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1 Beaverton Gender Studies- Gay Studies

This title in other editions

Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America

by

Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Drawing on more than a decade of research and hundreds of interviews, Nathaniel Frank exposes the militarys policy toward gays and lesbians as the damaging one that it is and demonstrates that “dont ask, dont tell” must be replaced with an outright reversal of the gay ban. One of the nations leading experts on gays in the military, Franks even-handed and always scrupulously documented chronicle shows how the ban on open gays and lesbians in the U.S. military has greatly increased discharges, hampered recruitment, and—contrary to the rationale offered by proponents of the ban—led to lower morale and cohesion within military ranks.

The author presents indisputable evidence showing that gays already serve openly in the U.S. military without causing problems, and that the policy itself is weakening the military it was supposed to protect. Part history, part exposé, and fully revealing, Unfriendly Fire is sure to make the blood boil of any American who cares about national security, the right to speak the truth, or just plain common sense and fairness.

 

Nathaniel Frank is a senior research fellow at the Palm Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and teaches history on the adjunct faculty at New York Universitys Gallatin School of Individualized Study. His publications on gays in the military and other topics have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Slate, Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, Newsday, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Lingua Franca, and others, and his research and opinions have been cited on the Congressional floor, in syndicated columns, in the blogosphere, the New York Post, The Advocate, National Review Online, the AP, and other venues, including university syllabi and media roundups. Frank earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in History at Brown University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

When the “dont ask, dont tell” policy emerged as a political compromise under Bill Clinton in 1993, it only ended up worsening the destructive gay ban that had been on the books since World War II. Drawing on more than a decade of research and hundreds of interviews, Nathaniel Frank exposes the militarys policy toward gays and lesbians as damaging and demonstrates that “dont ask, dont tell” must be replaced with an outright reversal of the gay ban.

Frank is one of the nations leading experts on gays in the military, and in his evenhanded and always scrupulously documented chronicle, he reveals how the ban on open gays and lesbians in the U.S. military has greatly increased discharges, hampered recruitment, and—contrary to the rationale offered by proponents of the ban—led to lower morale and cohesion within military ranks.

Frank does not shy away from tackling controversial issues, and he presents indisputable evidence showing that gays already serve openly without causing problems, and that the policy itself is weakening the military it was supposed to protect. In addition to the moral pitfalls of the gay ban, Frank shows the practical damage it has wrought. Most recently, the discharge of valuable Arabic translators (who happen to be gay) under the current policy has left U.S. forces ill-equipped in the fight against terrorism.

Part history, part exposé, and fully revealing, Unfriendly Fire is poised to become the definitive story of  “dont ask, dont tell.” This lively and compelling narrative is sure to make the blood boil of any American who cares about national security, the right to speak the truth, or just plain common sense and fairness.

“Here is a book from a leading scholar that cuts through the ignorance, the denial, and the prejudice to explain how we got stuck with a policy that was doomed to fail. Our military and our nation owe Frank a debt of gratitude.”—Dr. Lawrence J. Korb, former Assistant Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan

"Why does his book, Unfriendly Fire, need nearly three hundred pages of text to make the same relatively simple points? Because he makes them so discerningly, so substantively, and so well. Unfriendly Fire offers a sharp, vigorously framed analysis of this state of affairs. The main attraction in Unfriendly Fire is the agility and tough-mindedness with which Mr. Frank presents his arguments."—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Unfriendly Fire reads like a crisp, confident, tightly focused legal brief appealing an unconscionable decision; pity the opposing advocate who must answer it point by point. With this book, President Obama, who pledged to scrap 'don't ask, don't tell,' has an instruction manual, as well as a blooper reel for avoiding Clinton's mistakes."—Washington Monthly

"This new book from the academic who first broke the story about the gay Arabic translators who were thrown out of the military is the best thing ever written about Bill Clinton's disastrous policy of 'don't ask, don't tell.'"—Columbia Journalism Review

"A meticulously argued case for the dismantling of 'don't ask, don't tell' and for the full reversal of the ban on gay and lesbian servicemembers."—NPR.org

“In 1993, when I was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, I felt that the policy was right for the times. Frank makes a compelling case not only that there has been a shift within our society, but that the time has come to look beyond our preconceptions and focus on capabilities. This book should be mandatory reading for anyone with an interest in the state of our society or the readiness of our military.”—General John Shalikashvili, former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Armed Forces

