No Man's Land Preparing for War and Peace in Post-9/11 America

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 11/4/2014
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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As the post-9/11 wars wind down, a literature professor at West Point explores what it means for soldiers, and our country, to be caught between war and peace

Elizabeth D. Samet, a professor of English at West Point and the author of the critically acclaimed Soldier's Heart, came to question her settled understanding of post-9/11 America as a clear arc from peace to war. Over time, as she reckoned with her experiences-from a visit to a ward of wounded combat veterans to her correspondence with former cadets-Samet was led to profoundly rethink the last decade, an ambiguous passage that has left deep but difficult-to-read traces on our national psyche, our culture, our politics, and, most especially, an entire generation of military professionals. How will a nation that has refused to grapple honestly with these wars imagine its postwar responsibilities?
Samet calls the moment in which we live, lying as it does somewhere between war and peace, a "no man's land." She takes the reader on a vivid tour of that landscape, populated as much by the scars of war as by the everyday realities of life on the home front. Grounded in Samet's experience as a teacher of future army officers, No Man's Land is a moving, urgent examination of what it means to negotiate the tensions between soldier and civilian, between "over here" and "over there."

The views expressed in this book are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Military Academy, the Department of the Army, or the Department of Defense.

Author Biography

Elizabeth D. Samet is the author of Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest and was named one of The New York Times’s 100 Notable Books of 2007; and Willing Obedience: Citizens, Soldiers, and the Progress of Consent in America, 1776-1898. Her essays and reviews have been published in various venues including The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, and Bloomberg View. In 2012, Samet won the Hiett Prize in the Humanities. She was also awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to support research and writing of a book about mythologies of the war veteran in Hollywood cinema. Samet is professor of English at West Point.

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