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1 Burnside Military- Gulf Wars

The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq

by

The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"This dramatic statement against war in general and the Iraq war in particular starts with the book's cover photo, an image that makes its own powerful commentary: A woman soldier stands rigidly, Army-khaki-clad and freshly lipsticked, the stars and stripes behind her and a distant, hardened look in her eye. The dichotomy is played out in the book again and again as women deployed to Iraq must become fierce warriors in order to survive threats to their safety and souls. When they discover they are as much at risk from the men with whom they serve as they are from enemy fire, their disillusionment is first registered with the shock of abandonment, then with rage." Amy Herdy, Ms. Magazine (read the entire Ms. Magazine review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

More American women have fought and died in Iraq than in any war since World War Two, yet as soldiers they are still painfully alone. In Iraq, only one in ten troops is a woman, and she often serves in a unit with few other women or none at all. This isolation, along with the military's deep-seated hostility toward women, causes problems that many female soldiers find as hard to cope with as war itself: degradation, sexual persecution by their comrades, and loneliness, instead of the camaraderie that every soldier depends on for comfort and survival. As one female soldier said, "I ended up waging my own war against an enemy dressed in the same uniform as mine."

In The Lonely Soldier, Benedict tells the stories of five women who fought in Iraq between 2003 and 2006. She follows them from their childhoods to their enlistments, then takes them through their training, to war and home again, all the while setting the wars events in context.

We meet Jen, white and from a working-class town in the heartland, who still shakes from her wartime traumas; Abbie, who rebelled against a household of liberal Democrats by enlisting in the National Guard; Mickiela, a Mexican American who grew up with a family entangled in L.A. gangs; Terris, an African American mother from D.C. whose childhood was torn by violence; and Eli Painted Crow, who joined the military to follow Native American tradition and to escape a life of Faulknerian hardship. Between these stories, Benedict weaves those of the forty other Iraq War veterans she interviewed, illuminating the complex issues of war and misogyny, class, race, homophobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Each of these stories is unique, yet collectively they add up to a heartbreaking picture of the sacrifices women soldiers are making for this country.

Benedict ends by showing how these women came to face the truth of war and by offering suggestions for how the military can improve conditions for female soldiers — including distributing women more evenly throughout units and rejecting male recruits with records of violence against women. Humanizing, urgent, and powerful, The Lonely Soldier is a clarion call for change.

Review:

"As a 29-year Army and Army Reserve Colonel, I urge everyone — especially women — to read this important book. Through unforgettable stories, The Lonely Soldier explains the shocking frequency of sexual assault and what can be done." Army Reserve Colonel Ann Wright

Review:

"Once again, Helen Benedict reports what others sweep under the rug, and reveals a pattern where others see random events. The Lonely Soldier will shock you and enrage you and bring you to tears. It's must reading for everyone who cares about women, justice, fairness, the military, and the United States." Katha Pollitt

Review:

"It is hard to determine what is most disturbing about this book — the devious and immoral tactics used by leaders and recruiters to get women to join the military, the terrible poverty and personal violence women were escaping that lead them to be vulnerable to such manipulation, the raping and harassing of women soldiers by their superiors and comrades once they got to Iraq, or the untreated homelessness, illnesses and madness that have haunted women since they came home. The Lonely Solider is an important book, a crucial accounting of the shameful war on women who gave their bodies, lives and souls for their country." Eve Ensler, playwright, performer, activist and author of The Vagina Monologues

Review:

"It's outrageously immoral that our female soldiers have to fear many of the male soldiers they serve with, as well as being let down by the very Veterans Affairs system that's supposed to help them out. Thanks to Helen Benedict, the world is watching!" Roseanne Barr, Emmy Award-winning actor

Synopsis:

The Lonely Soldier--the inspiration for the documentary The Invisible War--vividly tells the stories of five women who fought in Iraq between 2003 and 2006--and of the challenges they faced while fighting a war painfully alone.

More American women have fought and died in Iraq than in any war since World War Two, yet as soldiers they are still painfully alone. In Iraq, only one in ten troops is a woman, and she often serves in a unit with few other women or none at all. This isolation, along with the military's deep-seated hostility toward women, causes problems that many female soldiers find as hard to cope with as war itself: degradation, sexual persecution by their comrades, and loneliness, instead of the camaraderie that every soldier depends on for comfort and survival. As one female soldier said, "I ended up waging my own war against an enemy dressed in the same uniform as mine."

In The Lonely Soldier, Benedict tells the stories of five women who fought in Iraq between 2003 and 2006. She follows them from their childhoods to their enlistments, then takes them through their training, to war and home again, all the while setting the war's events in context.

