Making the Forever War
Release Date:25 Jun 2021
Release Date:25 Jun 2021
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Making the Forever War

Marilyn B. Young on the Culture and Politics of American Militarism

University of Massachusetts Press
The late historian Marilyn B. Young, a preeminent voice on the history of U.S. military conflict, spent her career reassessing the nature of American global power, its influence on domestic culture and politics, and the consequences felt by those on the receiving end of U.S. military force. At the center of her inquiries was a seeming paradox: How can the United States stay continually at war, yet Americans pay so little attention to this militarism?

Making the Forever War brings Young's articles and essays on American war together for the first time, including never before published works. Moving from the first years of the Cold War to Korea, Vietnam, and more recent "forever" wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Young reveals the ways in which war became ever-present, yet more covert and abstract, particularly as aerial bombings and faceless drone strikes have attained greater strategic value. For Young, U.S. empire persisted because of, not despite, the inattention of most Americans. The collection concludes with an afterword by prominent military historian Andrew Bacevich.
Marilyn B. Young remains the preeminent historian of war's place in modern American history.'—Michael S. Sherry, author of The Shadow of War: The United States since the 1930s

'The essays in this collection serve as a durable testament to one of the most important academic critics of US war-making in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.'—Susan L. Carruthers, author of The Good Occupation: American Soldiers and the Hazards of Peace

'Mark Philip Bradley and Mary L. Dudziak have brought together eight published and two unpublished papers from Young’s long and illustrious career that provide readers with a wide-ranging introduction to why she was such an influential scholar, teacher, and activist. The editors’ thoughtful introduction and Andrew Bacevich's comments in an afterword contribute significantly to the value of the volume and to our understanding of Young, who died in 2017.'—Peace & Change

As a whole, the book reminds us of how ground-breaking Young’s contribution was to the field of US diplomatic and military history. It also illuminates the key themes that she returned to throughout her career, which focused on how war was processed and absorbed into the US national narrative often by glossing over or 'abstracting' its violence.'—H-Net Reviews

'Drawing from various writings and previously unpublished manuscripts, Bradley and Dudziak present a collection that testifies to the astonishing breadth and depth of Young’s career. Her influence on contemporary American history is undeniable, and her strong voice of dissent and activist spirit shine through in her writing . . . Making the Forever War is an excellent introduction to Young’s work and stands as a testament to her career.'—Strategic Visions
MARILYN B. YOUNG (1937–2017) was a renowned historian of American foreign relations and a longtime professor of history at New York University. Her landmark book The Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990 remains a defining work in the field. MARK PHILIP BRADLEY is Bernadotte E. Schmitt Distinguished Service Professor of International History and the College at the University of Chicago and author of The World Reimagined: Americans and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century. MARY L. DUDZIAK is Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law at Emory University and author of War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences.
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