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The Regulars: The American Army, 1898-1941

The Regulars: The American Army, 1898-1941
Autor: Edward M. Coffman
Data publikacji: 2007-04-00
ISBN: 9780674024021
Wydawca: Harvard University Press
Język: angielski
Wymiary: 22.9 x 16 x 2.8 cm
Oprawa: miękka
Liczba stron: 528
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Opis produktu:

In 1898 the American Regular Army was a small frontier constabulary engaged in skirmishes with Indians and protesting workers. Forty-three years later, in 1941, it was a large modern army ready to wage global war against the Germans and the Japanese. In this definitive social history of America's standing army, military historian Edward Coffman tells how that critical transformation was accomplished.

Coffman has spent years immersed in the official records, personal papers, memoirs, and biographies of regular army men, including such famous leaders as George Marshall, George Patton, and Douglas MacArthur. He weaves their stories, and those of others he has interviewed, into the story of an army which grew from a small community of posts in China and the Philippines to a highly effective mechanized ground and air force. During these years, the U.S. Army conquered and controlled a colonial empire, military staff lived in exotic locales with their families, and soldiers engaged in combat in Cuba and the Pacific. In the twentieth century, the United States entered into alliances to fight the German army in World War I, and then again to meet the challenge of the Axis Powers in World War II.

Coffman explains how a managerial revolution in the early 1900s provided the organizational framework and educational foundation for change, and how the combination of inspired leadership, technological advances, and a supportive society made it successful. In a stirring account of all aspects of garrison life, including race relations, we meet the men and women who helped reconfigure America's frontier army into a modern global force.

This long-anticipated follow-up to The Old Army: A Portrait of the American Army in Peacetime, 1784-1898 tells the story of the U.S. Army's development from a frontier constabulary to the backbone of the force that decided WWII. Between 1898 and 1941, the army conquered and controlled an empire, led a million men into combat on the western front during the Great War and successfully prepared against all odds during the 1920s and '30s to fight Germany and Japan on a global scale. This achievement involved developing superior professional capabilities. University of Wisconsin emeritus historian Coffman brilliantly describes the managerial revolution of the early 20th century that established the basis for the schools system of the interwar years. The heart of the book, however, is its presentation of the army's character during this era of change. Relying heavily on probing interviews, the text tells the story of a small, distinctive community that at the same time never became isolated from the wider society, despite its prevailing antimilitarism. The officers and enlisted men of the U.S. Army were not typical of their countrymen. They moved frequently, often to unlikely places. The lived under comprehensive regulation, where a playground fight or a spouses' quarrel could shape an entire career. And they accepted an ethic of duty and responsibility in many ways anomalous in a country built on individual freedoms and rights. That did not make them perfect; Coffman in particular establishes the congruent patterns of racism in both army and society. Yet that ethic, Coffman shows, helped keep soldiers from losing touch with the democracy they served. In two world wars, the army was able to absorb millions of mobilized civilians with a minimum of friction, while simultaneously creating a fighting machine that successfully challenged the world's two more militarized societies. If WWII saw the emergence of America's "greatest generation," its framework was provided by Coffman's regulars, wonderfully described here. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Edward M. Coffman is Professor of History, Emeritus, at University of Wisconsin, Madison. 

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