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The Resource The hidden history of America at war : untold tales from Yorktown to Fallujah, Kenneth C. Davis

The hidden history of America at war : untold tales from Yorktown to Fallujah, Kenneth C. Davis

Label
The hidden history of America at war : untold tales from Yorktown to Fallujah
Title
The hidden history of America at war
Title remainder
untold tales from Yorktown to Fallujah
Statement of responsibility
Kenneth C. Davis
Title variation
Untold tales from Yorktown to Fallujah
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Combat tales have come to form an essential piece of our identity as Americans. But as some war stories have been repackaged and embellished, the truth behind the conflicts--the lives of the average soldiers and civilians involved and the lasting significance of the battles on American history--often lies buried. Kenneth C. Davis aims to change that. Here, he takes readers inside six landmark battles that offer crucial insights. From the Battle of Yorktown (1781), where a fledgling America learned hard lessons about what kind of military it would need to survive; to 1945 Berlin, when the downfall of the Third Reich set the stage for decades of Cold War tension; to Fallujah (2004), which epitomized the dawn of privatized war, Davis explores the key battlefield characters and events, shattering myths and misconceptions. Revelations include: the unacknowledged role that enslaved people and free African Americans played in the Revolution and Civil War; the grave miscalculations and cruelty that took place at Petersburg, Virginia, site of the longest siege of an American city; the scandalous use of water torture and civilian atrocities that shook Theodore Roosevelt's White House; the secret reasons why Stalin was desperate to take Berlin in the closing days of World War II--and why General Eisenhower let him; and the epic battle that changed how reporters covered--and Americans viewed--the Vietnam War. With this book, Davis illuminates why we go to war, who fights, the grunt's-eye view of combat, and how these conflicts shaped our military and national identity.--From publisher description
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Davis, best known for his Don’t Know Much About series, has carved a niche for himself as a go-to guy for historical insight and analysis. Here, he turns his attention to six key battles that have had lasting impacts on U.S. history and culture. Illustrating the maxim that it’s “always easier to get into a war than out of one,” Davis begins with the 1781 Revolutionary War battle for Yorktown, Va., and ends in Iraq with the 2004 battles for Fallujah. His searing analyses and ability to see the forest as well as the trees make for an absorbing and infuriating read as he highlights the strategic missteps, bad decisions, needless loss of life, horrific war crimes, and political hubris that often accompany war. Davis displays his talent for contextualization, bridging seemingly disparate elements together to reach clear and coherent conclusions. Each chapter ends with an examination of the lasting effects of the relevant battle and how it informed the next, giving additional weight to his narrative. Davis is not one to pull punches—the way America treats its soldiers during and, especially, after battle clearly disgusts him—and his lucid, if depressing, assessment of key military engagements should be required reading for both the public and their elected officials. (May) --Staff (Reviewed March 9, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 10, p)
  • Davis is the author of popular history books in the "Don't Know Much About " series, which provide thought-provoking retakes on well-known subjects. This volume intends to offer an understanding of the United States's uneasy relationship with its military via lengthy essays on six battles. Davis explores uncomfortable facts about the Siege of Yorktown (1781) in the American Revolution, the Siege of Petersburg (1864) in the Civil War, the Balangiga massacre (1901) in the Philippine-American War, the fight for Berlin (1945) in World War II, the Battle of Hue (1968) in the Vietnam War, and the First Battle of Fallujah (2004) in the Iraq War. These explorations add depth and context to the heroic narratives of popular imagination. As with most books that offer the "hidden" or "untold" story, the events are not in dispute but the author's interpretation, presentation, and point-of-view attack the supposed romantic myth. In the case of Berlin, for example, the grinding misery of the bomber offensive and the implacable Soviet siege are well documented, but the author's detailing of the horrors is emotionally effective. Similarly, the American conquest of Philippine insurrectionists, nearly forgotten now, is a look into the costs of early American expansion. VERDICT Sure to be popular, especially among students and history buffs. A worthwhile addition to history collections.— Edwin Burgess, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, KS --Edwin Burgess (Reviewed May 1, 2015) (Library Journal, vol 140, issue 8, p88)
  • Six turning points in military history and American democracy. Don't Know Much About… series author Davis (America's Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims, Fighting Women, and Forgotten Founders Who Shaped a Nation, 2008, etc.) begins with the 1781 battle that decided the American Revolution. In Yorktown and its aftermath, we learn that George Washington favored a large standing army, despite the insistence of many that a diffuse corps of "citizen soldiers" would be a better safeguard of democracy. From Yorktown, the author moves to the 1864 Battle of Petersburg, Virginia. Davis defines specific moments when the U.S. military's role and self-image changed significantly. His stories are always analytically rigorous, and thus he describes at length the so-called "water cure" as it was employed as a method of torture by Americans during the Spanish-American War. Throughout the book, the author is careful to emphasize the critical role of African-Americans, both in the acknowledged triumphs of groups like the U.S. Colored Troops and in the disgraces visited upon black servicemen. Davis also makes sure to give voice to the fact that the actions of the Greatest Generation were not always so valiant. Russians were not the only soldiers who left a swath of brutalized women in their wake. While the Americans were not given the same license as Soviet troops avenging more than 25 million casualties, they still committed crimes. Davis' chapter on Vietnam offers a damning view of a military beset by those more interested in "management" than "leadership"—e.g., Gen. William Westmoreland. In the final chapter, on Fallujah, the author discusses the sickening scene of charred American mercenaries hanging from a bridge, failures of military policy, and a sense that the best military in the world is only as good as its civilian leadership. An informative, readable compendium of the many fallacies of modern warfare—including the fact that the inventor of the Gatling gun thought his instrument would decrease casualties.(Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2015)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10424047
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Davis, Kenneth C
Dewey number
355.020973
Index
index present
LC call number
E181
LC item number
.D26 2015
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Battles
  • Soldiers
  • Civilians in war
  • Civil-military relations
  • War and society
  • Social change
  • Battles
  • Civil-military relations
  • Civilians in war
  • Military policy
  • Social change
  • Social history
  • Soldiers
  • War and society
  • United States
  • United States
  • United States
  • United States
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
untold tales from Yorktown to Fallujah
Label
The hidden history of America at war : untold tales from Yorktown to Fallujah, Kenneth C. Davis
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 361-372) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Washington's men : Yorktown, Virginia : October 1781 -- The battle of the old men and the young boys : Petersburg, Virginia : June 1864 -- The water cure : Balangiga, Philippines : September 1901 -- Berlin stories : Berlin, Germany : April 1945 -- The "living-room war" : Hué, South Vietnam : February 1968 -- The bridge over the River Euphrates : Fallujah, Iraq : March 2004 -- Afterword
Control code
1101080
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
406 pages
Isbn
9781401324100
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2014024942
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781401324100
  • (OCoLC)883304918
Label
The hidden history of America at war : untold tales from Yorktown to Fallujah, Kenneth C. Davis
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 361-372) and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Washington's men : Yorktown, Virginia : October 1781 -- The battle of the old men and the young boys : Petersburg, Virginia : June 1864 -- The water cure : Balangiga, Philippines : September 1901 -- Berlin stories : Berlin, Germany : April 1945 -- The "living-room war" : Hué, South Vietnam : February 1968 -- The bridge over the River Euphrates : Fallujah, Iraq : March 2004 -- Afterword
Control code
1101080
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
406 pages
Isbn
9781401324100
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2014024942
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9781401324100
  • (OCoLC)883304918

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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