It’s My Country Too: Women’s Military Stories from the American Revolution to Afghanistan

Jerri Bell and Tracy Crow. Potomac, $32.95 (376p) ISBN 978-1-61234-831-5
“A sailor and a Marine walked into a bar”: so begins this timely and thought-provoking anthology of women’s military stories edited by Bell, a retired naval officer and editor of the Veterans Writing Project literary journal, O-Dark-Thirty, and Crow (Eyes Right), a former Marine Corps officer. These stories crackle with personality and demonstrate how remarkably determined American women have been to serve an institution that didn’t seem to want them. During the Revolution, for example, Sarah Osborn traveled with the Continental Army to stay close to her husband and perform domestic services for his unit, while Deborah Sampson Gannett dressed like a man to enlist. Sarah Emma Edmonds and Loreta Janeta Velazquez did the same as Gannett during the Civil War. In WWI, such deceptions were no longer necessary because the military began enlisting women. Selections in the book’s “Gender Wars” section attest to the sexual harassment women have endured as a matter of course once they earned a permanent place in the armed forces. The editors provide just enough historical context to deliver a smooth chronological flow and they include a helpful list of further readings. The foreword by veteran Kayla Williams is disappointingly anemic, but Bell and Crow have done a service by amplifying the important voices in this collection. Illus. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2017
Release date: 07/01/2017
Ebook - 978-1-61234-934-3
Audio Product - 978-1-61234-936-7
Audio Product - 978-1-61234-935-0
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