostracism, humiliation, and prison rather than fight? Although it is not well publicized, the long tradition of refusing to fight in unjust wars continues today within the American military.
In this book, resisters describe in their own words the process they went through, from raw recruits to brave refusers. They speak about the brutality and appalling violence of war; the constant dehumanizing of the enemy--and of our own soldiers--that begins in Basic Training; the demands that they ignore their own consciences and simply follow orders. They describe how their ideas about the justification for the current wars changed and how they came to oppose the policies and practices of the U.S. empire, and even war itself. Some of the refusers in this book served one or more tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and returned with serious problems resulting from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Others heard such disturbing stories of violence from returning vets that they vowed not to go themselves. Still others were mistreated in one way or another and decided they'd had enough. Every one of them had the courage to say a resounding "NO!" The stories in this book provide an intimate, honest look at the personal transformation of each of these young people and at the same time constitute a powerful argument against militarization and endless war.
Also featured are exclusive interviews with Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg. Chomsky looks at the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the potential of GI resistance to play a role in bringing the troops home. Ellsberg relates his own act of resistance in leaking the Pentagon Papers in 1971 to the current WikiLeaks revelations of U.S. military secrets.
A superb description of modern military culture, and one of the most gripping accounts of university life.... Powerful.... Wonderfully told. --The New York Times Book ReviewAs David Lipsky follows a future generation of army officers from their proving grounds to their barracks, he reveals the range of emotions and desires that propels these men and women forward. From the cadet who struggles with every facet of West Point life to those who are decidedly huah, Lipsky shows people facing challenges so daunting and responsibilities so heavy that their transformations are fascinating to watch. Absolutely American is a thrilling portrait of a unique institution and those who make up its ranks. With an updated Epilogue by the author. NATIONAL BESTSELLER
From a renowned historian and son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower comes the first-ever biography of General Winfield Scott, the towering commander, a hero of the War of 1812, who was instrumental in shaping America's border and who created the modern U.S. military. 16-page photo insert.
In 1823 Texas was opened to American settlement; over the next 12 years thousands took advantage of the opportunity. During this time the corrupt Santa Anna rose to power. A dishonest and ruthless politician, thief, compulsive gambler, opium addict and liar, he nevetheless gained a measure of popular support and set about destroying federalism. Conflict with the American settlers ('Texians') became inevitable, a conflict which included the legendary Battle of the Alamo. Philip Haythornwaite covers the story of the War of Texan Independence (1835-1936) in a volume backed by a wealth of illustrations and photographs, including eight full page colour plates by Paul Hannon
The foremost autorities on race relations in the armed forces recount the previously untold success story of how the U.S. Army became the most integrated institution in America. Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler observe that the Army is the only place in America where blacks routinely boss around whites, and in this book they lay out the path by which the Army has promoted excellence across racial lines, while also showing how this military model can be adapted to fit the needs of civilian society. The Army way offers hope for our nation in a troubled time, and by following its example, Americans of all races can truly be all that we can be.
In 2010, the Army created Cultural Support Teams, a secret pilot program to insert women alongside Special Operations soldiers battling in Afghanistan. The Army reasoned that women could play a unique role on Special Ops teams: accompanying their male colleagues on raids and, while those soldiers were searching for insurgents, questioning the mothers, sisters, daughters and wives living at the compound. Their presence had a calming effect on enemy households, but more importantly, the CSTs were able to search adult women for weapons and gather crucial intelligence. They could build relationships--woman to woman--in ways that male soldiers in an Islamic country never could.
In Ashley's War, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon uses on-the-ground reporting and a finely tuned understanding of the complexities of war to tell the story of CST-2, a unit of women hand-picked from the Army to serve in this highly specialized and challenging role. The pioneers of CST-2 proved for the first time, at least to some grizzled Special Operations soldiers, that women might be physically and mentally tough enough to become one of them.
The price of this professional acceptance came in personal loss and social isolation: the only people who really understand the women of CST-2 are each other. At the center of this story is a friendship cemented by "Glee," video games, and the shared perils and seductive powers of up-close combat. At the heart of the team is the tale of a beloved and effective soldier, Ashley White.
Much as she did in her bestselling The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, Lemmon transports readers to a world they previously had no idea existed: a community of women called to fulfill the military's mission to "win hearts and minds" and bound together by danger, valor, and determination. Ashley's War is a gripping combat narrative and a moving story of friendship--a book that will change the way readers think about war and the meaning of service.