Cover: America's Army: Making the All-Volunteer Force, from Harvard University PressCover: America's Army in HARDCOVER

America's Army

Making the All-Volunteer Force

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$41.00 • £35.95 • €37.95

ISBN 9780674035362

Publication Date: 11/23/2009


352 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

22 halftones

Belknap Press


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This excellent analytical history is particularly timely. It thoroughly surveys the volunteer force’s emergence from the so-called ‘hollow army’ over the past decades, and it analyzes such specific issues as the effect on gender roles of the greater number of women in service, the effect on career patterns due to the absence of a draft, and how to instill the warrior ethos, assuming that that is still necessary in an age of high-tech combat. The ultimate questions raised are whether the all-volunteer force doesn’t sacrifice civic responsibility to individual liberty and what the answer to that question implies. Intensely serious, painstakingly thorough, and deserving addition to collections concerned with military and current affairs.—Roland Green, Booklist

Beth Bailey has written an accessible and informative history of the [All-Volunteer Force]. It’s a valuable reference work for anyone interested in the armed forces. The book has added value today, given the strain under which the military has found itself in fighting lengthy insurgencies in both Afghanistan and Iraq.—Doug Bandow, The Washington Times

Compact, comprehensive, and empathetic, America’s Army provides a much-needed account of the all-volunteer army, from its difficult birth after Vietnam down to its challenging present. An important story exceedingly well told.—Andrew J. Bacevich, author of The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War

An excellent history of a very complicated and controversial topic that deals with such emotional subjects as race, the role of women, and the Army’s commitment to combat.—Brian McAllister Linn, Professor of History, Texas A&M University

America’s Army will be indispensable reading for anyone who wants to understand how the modern army works and how this democracy ‘provides for the common defense.’—Colonel Matthew Moten, Professor, United States Military Academy at West Point and author of The Delafield Commission and the American Military Profession

Every American should read Beth Bailey’s excellent book on America’s Army. It brilliantly charts how the huge shift away from the draft came to be and what we might expect in the future.—Patricia Schroeder, U.S. House Representative for the State of Colorado, 1973–1997

The powerful and remarkable story of how the All-Volunteer Force confronted the challenges surrounding race, gender, sexuality and citizenship in creating today’s American Army.—Michael Sherry, author of In the Shadow of War: The United States Since the 1930s

America’s Army will become a major addition to the history of the post-Vietnam armed forces.—Ronald Spector, Professor of History and International Affairs, George Washington University

Awards & Accolades

  • 2009 Distinguished Book Award, Institutional/Functional History Category, Army Historical Foundation

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