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An engaging collection of essays focusing on American veterans.
War and American Life is a book of essays and reflections by celebrated historian and former marine James Wright, who has been active as an advocate, teacher, and scholar. Featuring both previously published pieces and new essays, the book considers veterans in America and the ways in which our society needs better to understand who they are and what they have done on the nation’s behalf—and the responsibilities that follow this recognition.
"An important book brimming with essential insights about what it means to be a nation at war...Wright writes with passion, perspective, and purpose...War and American Life
deserves the widest possible readership. Clear-eyed yet never cynical, it is a brief for veterans—and a nation—in need of healing."
— New York Journal of Books
“Jim Wright presents a fascinating blend of history and personal reflection that reminds us of the human costs of war and of our responsibilities as citizens to support those who serve for us. A timely and very readable book.”
— George W. Casey, Jr., General, U.S. Army (Retired)
“This book is critical reading for anyone who wants to understand what it means to be a United States citizen today. Wright possesses a deep historical consciousness, a gift for narrative, a sophisticated analysis of modern civilian and military relations, and a powerfully humanistic knowledge of the suffering of war. Marvelous, incisive, and fascinating work from a historian of great moral seriousness, and great emotional sensitivity."
— Phil Klay, winner of the National Book Award for Fiction for his novel Redeployment
“A necessary and eloquent book that raises critical issues about military service, decisions around war-making, veterans and the 99 percent who do not serve. Wright speaks to a foundational crisis of our time—the loss of civic responsibility. I highly recommend this book!”
— Kathy Roth-Douquet, Founder and CEO, Blue Star Families
“A much-needed call for civic participation, and for remembering. Wright’s decades as an historian lend perspective and sweep to this account, while his experience as a Marine and an advocate for veterans fills the book with humanity.”
— Nathaniel Fick, author of the NYT Bestseller One Bullet Away
“Wright, distinguished scholar and remarkable public intellectual, succeeds in reminding Americans of the sacrifices made (and continuing) by multiple generations of veterans. This extraordinary set of essays is a must read for a country that struggles to understand the magnitude of these sacrifices.”
— Dr. Kyle Longley, Chapman University, Director of the War, Diplomacy, and Society Program
“As both a Marine and a historian, James Wright brings a unique perspective and insight into his examination of America’s treatment of those who served in uniform. His writing is a reminder that we still have a long way to go in keeping the promise to those who have borne the battle.”
— Jeremy Butler, CEO, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America