Warring over Valor
220 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:15 Oct 2018
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Warring over Valor

How Race and Gender Shaped American Military Heroism in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

Edited by Simon Wendt
SERIES: War Culture
Rutgers University Press
By focusing on how the idea of heroism on the battlefield helped construct, perpetuate, and challenge racial and gender hierarchies in the United States between World War I and the present, Warring over Valor provides fresh perspectives on the history of American military heroism. The book offers two major insights into the history of military heroism. First, it reveals a precarious ambiguity in the efforts of minorities such as African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, women, and gay men to be recognized as heroic soldiers. Paradoxically, America’s heroism discourse allowed them to press their case for full membership in the nation, but doing so simultaneously validated the dichotomous interpretations of race and gender they repudiated. The ambiguous role of marginalized groups in war-related hero-making processes also testifies to this volume’s second general insight: the durability and tenacity of the masculine warrior hero in U.S. society and culture. Warring over Valor bridges a gap in the historiography of heroism and military affairs. 
This intriguing volume demonstrates how marginalized groups’ identities and experiences were shaped by the hegemonic white, masculine warrior image. The essays are well-researched and simply fascinating. Edwin A. Martini, author of Agent Orange: History, Science, and the Politics of Uncertainty
This book sheds light on what people see as the normal hero, while at the same time showing that there are many other deserving people that are heroes and don’t get the same recognition. Communication Booknotes Quarterly
SIMON WENDT is an associate professor of American studies at the Goethe University of Frankfurt in Germany. He is the author or coeditor of several books, including The Spirit and the Shotgun: Armed Resistance and the Struggle for Civil Rights.
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