In the Shadow of War: The United States since the 1930s

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9780300072631: In the Shadow of War: The United States since the 1930s

In this magisterial book, a prize-winning historian shows how war has defined modern America. Michael Sherry argues that America's intense preoccupation with war emerged on the eve of World War II, marking a turning point as important as the Revolution, the end of the frontier, and other watersheds in American history. In the sixty years since the war, says Sherry, militarization has reshaped every facet of American life: its politics, economics, culture, social relations, and place in the world.

According to Sherry, America's militarization began partly in response to threatening forces and changes abroad, but its internal sources and consequences in the long run proved more telling. War--as threat, necessity, or model of unified action--persistently justified the state's growing size, power, and activism. But as national government waged "war on poverty," war on AIDS," and "war on drugs," it fostered expectations of "victory" that it could not fulfill, aggravating the very distrust of federal authority that leaders sought to overcome and encouraging Americans to conceive of war as something they waged against each other rather than against enemies abroad. The paradigm of war thereby corroded Americans' faith in national government and embittered their conflicts over class, race, gender, religion, and the nation's very meaning. Sherry concludes by speculating on the possibility of ending America's long attachment to war.

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Mr. Sherry has produced an intelligent narrative and has given significant attention to the structure and behavior of military institutions--which is relatively unusual in historical syntheses. He is highly sensitive to how ideas of war have shaped ideas about sex and sexuality; his discussion of the interplay between militarization and homosexuality, for example, is one of the most interesting and original parts of his book. -- The New York Times Book Review, Alan Brinkley

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In this magisterial book, a prize-winning historian shows how war has defined modern America. Michael Sherry argues that America s intense preoccupation with war emerged on the eve of World War II, marking a turning point as important as the Revolution, the end of the frontier, and other watersheds in American history. In the sixty years since the war, says Sherry, militarization has reshaped every facet of American life: its politics, economics, culture, social relations, and place in the world.According to Sherry, America s militarization began partly in response to threatening forces and changes abroad, but its internal sources and consequences in the long run proved more telling. War--as threat, necessity, or model of unified action--persistently justified the state s growing size, power, and activism. But as national government waged war on poverty, war on AIDS, and war on drugs, it fostered expectations of victory that it could not fulfill, aggravating the very distrust of federal authority that leaders sought to overcome and encouraging Americans to conceive of war as something they waged against each other rather than against enemies abroad. The paradigm of war thereby corroded Americans faith in national government and embittered their conflicts over class, race, gender, religion, and the nation s very meaning. Sherry concludes by speculating on the possibility of ending America s long attachment to war. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780300072631

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In this magisterial book, a prize-winning historian shows how war has defined modern America. Michael Sherry argues that America s intense preoccupation with war emerged on the eve of World War II, marking a turning point as important as the Revolution, the end of the frontier, and other watersheds in American history. In the sixty years since the war, says Sherry, militarization has reshaped every facet of American life: its politics, economics, culture, social relations, and place in the world. According to Sherry, America s militarization began partly in response to threatening forces and changes abroad, but its internal sources and consequences in the long run proved more telling. War--as threat, necessity, or model of unified action--persistently justified the state s growing size, power, and activism. But as national government waged war on poverty, war on AIDS, and war on drugs, it fostered expectations of victory that it could not fulfill, aggravating the very distrust of federal authority that leaders sought to overcome and encouraging Americans to conceive of war as something they waged against each other rather than against enemies abroad. The paradigm of war thereby corroded Americans faith in national government and embittered their conflicts over class, race, gender, religion, and the nation s very meaning. Sherry concludes by speculating on the possibility of ending America s long attachment to war. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780300072631

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