A Few Good Women: America's Military Women from World War I to the War in Iraq and Afghanistan

Evelyn Monahan, Author, Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee, Author . Knopf $30 (475p) ISBN 978-1-4000-4434-4

Foreign enemies are less challenging than domestic ones in this earnest history of women's struggle for entry into and acceptance within the armed forces. Ex-army psychologist Monahan and ex-navy nurse Neidel-Greenlee (coauthors of And If I Perish: Frontline U.S. Army Nurses in World War II ) argue that while America has increasingly relied on women to perform crucial military tasks, sometimes under fire, reactionaries in the military and Congress, citing feminine delicacy and other hoary sexist myths, have resisted according them the status, equal pay, opportunities, and respect they deserve. The authors adorn their chronicle of hard-fought institutional change with the generally gung-ho recollections of women soldiers, from WWII's WAACs and WAVEs to today's female machine gunners and paratroopers. The authors reserve their heaviest fire for those who oppose putting women in combat roles, especially Sen. James Webb; in a vitriolic critique, they conjecture that God invented death for the express purpose of ridding the world of people like Webb “who prefer subjective opinions to objective facts....” This is an occasionally inspiring, but often plodding and doctrinaire account of America's women in uniform. 83 photos. (Feb. 24)

Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 04/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 370 pages - 978-0-307-59318-4
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