Americans at War: Eyewitness Accounts from the American Revolution to the 21st Century

3 vols. ABC-CLIO. May 2018. 1040p. ed. by . bibliog. index. ISBN 9781440844058. $325; ebk. ISBN 9781440844065. HIST
Prolific military and political history author Arnold examines the experiences of those on the front lines of combat, from the American Revolution to the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Organized by conflict, sections begin with a helpful overview and time line and conclude with an extensive bibliography. By focusing on not only officers but also enlisted soldiers, this collection of diary entries, letters, autobiography excerpts, and oral history accounts sets itself apart from similar titles. In a letter written during the Revolution, Joseph Townsend, a Quaker teenager, describes the aftermath of the Battle of Brandywine, including details of the number of wounded and dead soldiers. An interview with Brian Taylor, a marine who operated a grenade launcher during the invasion of Iraq, discusses the difficulty of distinguishing friendly civilians from insurgents and vividly describes the chaos of battle and the platoons under attack. Readers will find it easy to locate documents, as each volume contains a useful list.
VERDICT Of interest to lower- and upper-level undergraduate military history students seeking primary source documents.

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