The Enemy in Our Hands: America's Treatment of Prisoners of War from the Revolution to the War on Terror [NOOK Book]

Overview

Winston Churchill once remarked, "A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him."

Discovery and exposure of the U.S. military's inhumane treatment of detainees at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison and the Guantánamo Bay detention camp generated a media frenzy that many argue irrevocably damaged America's reputation as a world leader. Worldwide scrutiny of the photos and descriptions of the abuse of enemy prisoners of war, or EPWs, from ...

See more details below
The Enemy in Our Hands: America's Treatment of Prisoners of War from the Revolution to the War on Terror

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.99
BN.com price
(Save 43%)$24.95 List Price

Overview

Winston Churchill once remarked, "A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him."

Discovery and exposure of the U.S. military's inhumane treatment of detainees at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison and the Guantánamo Bay detention camp generated a media frenzy that many argue irrevocably damaged America's reputation as a world leader. Worldwide scrutiny of the photos and descriptions of the abuse of enemy prisoners of war, or EPWs, from the war on terror incited allegations of human rights violations and possible war crimes and left many wondering whether the mistreatment of these prisoners was an isolated set of circumstances or, conversely, one example among many of atrocities rooted in our nation's history.

Drawing from diverse primary sources, military historian Robert C. Doyle illuminates America's prisoner of war policies from the founding era to the present. A work of history with direct relevance to contemporary events, The Enemy in Our Hands: America's Treatment of Prisoners of War from the Revolution to the War on Terror examines every major war and conflict, from the American Revolution through the Civil War, both world wars, Vietnam, and Afghanistan, to provide a comprehensive understanding of American treatment of EPWs.

Doyle offers a nuanced interpretation of American military history, suggesting that the treatment of EPWs in each conflict was a unique reflection of the prevailing political attitudes of the day. The military's incarceration practices with prisoners, particularly its methods used for interrogation, have evolved dramatically since the prisoner exchanges of the American Revolution. Using graphic details of the experiences of captured enemy combatants and civilians, The Enemy in Our Hands explores each war's adherence to international standards of conduct, including the 1929 Geneva Convention.

The Enemy in Our Hands is a complete cultural analysis of a complicated issue the nation has struggled with since its inception. As the context of modern warfare continues to be shaped by current events, it is incumbent upon America to consider its treatment of EPWs and how that treatment defines national character.

Robert C. Doyle, professor of history at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, is the author of A Prisoner's Duty: Great Escapes in U.S. Military History and Voices from Captivity: Interpreting the American POW Narrative. He has been a historical consultant on multiple films and documentaries, including Hart's War (2002).

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Casting a wide net, this book delivers a scholarly, lucid overview of America's handling of POWs of all stripes: military, civilian, and irregular.... Doyle delves deeply, and military buffs will consider it the definitive treatment."—Publishers Weekly" —

"The moral and historical issues here will be of interest to military students, historians, political scientists, ethicists, and similar scholars.... Strongly recommended."—Library Journal" —

"[The Enemy in Our Hands] is supported by sound scholarship but written in clear, non-pedantic language appropriate to its remarkably insightful and balanced analysis.... A definitive single volume."—Proceedings of the US Naval Institute" —

"[Doyle] examines American actions regarding POWs from George Washington's leadership through both World Wars to the present."—Tucson Citizen" —

"As current events continually shape the context of modern warfare, Doyle's work will assist American consideration of how its treatment of EPWs defines national character."—Franciscan Way" —

"With the very definition of 'torture' subject to partisan politics, [Doyle] is content to objectively relay the precedents that shaped America's treatment of captured enemies without pointing fingers or making sweeping judgments.... What readers are left with is a lively primer illuminating the people, events and prejudices that have shaped the government's handling of prisoners of war and homegrown political dissidents over time."—Miller-McCune" —

"The Enemy in Our Hands is an insightful and balanced work of history, supported by sound scholarship and written in clear, non-pedantic language. It gives the reader a comprehensive review of American foreign policy over six decades, giving a guided tour of America's battles and wars to get to the heart of the treatment of prisoners by the United States and, collaterally, the treatment of American prisoners by other countries."—Naval History" —

