Black Soldiers, White Wars: Black Warriors from Antiquity to the Present

Black Soldiers, White Wars: Black Warriors from Antiquity to the Present

by William E. Alt, Betty L. Alt
     
 

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This overview explores the use of black people, either through coercion or enticement, in the armed forces of predominantly white societies in times of crisis when the supply of white soldiers was exhausted or when whites refused to fill the ranks of a wartime army. A chronological review, the study begins with references to Biblical armies and ends with the

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Overview

This overview explores the use of black people, either through coercion or enticement, in the armed forces of predominantly white societies in times of crisis when the supply of white soldiers was exhausted or when whites refused to fill the ranks of a wartime army. A chronological review, the study begins with references to Biblical armies and ends with the technological environment of the modern world, looking at how blacks were employed, exploited or rewarded for their service over the centuries. While the balance sheet is mixed, military institutions have proven to be leaders in integration and equality for blacks both in the United States and in Europe. Inequality still exists in the modern American military; however, the authors contend, it is more likely to be based upon educational disparities than on the color of a soldier's skin.

African American soldiers played a significant role in the creation and expansion of the United States. The authors write about conquistadors who utilized blacks as soldier slaves. They recount the stories of the black men who fought during the Revolutionary War. They detail the experience of the Buffalo Soldiers in securing and protecting the western wilderness and follow the black soldier fighting alongside Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders. From the decks of the battleship Maine to the Philippine Islands, from the hills of Vietnam and the deserts of the Middle East, and, finally, to the all-volunteer army, this book reveals the impact that black soldiers have made on American history.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Betty Alt teaches sociology at the U. of Southern Colorado; William Alt is a member of the Air Force Association and the Retired Officers Association. They provide an overview of the use of black soldiers in colonial European and U.S. armies. The text examines the history of military service as a major avenue for social and economic mobility for blacks, and the development of black equality from segregated noncombat roles to full membership in combat units. The authors also discuss the issue of disproportionate representation of blacks in the Vietnam War, and recent charges of discrimination in the military. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780275976217
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/30/2002
Pages:
156
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.44(d)

Meet the Author

William E. Alt (Col. Ret. USAF) is a member of the Air Force Association and the Retired Officers Association, and is a past president and current member of the Colorado State Soil Conservation Board.

Betty L. Alt is a lecturer in sociology at the University of Southern Colorado. Her publications include Uncle Sam's Brides (1990), Campfollowing (1991), Weeping Violins (1996), Slaughter in Cell House 3 (1997) and Wicked Women (2001).

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