Warring Over Valor: How Race and Gender Shaped American Military Heroism in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

TitleWarring Over Valor: How Race and Gender Shaped American Military Heroism in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsWendt, Simon
Number of Pages220
PublisherRutgers University Press
CityNew Brunswick
Abstract

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, this article 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. 

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1035811496

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