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A Few Good Women: America's Military Women from World War I to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

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The never-before-told story of the U.S. women’s military corps: the women who fought for the right to defend their country by serving in our armed forces with full military rank and benefits—a fight that continues today for American military women who want to serve in combat support positions and in frontline combat units. Using interviews, correspondence, and diaries, as w The never-before-told story of the U.S. women’s military corps: the women who fought for the right to defend their country by serving in our armed forces with full military rank and benefits—a fight that continues today for American military women who want to serve in combat support positions and in frontline combat units. Using interviews, correspondence, and diaries, as well as archival material, Evelyn M. Monahan and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee tell the remarkable story of America’s “few good women” who today make up more than 15 percent of the U.S. armed forces and who serve alongside men in almost every capacity. Here are the stories of the battles these women fought to march beside their brothers; their tales of courage and fortitude; of the indignities they’ve endured; the injustices they’ve overcome; of the blood they’ve shed; the comrades they’ve lost; and the challenges they still face in the twenty-first century. U.S. military women have lived, and continue to live, the history that has helped to make and keep America what it is. Now their stories have been brought together in a riveting firsthand narrative, as inspiring as it is illuminating.


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The never-before-told story of the U.S. women’s military corps: the women who fought for the right to defend their country by serving in our armed forces with full military rank and benefits—a fight that continues today for American military women who want to serve in combat support positions and in frontline combat units. Using interviews, correspondence, and diaries, as w The never-before-told story of the U.S. women’s military corps: the women who fought for the right to defend their country by serving in our armed forces with full military rank and benefits—a fight that continues today for American military women who want to serve in combat support positions and in frontline combat units. Using interviews, correspondence, and diaries, as well as archival material, Evelyn M. Monahan and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee tell the remarkable story of America’s “few good women” who today make up more than 15 percent of the U.S. armed forces and who serve alongside men in almost every capacity. Here are the stories of the battles these women fought to march beside their brothers; their tales of courage and fortitude; of the indignities they’ve endured; the injustices they’ve overcome; of the blood they’ve shed; the comrades they’ve lost; and the challenges they still face in the twenty-first century. U.S. military women have lived, and continue to live, the history that has helped to make and keep America what it is. Now their stories have been brought together in a riveting firsthand narrative, as inspiring as it is illuminating.

30 review for A Few Good Women: America's Military Women from World War I to the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ann-Marie

    I started reading this book because during the Vietnam war several of my nursing school friends joined the army and because I had the opportunity to work at several VA Hospitals. I also have an interest in how women move forward in professions that normally are male dominated. I was disappointed in this book because, although it is factually accurate, it is such dull reading that it ought to be listed as a reference book rather than a book one would want to read from cover to cover. The stories I started reading this book because during the Vietnam war several of my nursing school friends joined the army and because I had the opportunity to work at several VA Hospitals. I also have an interest in how women move forward in professions that normally are male dominated. I was disappointed in this book because, although it is factually accurate, it is such dull reading that it ought to be listed as a reference book rather than a book one would want to read from cover to cover. The stories of each of the women could be fascinating; however, they just do not com to life in this book. I finally put it down & decided not to finish it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    San

    For WW II enthusiasts, this book gives us a good idea of the rest of the story. The authors are to be commended for their extensive research and the many first person interviews. You will learn things you have never heard before no matter how much you have read about WW II.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shaynipper

    As a former USAR member, I did find some of the information interesting. I share many of the authors sentiments about the military as it is today.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    American women have served in the military, officially and unofficially, probably from colonial times. This book covers their service in the 20th and 21st centuries. It was an extremely difficult fight to get a patriarchal government's recognition that women served in combat zones undergoing the same dangers (and then some-because they faced danger from men supposed to be on their side) as American servicemen. In World War II Army and Navy nurses were captured by Japanese and held as POWs. Nurse American women have served in the military, officially and unofficially, probably from colonial times. This book covers their service in the 20th and 21st centuries. It was an extremely difficult fight to get a patriarchal government's recognition that women served in combat zones undergoing the same dangers (and then some-because they faced danger from men supposed to be on their side) as American servicemen. In World War II Army and Navy nurses were captured by Japanese and held as POWs. Nurses hit the beaches on D-Day to care for the wounded. In WW II women took over jobs releasing men for combat positions. In the current wars women have also been in combat situations and many have become casualties of war. But a lot of that history had been swept under the carpet. This book brings more of that history to light.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Allysa