“This book lays out clearly, fairly, dispassionately, and accurately the terrible cost to our national security of this insane policy.”—Andrew Sullivan, author of The Daily Dish blog and of The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How to Get It Back

“Franks lucid and timely book should put to rest any lingering doubt about whether ‘dont ask, dont tell is working—its been a failure from day one and should finally be put behind us.”—Congressman Patrick J. Murphy, member of the House Armed Services Committee and Select Committee on Intelligence, and former captain in the U.S. Armys 82nd Airborne Division

“Here is a book from a leading scholar that cuts through the ignorance, the denial, and the prejudice to explain how we got stuck with a policy that was doomed to fail. Our military and our nation owe Frank a debt of gratitude.”—Dr. Lawrence J. Korb, former Assistant Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan

“Frank puts a human face on the flaws in this policy.”—Marty Meehan, Chancellor of University of Massachusetts Lowell, and former congressman

“This is a valuable contribution and worthwhile reading for all who care about justice and equality. On behalf of the clients we serve and all service members who wear the uniform and must serve in silence, I salute Dr. Frank and his distinguished colleagues at the Palm Center.”—Aubrey Sarvis, Esq., Executive Director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

"Frank has written a fascinating account of the men and women, the motivations and the passions, surrounding the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy."—Chai the, Professor of Law, Georgetown University

"Nathaniel Frank has written teh definitive text on the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy."—Rear Admiral Alan M. Steinman, USPHS/USCG (Ret.)

"Thanks to Nathaniel Frank's rigorous, precise, and insightful research, we now understand the true costs of 'don't ask, don't tell.'"—Johnny Symons, Emmy-nominated filmmaker of Ask Not and Daddy & Papa

"Nathaniel Frank has written an astonishing tale of 'don't ask, don't tell.' No other book reaches as far, or as deep, to explain the origins and consequences of this misguided policy."—Elizabeth L. Hillman, Professor of Law, University of California Hastings College of the Law, and former Captain, U.S. Air Force

"No intellectually honest American general or flag officer can read Unfriendly Fireand continue to support the failed 'don't ask, don't tell' policy."—Major General Dennis Laich, U.S. Army (Ret.)

"Wide-ranging critique of the U.S. military's controversial policy. Frank quickly and effectively sketches the long history of gays in the military, including many interesting details. Most readers will be unaware, for example, that the first homosexual American soldier was expelled during the Revolutionary War. The bulk of the book, however, is taken up with the debate over the current 'don't ask, don't tell' guidelines, enacted into federal law in the early days of President Clinton's administration. The law bars gay service members from disclosing their sexual orientations or speaking about their relationships on penalty of expulsion. Though Clinton at the time praised it as an 'honorable compromise,' it left in place the longtime ban on homosexuals serving in the military. Frank tears down the pro-ban position on multiple fronts. In response to the common argument that openly gay soldiers would endanger 'unit cohesion,' he points out that in many foreign militaries, including Canada, France and Italy, the presence of acknowledged homosexuals has had no measurable effect on unit effectiveness. Frank dismantles many of the most vicious prejudices—that gays in the military would increase the risk of service members getting AIDS; that they would victimize or 'recruit' naive soldiers—by debunking them with hard facts. The book's most effective section addresses the policy's national-security implications. In an age when the military embraces former convicts to meet recruitment quotas, he points out, it's absurd to reject or expel excellent soldiers due to their sexual orientation. He brings home the danger of such a policy in stories of the military's harassment and expulsion of dozens of gay Arabic linguists, who possess skills indispensable to the fight against terrorism. Frank builds a solid case that the ban on gays in the military is not only wrong, it is endangering the country."—Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

With unfailing logic, Frank dissects the patterns of bigotry and fear that have fought to preserve a gay ban in the military and shows that the time to do away with it has come--not just as a moral issue, but also as a practical matter of survival for the military itself.

Synopsis:

Drawing on more than a decade of research and hundreds of interviews, Nathaniel Frank exposes the military’s policy toward gays and lesbians as the damaging one that it is and demonstrates that “don’t ask, don’t tell” must be replaced with an outright reversal of the gay ban. One of the nation’s leading experts on gays in the military, Frank’s even-handed and always scrupulously documented chronicle shows how the ban on open gays and lesbians in the U.S. military has greatly increased discharges, hampered recruitment, and—contrary to the rationale offered by proponents of the ban—led to lower morale and cohesion within military ranks.

