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This We'll Defend: A Noncombat Veteran on War and Its Aftermath

This We'll Defend: A Noncombat Veteran on War and Its Aftermath

by Paul Crenshaw
This We'll Defend: A Noncombat Veteran on War and Its Aftermath

This We'll Defend: A Noncombat Veteran on War and Its Aftermath

by Paul Crenshaw

NOOK Book(eBook)

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In June 1990, Paul Crenshaw shipped out for basic training for the National Guard. By August, Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait. Each day brought more news of mobilizing forces. For weeks, Crenshaw was told he was going to war, but after graduation, he went back home to Arkansas and watched CNN every night, lying about how much he wished he had been deployed.
Later, after Crenshaw had gotten out of the army, he began to question the reasons for the wars we fight. The essays here follow his time in the service, from Basic Training to weekend National Guard drills and the years after. Crenshaw moves from eager recruit to father worrying that his daughters might enlist. He watches the airplanes strike the Twin Towers and sees two new wars ignite out of the ashes of the old. He writes as a soldier who did not see combat but who wonders what constant combat might do to U.S. soldiers, how it affects them, and how the wars we fight affect us all. These essays reflect deeply on American culture and military life—how easily we buy into ideas of good versus bad, us versus them; how we see soldiers as heroes when more often than not they are young boys barely old enough to shave; how many return home broken while we only wave our flags instead of trying to fix them and the ideas that sent them to war.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469651088
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 08/09/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Paul Crenshaw is the author of This One Will Hurt You. His essays and short stories have appeared in Best American Essays, Best American Nonrequired Reading, The Pushcart Prize, Oxford American, Glimmer Train, and Brevity, among others.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

These woven essays are a masterful reckoning of the notion that war makes a man. A potent and true antidote to one of our longest-running yet false myths."—Donald Anderson, editor, War, Literature & the Arts

Crenshaw deeply investigates his time in the National Guard, including what led him there and its lingering effects. The lyricism and metaphor he draws from the relationships and routine of military life strike a truly haunting chord that I found both unflinchingly revealing and surprisingly relatable. An essential book for our moment."—Jac Jemc, author of The Grip of It and False Bingo

When Henry James coined the phrase 'the real thing,' he must have been thinking about Paul Crenshaw. Through superb prose and an insider's perspective, Crenshaw has created a book that is completely necessary."—David Lazar, author of I'll Be Your Mirror: Essays and Aphorisms

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