"Comprehensive, covering all of the expected prisoner of war populations, as well as the perhaps less expected topics of Loyalist and Quaker prisoners during the American Revolution, Native Americans as POWs, the Spanish American War and the War in the Philippines, domestic internees during World War II, the Phoenix program in Vietnam, and prisoners of the 'War on Terror.'"—Book News" —

"Show[s] the improvised and inconsistent nature of US policies in most past wars….Doyle emphasizes individual experience in the cultural history of war and relies more on personal interviews. He also places heavier emphasis on civilian captives and methods of dealing with wartime disloyalty. Highly recommended."—Choice" —

"Brings together a vast quantity of mostly secondary sources to describe the way in which the United States has treated POW's over approximately 240 years.... Fills a void that has existed for many years."—On Point" —

"The Enemy in Our Hands represents a significant contribution to the study of American military history and superb starting point for scholars interested in America's treatment of its enemies."—Military Review" —

"Contains an informative chapter on the Vietnam War. Doyle shows that with some notable exceptions, Americans in Vietnam treated enemy prisoners in accordance with Geneva Convention rules."—VVA Veteran" —

"Doyle provides excellent context for non-expert readers... the importance of captives to the outcome, and a vivid picture of life in captivity."—Choice" —

"This is a must read, a valuable resource, and an outstanding documentation of prisoners in American wars."—Journal of America's Military Past" —

"A superb study that examines EPWs, interned enemy aliens, and American political prisoners with valuable primary documents and statistics in the extensive appendix. This work will generate debate on the definition of POWs since Doyle has broadened the context to include enemy nationals and political prisoners. By analyzing a wider range of security threats, Doyle is not limited by conventional standards in framing the debate regarding the future development of national policies and international law to deal with non-state combatants." —American Historical Review" —

"The Enemy in Our Hands exmaines American actions regarding POWs from George Washington's leadership in the American Revolution through both World Wars to the present." — The Lone Star Book Review" —

"A thorough treatment of the subject...highly readable and relevant."—Teaching History" —

Publishers Weekly
Casting a wide net, this book delivers a scholarly, lucid overview of America's handling of POWs of all stripes: military, civilian, and irregular. Historian Doyle (A Prisoner's Duty) emphasizes that uniformed foreign soldiers received humane treatment from the Revolution through the Iraq invasion, peaking during WWII when hundreds of thousands of German troops brought to the U.S. received “relatively benign” treatment. Prisoners fared worse when Americans fought Americans. Loyalists during the Revolution were abused and often killed. Both sides during the Civil War neglected prisoners disgracefully. Historically, irregular fighters enjoyed no protection, but while soldiers rarely objected to mistreating opponents who didn't play fair, civilians were often outraged. In Korea, the screening of prisoners to separate combatants from noncombatants, and their future repatriation, led to prisoner uprisings. No ideologue, Doyle explains that sometimes abuse is unavoidable; at other times it's ineffective, infuriates world opinion, and puts American soldiers at risk for reprisals. Doyle delves deeply, and military buffs will consider it the definitive treatment. 63 photos. (May)
Library Journal
How has America handled the problem of captured enemies? Doyle (history, Franciscan Univ.; Voices from Captivity) unravels the various complex strains of enemy prisoners of war (EPWs) treatment, covering the U.S. military experience from the American Revolution to the present. He relies heavily on the moral high ground, a concept that sounds simple but involves difficult tradeoffs among morality, pragmatism, and situationalism. The moral and historical issues here will be of interest to military students, historians, political scientists, ethicists, and similar scholars. Heavily annotated, with a lengthy bibliography, this strongly recommended title should be read along with Paul Springer's America's Captives.—Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, KS
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813139616
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 11/30/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 488
  • Sales rank: 898,978
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Robert C. Doyle, professor of history at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, is the author of A Prisoner's Duty: Great Escapes in U.S. Military History and Voices from Captivity: Interpreting the American POW Narrative. He has been a history consultant on multiple films and documentaries, including Hart's War (2002). He lives in Steubenville, Ohio.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)