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A Country Made by War: From the Revolution to Vietnam: The Story of America's Rise to Power

A Country Made by War: From the Revolution to Vietnam: The Story of America's Rise to Power

by Geoffrey Perret

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The militia of the 13 American colonies was scruffy, slack and disease-prone. Today, as the largest military power in history, the U.S. commands thousands of ever-ready nuclear missiles backed by satellite reconnaissance. In tracing America's transformation from David into Goliath, this fast-moving, 640-page military history focuses on how wars were fought and won or lost. Perret ( America in the Twenties ) has a keen eye for human drama and suffering, for the personalities, issues and power struggles of each conflict. He strives for balance: he calls Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor ``daring, skillful, courageous,'' and notes dourly that Abraham Lincoln spent millions on war in open disregard of Congress and the Constitution. He faults Gen. William Westmoreland's strategies in Vietnam for poverty of thought. An overarching theme is that America's military past impinges on our daily lives in a thousand ways, e.g., it was WW I that got American men to wear wristwatches and use safety razors. (May)
Library Journal - Library Journal
The controversial thesis of this work is that the United States has been far better prepared for the wars it fought than were most of its enemies. Perret argues that the idea of perpetual American unreadiness for war is a myth, refuted by over two centuries of unparalleled military success. Three factors have contributed to this result: acceptance of education's role in military efficiency; faith in firepower; and a dual technology serving both the needs of the military and the development of the economy as a whole. Perret presents his case in a fast-paced, well-written narrative. His interpretations of specific events are often as unconventional as his central premise. This is popular military history at its best, provoking specialists while challenging the general reader. Recommended as a counterpoint to Allan R. Millett and Peter Maslowski's For the Common Defense (LJ 11/1/84).-- Dennis Showalter, Colorado Coll., Colorado Springs
A non-academic history of America's wars and their relationship to the rise of American power. The military history is framed within an interesting context--the apparent paradox of a stable, rhetorically peace-loving country shaping its society and its future through a series of national and international wars--nine major wars in nine generations. Forty-eight pages of notes. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Random House Publishing Group
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1st ed

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