Lewis, a. (2007). The American Culture of War. New York: Routledge
Lewis offers the reader a wealth of strong research in the book, "The American Culture of War." The bulk of the book is dedicated to offering a critical look at American military policy and practices since 1945 stretching to the choices made in Iraq, up until 2005. In this book, Lewis offers his opinions and concerns about the All Volunteer Force and possible alternatives to this solution. Lewis opens the book by proposing and defining a term known as the "American Way of War" and uses this view as a means of accounting for the strange and bold choices that have been made in military strategy and methods in the last half a century. Lewis offers a historical account of each major and minor war that the U.S. has had involvement in during this time period, and he offers a very incisive look at the culture forces which were each engagement were enmeshed in. Lewis demonstrates how culture is ubiquitous and is a force which influences all nations at all times, particularly when it comes to how nations view war, going to war, the benefits of war, and the ideal outcomes from war.
One of the most salient points that Lewis makes...
As Lewis illuminates certain aspects of American history and the American experience continue to shape how Americans and the American government simply view battle, and military battles. As Lewis explains, "The frontier experience, the Western military tradition, and numerous other factors influenced the American way of war. While common elements can be found in the American and German ways of war, a complete description of the attributes of each nation would create a way of war unique to each of them because of their individual histories, military experiences, geographic circumstances, long-held political institutions and objectives, roles in world affairs, and the specific c evolution of each culture" (Lewis, 2007, p.7). This point demonstrates how American military culture is both influenced by its European roots and rejection of that history as well. American military policy is successful at being able to take the heritage which guided it, and reject that heritage as well.
Another large portion of the book takes a long look at the agendas of both individuals and the government who were in favor of engaging in war in each particular incident. Lewis neither shies away from the drama which characterizes military personnel and is able to offer how the discord which can flare up among these leaders manifests on the battlefield. Another…
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