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American Patriots the Story of Blacks in the Military From the Revolution To Desert Stormby Gail Lumet Buckley
Synopses & Reviews
American Patriots is one of the great untold stories in American history. There have been books on individual black soldiers, but this is the first to tell the full story of the black American military experience, starting with the Revolution and culminating with Desert Storm.
The best histories are about more than facts and events ?- they capture the spirit that drives men to better their lives and to demand of themselves the highest form of sacrifice. That spirit permeates Gail Buckley?s dramatic, deeply moving, and inspiring book. You?ll meet the men who fought in the decisive engagements of the Revolution, the legendary Buffalo soldiers, and the heroic black regiments of the Civil War. You?ll meet some of America?s greatest patriots ? men who fought in the First and Second World Wars when their country denied them access to equipment and training, segregated the ranks, and did all it could to keep them off the battlefield. You?ll meet the heroes of Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. And you?ll meet two families, the Lews and the Pierces, who have served in every American engagement since the Revolution.
FDR used to say that Americanism was a matter of the mind and heart, not of race and ancestry. With photographs throughout and dozens of original interviews with veterans, American Patriots is a tribute to the black American men and women who fought and gave their lives in the service of that ideal.
"Black Americans have participated in every American war, to the benefit of us all. Despite overt discrimination and crude racism, they produced many heroes and did great deeds. This is a triumphant American success story, from slaves in the Revolutionary War to Colin Powell as the top military man of Desert Storm. Gail Buckley tells it well. She has done the research, done the interviews, read the literature, thought about her subject, and knows how to write, how to engage her reader. A triumph."
-- Stephen E. Ambrose, author of D-Day
"Gail Buckley has given us a powerful account of a long and shamefully overlooked part of American military history ?- the heroic efforts of African Americans to serve honorably and courageously in the armed forces when they were subjected to the worst kinds of racism. The full story is at once uplifting and deeply disturbing. We should all be grateful to Gail for bringing us these stories ? and to the people about whom she writes for their determined patriotism."
-- Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation
"A compulsive and humbling history of nobility in the face of American prejudice, and courage in the face of America's enemies. Buckley writes with grace and authority ? and an almost unearthly restraint."
-- John Le Carre
"Deftly handled... An extraordinary history... Shows the deep hypocrisy of a nation that was willing to let black soldiers fight even as it consistently denied them equal rights and equal recognition... Buckley has written a book to fill a significant gap in our history. She has recounted a remarkable human drama, one of struggle, betrayal, and ultimate redemption."
-- Catherine S. Manegold, The New York Times Book Review
In an exploration of black American military heroes from Crispus Attucks to Colin Powell, Buckley presents a history of bravery, valor, patriotism, and extraordinary personal courage both on and off the battlefield.
About the Author
GAIL LUMET BUCKLEY is a journalist and the daughter of Lena Horne. Her family history — The Hornes — became an American Masters documentary, and she narrated a documentary on black American families for PBS. She has written for the Los Angeles Times, Vogue, the New York Daily News, and The New York Times. She lives in New York.
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