Over There: Living with the U. S. Military Empire from World War Two to the Present

Overview

Over There explores the social impact of America’s global network of more than 700 military bases. It does so by examining interactions between U.S. soldiers and members of host communities in the three locations—South Korea, Japan and Okinawa, and West Germany—where more than-two thirds of American overseas bases and troops have been concentrated for the past six decades. The essays in this collection highlight the role of cultural and racial assumptions in the maintenance of the American military base system, ...

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Over There: Living with the U.S. Military Empire from World War Two to the Present

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Overview

Over There explores the social impact of America’s global network of more than 700 military bases. It does so by examining interactions between U.S. soldiers and members of host communities in the three locations—South Korea, Japan and Okinawa, and West Germany—where more than-two thirds of American overseas bases and troops have been concentrated for the past six decades. The essays in this collection highlight the role of cultural and racial assumptions in the maintenance of the American military base system, and the ways that civil-military relations play out locally. Describing how political, spatial, and social arrangements shape relations between American garrisons and surrounding communities, they emphasize such factors as whether military bases are located in democratic nations or in authoritarian countries where cooperation with dictatorial regimes fuels resentment; whether bases are integrated into neighboring communities or isolated and surrounded by “camp towns” wholly dependent on their business; and whether the United States sends single soldiers without families on one-year tours of duty or soldiers who bring their families and serve longer tours. Analyzing the implications of these and other situations, the contributors address U.S. military–regulated relations between GIs and local women; the roles of American women, including military wives, abroad; local resistance to the U.S. military presence; and racism, sexism, and homophobia within the U.S. military. Over There is an essential examination of the American military as a global and transnational phenomenon.

Contributors Donna Alvah Chris Ames Jeff Bennett Maria Höhn Seungsook Moon Christopher Nelson Robin Riley Michiko Takeuchi

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[T]his is an important contribution to the study of empires, especially US imperialism. Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.” - G. B. Osborne, Choice

Over There provides us with an important analytic framework and reminds us that commanding officers must respond to and manage the real human needs of all those who come in contact with American military institutions. How this is done tells us much about the nature of U.S. power.” - John Willoughby, Journal of Military History

“. . . [T]his is a tremendously valuable book, brimming with new information and unique insights. All students of the global American military presence from World War II through the present will want to consult its essays. One hopes the authors will continue and expand upon their work in this burgeoning and interdisciplinaryfriendly field, and inspire others to follow their lead.” - Michael Cullen Green, Pacific Affairs

“Maria Höhn and Seungsook Moon’s edited volume, Over There, presents valuable new scholarship on the local politics and gendered relations that constitute and undergird this vast military empire. ...the collection contains valuable essays on gender, race, class, and the U.S. military. It successfully positions U.S. military bases as key sites of U.S. empire and challenges scholars to work comparatively and recognize variation as they document the history of U.S. military bases abroad.” - Jana K. Lipman, Journal of American History

“This book gives a nuanced analysis of the power relations of the American empire and militarised masculinity within it... It is ... a most enlightening comparative overview of the impact of American military bases in the three most important host countries of the US military empire.” - Trond Ove Tøllefsen, European Review of History

Over There is a splendid book. Maria Höhn and Seungsook Moon are themselves experienced investigators into the multi-layerings of U.S. military influence in Germany and South Korea. Here they have combined their gender-smart research with that of insightful contributors to offer us fresh understandings of how German, Korean, and Japanese women and men see the American bases in their midst and cope with U.S. policies designed to make them complicit. I have learned a lot from Over There.”—Cynthia Enloe, author of Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War

“This wide-ranging, interdisciplinary collection makes critically visible the sprawling network of U.S. military bases in two inseparable ways. First, base societies are revealed to be diverse social landscapes in which global questions of sovereignty and the relations of unequal nation-states have been deeply imprinted on everyday life. Second, the book powerfully identifies gendered and sexual politics as central to the construction, and contestation, of the U.S. military presence. Richly attuned to local variation and perception, resistance and historical change, these essays offer an inspiring agenda for globalized histories of gender and U.S. militarization.”—Paul A. Kramer, author of The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822348276
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Maria Höhn is Professor of History at Vassar College. She is the author of GIs and Fräuleins: The German-American Encounter in 1950s West Germany and (with Martin Klimke) A Breath of Freedom: The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs, and Germany.

Seungsook Moon is Professor of Sociology at Vassar College. She is the author of Militarized Modernity and Gendered Citizenship in South Korea, also published by Duke University Press.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations ix

Tables xi

A Note on Foreign Language Conventions xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction The Politics of Gender, Sexuality, Race, and Class in the U.S. Military Empire Maria Höhn Seungsook Moon 1

Part I Monitored Liaisons: Local Women and Gis in the Making of Empire

1 Regulating Desire, Managing the Empire: U.S. Military Prostitution in South Korea, 1945-1970 Seungsook Moon 39

2 ?Pan-Pan Girls? Performing and Resisting Neocolonialism(s) in the Pacific Theater: U.S. Military Prostitution in Occupied Japan, 1945-1952 Mickiko Takeuchi 78

3 ?You Can't Pin Sergeant's Stripes on an Archangel?: Soldiering, Sexuality, and U.S. Army Policies in Germany Maria Höhn 109

Part II Civilian Entanglements with the Empire: American and Foreign Women Abroad and at Home

4 U.S. Military Families Abroad in the Post-Cold War Era and the ?New Global Posture? Donna Alvah 149

5 Crossfire Couples: Marginality and Agency among Okinawan Women in Relationships with U.S. Military Men Chris Ames 176

6 Hidden Soldiers: Working for the ?National Defense? Robin Riley 203

Part III Talking Back to the Empire: Local Men and Women

7 In the U.S. Army but Not Quite of It: Contesting the Imperial Power in a Discourse of KATUSAS Seungsook Moon 231

8 ?The American Soldier Dances, the German Soldier Marches?: The Transformation of Germans' Views on GIS, Masculinity, and Militarism Maria Höhn 258

9 In the Middle of the Road I Stand Transfixed Christopher Nelson 280

Part IV The Empire Under Siege: Racial Crisis, Abuse, and Violence

10 The Racial Crisis of 1971 in the U.S. Military: Finding Solutions in West Germany and South Korea Maria Höhn 311

11 Camptown Prostitution and the Imperial SOFA: Abuse and Violence against Transnational Camptown Women in South Korea Seungsook Moon 337

12 Abu Ghraib: A Predictable Tragedy? Jeff Bennett 366

Conclusion Empire at the Crossroads? Maria Höhn Seungsook Moon 397

References 409

Contributors 439

Index 441

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