The New Praetorians
216 pages, 6 x 9
4 tables
Release Date:26 Nov 2021
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Release Date:26 Nov 2021
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The New Praetorians

American Veterans, Society, and Service from Vietnam to the Forever War

SERIES: Veterans
University of Massachusetts Press
Contemporary veterans belong to an exclusive American group. Celebrated by most of the country, they are nevertheless often poorly understood by the same people who applaud their service. Following the introduction of an all-volunteer force after the war in Vietnam, only a tiny fraction of Americans now join the armed services, making the contemporary soldier, and the veteran by extension, increasingly less representative of mainstream society. Veterans have come to comprise their own distinct tribe—modern praetorians, permanently set apart from society by what they have seen and experienced.
In an engrossing narrative that considers the military, economic, political, and social developments affecting military service after Vietnam, Michael D. Gambone investigates how successive generations have intentionally shaped their identity as veterans. The New Praetorians also highlights the impact of their homecoming, the range of educational opportunities open to veterans, the health care challenges they face, and the unique experiences of minority and women veterans. This groundbreaking study illustrates an important and often neglected group that is key to our understanding of American social history and civil-military affairs.
In readable prose, Gambone has drawn on a wide range of sources to weave together a compelling narrative of the modern American veteran. The New Praetorians is a singular contribution to veterans studies.'—Barbara A. Gannon, author of The Won Cause: Black and White Comradeship in the Grand Army of the Republic
'Ambitious and wide ranging, this book is essential reading for those seeking to understand the veteran experience since the Vietnam War. This study of the coming home experiences of those who fought in America's recent wars belongs on the bookshelf for policymakers and those administrators serving the needs of veterans.’—G. Kurt Piehler, author of Remembering War the American Way
MICHAEL D. GAMBONE is professor of history at Kutztown University. He is author of Long Journeys Home: American Veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
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