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Army of Hope, Army of Alienation, Army of Hope, Army of Alienation, 0817351744, 0-8173-5174-4, 978-0-8173-5174-8, 9780817351748,

Army of Hope, Army of Alienation
Culture and Contradiction in the American Army Communities of Cold War Germany
by John P. Hawkins

Quality Paper
2005. 368 pp.
Price:  $39.95 s

A timely, accessible window into the lifestyles and challenges of American military personnel.

John P. Hawkins is Professor of Anthropology at Brigham Young University, a Lieutenant Colonel (retired) in the United States Army Reserve, and formerly a research officer in the Department of Military Psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

"An important book. . . . A rich ethnography of the internal character and dynamics of armed forces. . . . Hawkins's main argument is that the situation in which NATO units had to be in constant readiness for an invasion of Western Europe by the armies of the Warsaw Pact, led to a very heavy stress within the American military forces on control and alacrity. [He] systematically lays out the contradictions between civilian American cultural premises (individualism, equality, freedom of choice, readiness for compromise) and the corresponding premises of the military (unity, hierarchy, obedience, readiness for violence)."--American Ethnologist

"This is a first-rate ethnography of a little known but important community: forward-deployed American soldiers, stationed in Germany at the height of the Cold War. Hawkins mixes profound structural analysis with intimate conversational portraits to paint a picture of a military community torn between the competing demands of army life and family responsibilities. . . . An excellent teaching tool. . . . I recommend it highly."--Charles W. Nuckolls, author of Culture: A Problem That Cannot Be Solved

"Lieutenant Colonel John Hawkins's anthropological field study of American soldiers and their families serving and living in Germany between 1986 and 1988 is remarkable in three respects. It presents for the first time the story of families facing the constant threat of imminent and proximate nuclear war while coping with the special stresses of living and raising children in a foreign country. Second, it is the only examination of the culture of the U.S. Army in Germany by an anthropologist who also is a field grade officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. Finally, Hawkins integrates cultural, social, and psychological data to go beyond ethnographic description to analyze the processes through which soldiers, families, and the military hierarchy interact for the good or ill of each group."—from the Foreword by Faris R. Kirkland.



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