The author presents indisputable evidence showing that gays already serve openly in the U.S. military without causing problems, and that the policy itself is weakening the military it was supposed to protect. Part history, part exposé, and fully revealing, Unfriendly Fire is sure to make the blood boil of any American who cares about national security, the right to speak the truth, or just plain common sense and fairness.

 

Synopsis:

Drawing on more than a decade of research and hundreds of interviews, Nathaniel Frank exposes the militarys policy toward gays and lesbians as the damaging one that it is and demonstrates that “dont ask, dont tell” must be replaced with an outright reversal of the gay ban. One of the nations leading experts on gays in the military, Franks even-handed and always scrupulously documented chronicle shows how the ban on open gays and lesbians in the U.S. military has greatly increased discharges, hampered recruitment, and—contrary to the rationale offered by proponents of the ban—led to lower morale and cohesion within military ranks.

The author presents indisputable evidence showing that gays already serve openly in the U.S. military without causing problems, and that the policy itself is weakening the military it was supposed to protect. Part history, part exposé, and fully revealing, Unfriendly Fire is sure to make the blood boil of any American who cares about national security, the right to speak the truth, or just plain common sense and fairness.

 

About the Author

Nathaniel Frank is senior research fellow at the Palm Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and teaches history on the adjunct faculty at New York Universitys Gallatin School. His publications on gays in the military and other topics have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, Slate, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Newsday, Philadelphia Inquirer, Lingua Franca, and others, and his research and opinions have been cited on the congressional floor, in syndicated columns, in the blogosphere, the New York Post, The Advocate, National Review Online, the AP, and other venues, including university syllabi and media roundups. Frank earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in history at Brown University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312603533
Subtitle:
How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America
Author:
Frank, Nathaniel
Publisher:
St. Martin's Griffin
Subject:
Gay Studies
Subject:
Lesbian Studies
Subject:
Military - United States
Subject:
Public Policy
Subject:
Gay and Lesbian-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20100302
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9.21 x 6.5 x 0.98 in

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Related Subjects

Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Gay Studies

Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America Used Trade Paper
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Product details 368 pages St. Martin's Griffin - English 9780312603533 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , With unfailing logic, Frank dissects the patterns of bigotry and fear that have fought to preserve a gay ban in the military and shows that the time to do away with it has come--not just as a moral issue, but also as a practical matter of survival for the military itself.
"Synopsis" by , Drawing on more than a decade of research and hundreds of interviews, Nathaniel Frank exposes the military’s policy toward gays and lesbians as the damaging one that it is and demonstrates that “don’t ask, don’t tell” must be replaced with an outright reversal of the gay ban. One of the nation’s leading experts on gays in the military, Frank’s even-handed and always scrupulously documented chronicle shows how the ban on open gays and lesbians in the U.S. military has greatly increased discharges, hampered recruitment, and—contrary to the rationale offered by proponents of the ban—led to lower morale and cohesion within military ranks.

The author presents indisputable evidence showing that gays already serve openly in the U.S. military without causing problems, and that the policy itself is weakening the military it was supposed to protect. Part history, part exposé, and fully revealing, Unfriendly Fire is sure to make the blood boil of any American who cares about national security, the right to speak the truth, or just plain common sense and fairness.

 

"Synopsis" by ,

Drawing on more than a decade of research and hundreds of interviews, Nathaniel Frank exposes the militarys policy toward gays and lesbians as the damaging one that it is and demonstrates that “dont ask, dont tell” must be replaced with an outright reversal of the gay ban. One of the nations leading experts on gays in the military, Franks even-handed and always scrupulously documented chronicle shows how the ban on open gays and lesbians in the U.S. military has greatly increased discharges, hampered recruitment, and—contrary to the rationale offered by proponents of the ban—led to lower morale and cohesion within military ranks.

The author presents indisputable evidence showing that gays already serve openly in the U.S. military without causing problems, and that the policy itself is weakening the military it was supposed to protect. Part history, part exposé, and fully revealing, Unfriendly Fire is sure to make the blood boil of any American who cares about national security, the right to speak the truth, or just plain common sense and fairness.

 

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