    Truly enjoyed reading 3/4 of this book. It was clear that by the last few chapters of the book the authors lost interest in modern day women’s military history and instead wished to discuss the failings of not only the military as a whole, but also the American people who choose not to serve. A great disservice was done to the women who served after desert shield/ storm as only the things that were done to them were discussed rather than any of their accomplishments or contributions they made to Truly enjoyed reading 3/4 of this book. It was clear that by the last few chapters of the book the authors lost interest in modern day women’s military history and instead wished to discuss the failings of not only the military as a whole, but also the American people who choose not to serve. A great disservice was done to the women who served after desert shield/ storm as only the things that were done to them were discussed rather than any of their accomplishments or contributions they made to the military. If you’re looking for women’s contributions to World War II this is a great reference; any later in history, this book is lacking at best.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Norma

    As expected it was very pro-American but not propagandistic. My main issue is that it was boring to the core. At first I could sort of enjoy the first stories about women in the world wars but after Vietnam it was more of the same and just wanted to get through it. One good aspect is that the writers were not blind to Bush's administration and the mistakes that the military have committed but it wasn't enough, at least from my perspective as a non-American. Maybe this is only for military enthus As expected it was very pro-American but not propagandistic. My main issue is that it was boring to the core. At first I could sort of enjoy the first stories about women in the world wars but after Vietnam it was more of the same and just wanted to get through it. One good aspect is that the writers were not blind to Bush's administration and the mistakes that the military have committed but it wasn't enough, at least from my perspective as a non-American. Maybe this is only for military enthusiasts and Americans who are still proud of a very stained institution.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jan Jordan

    This book is a real eye opener about sexism in the military. A few too many statistics but the story itself is enlightning. What our nurses and women went through with no credit whatsoever will anger you.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Russell

    This was a highly informative read; while the subject matter went far beyond what I needed it for, I found myself finishing the book anyway.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    I really enjoyed this book as a great tool for knowledge of women in the US armed forces. It was easy and interesting to read. There are a couple criticisms I have, however: the later wars are kinda skimped on, there is too little discussion of women in the later wars, and someone obviously lost interest and stopped proofing by the last part of the text. Though I largely agree with what the authors have to say at the end, I feel it was preachy and sloppy. I want to know more about how women are I really enjoyed this book as a great tool for knowledge of women in the US armed forces. It was easy and interesting to read. There are a couple criticisms I have, however: the later wars are kinda skimped on, there is too little discussion of women in the later wars, and someone obviously lost interest and stopped proofing by the last part of the text. Though I largely agree with what the authors have to say at the end, I feel it was preachy and sloppy. I want to know more about how women are integral to the contemporary military. If they are mostly regarded as an average soldier, awesome, so be it; but the authors never explicitly state anything. I do still plan to read more by them, as this was about a 3/4-excellently written work, and their chosen subjects seem interesting

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    The problems begin with the lack of a table of contents, symbolic of the overall lack of structure and organization (although the authors are not professional historians, the editor should have addressed this larger coherence issue). The reader is left to meander through the book on their own. While it has potential (mainly the interviews) and the story of military women is one that needs to be told, this book is exceedingly frustrating to use and lacks historical chronology and context.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany 🔭🔬

    The amount of history is amazing. To think of what women did only 60+ years ago and the crap we're still having to deal with in 2012, I am so very great full for those first women broke down the barriers so we could have success today! On the flip side the book isn't organized too well and the chapters should have had the dates or at least have been separated by war period time frames.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joy

  14. 4 out of 5

    Todd

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christina

  16. 5 out of 5

    Veronica Mullet

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  18. 4 out of 5

    William Adler

  19. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    I wanted this to be good. Such a shame that it's not. A disorganized mess.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alyx

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marcie

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie

  26. 4 out of 5

    J

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

  28. 5 out of 5

    Susan Simmers

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris Lyons McKinley

  30. 4 out of 5

    Julie

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