We meet Jen, white and from a working-class town in the heartland, who still shakes from her wartime traumas; Abbie, who rebelled against a household of liberal Democrats by enlisting in the National Guard; Mickiela, a Mexican American who grew up with a family entangled in L.A. gangs; Terris, an African American mother from D.C. whose childhood was torn by violence; and Eli PaintedCrow, who joined the military to follow Native American tradition and to escape a life of Faulknerian hardship. Between these stories, Benedict weaves those of the forty other Iraq War veterans she interviewed, illuminating the complex issues of war and misogyny, class, race, homophobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Each of these stories is unique, yet collectively they add up to a heartbreaking picture of the sacrifices women soldiers are making for this country.

Benedict ends by showing how these women came to face the truth of war and by offering suggestions for how the military can improve conditions for female soldiers-including distributing women more evenly throughout units and rejecting male recruits with records of violence against women. Humanizing, urgent, and powerful, The Lonely Soldier is a clarion call for change.

About the Author

Helen Benedict, a professor of journalism at Columbia University, has written frequently on women, race, and justice. Her books include Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes and the novels The Opposite of Love, The Sailor's Wife, Bad Angel, and A World Like This. Her work on soldiers won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Benedict's newest novel, The Edge of Eden, set in Seychelles in 1960, is to be published by Soho Press in November, 2009.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780807061473
Subtitle:
The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq
Author:
Benedict, Helen
Publisher:
Beacon Press
Subject:
Women soldiers
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Middle East - General
Subject:
Military - Iraq War (2003-)
Subject:
Military - Veterans
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Iraq War, 2003
Subject:
Women soldiers -- United States.
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
General History
Subject:
World History-Iraq War (2003-?)
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20090401
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
280
Dimensions:
9.00 x 6.00 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Military » Gulf Wars
History and Social Science » Military » Iraq War (2003-)

The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq Used Hardcover
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$8.50 In Stock
Product details 280 pages Beacon Press - English 9780807061473 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "This dramatic statement against war in general and the Iraq war in particular starts with the book's cover photo, an image that makes its own powerful commentary: A woman soldier stands rigidly, Army-khaki-clad and freshly lipsticked, the stars and stripes behind her and a distant, hardened look in her eye. The dichotomy is played out in the book again and again as women deployed to Iraq must become fierce warriors in order to survive threats to their safety and souls. When they discover they are as much at risk from the men with whom they serve as they are from enemy fire, their disillusionment is first registered with the shock of abandonment, then with rage." (read the entire Ms. Magazine review)
"Review" by , "As a 29-year Army and Army Reserve Colonel, I urge everyone — especially women — to read this important book. Through unforgettable stories, The Lonely Soldier explains the shocking frequency of sexual assault and what can be done."
"Review" by , "Once again, Helen Benedict reports what others sweep under the rug, and reveals a pattern where others see random events. The Lonely Soldier will shock you and enrage you and bring you to tears. It's must reading for everyone who cares about women, justice, fairness, the military, and the United States."
"Review" by , "It is hard to determine what is most disturbing about this book — the devious and immoral tactics used by leaders and recruiters to get women to join the military, the terrible poverty and personal violence women were escaping that lead them to be vulnerable to such manipulation, the raping and harassing of women soldiers by their superiors and comrades once they got to Iraq, or the untreated homelessness, illnesses and madness that have haunted women since they came home. The Lonely Solider is an important book, a crucial accounting of the shameful war on women who gave their bodies, lives and souls for their country."
"Review" by , "It's outrageously immoral that our female soldiers have to fear many of the male soldiers they serve with, as well as being let down by the very Veterans Affairs system that's supposed to help them out. Thanks to Helen Benedict, the world is watching!"
"Synopsis" by , The Lonely Soldier--the inspiration for the documentary The Invisible War--vividly tells the stories of five women who fought in Iraq between 2003 and 2006--and of the challenges they faced while fighting a war painfully alone.

More American women have fought and died in Iraq than in any war since World War Two, yet as soldiers they are still painfully alone. In Iraq, only one in ten troops is a woman, and she often serves in a unit with few other women or none at all. This isolation, along with the military's deep-seated hostility toward women, causes problems that many female soldiers find as hard to cope with as war itself: degradation, sexual persecution by their comrades, and loneliness, instead of the camaraderie that every soldier depends on for comfort and survival. As one female soldier said, "I ended up waging my own war against an enemy dressed in the same uniform as mine."

In The Lonely Soldier, Benedict tells the stories of five women who fought in Iraq between 2003 and 2006. She follows them from their childhoods to their enlistments, then takes them through their training, to war and home again, all the while setting the war's events in context.

We meet Jen, white and from a working-class town in the heartland, who still shakes from her wartime traumas; Abbie, who rebelled against a household of liberal Democrats by enlisting in the National Guard; Mickiela, a Mexican American who grew up with a family entangled in L.A. gangs; Terris, an African American mother from D.C. whose childhood was torn by violence; and Eli PaintedCrow, who joined the military to follow Native American tradition and to escape a life of Faulknerian hardship. Between these stories, Benedict weaves those of the forty other Iraq War veterans she interviewed, illuminating the complex issues of war and misogyny, class, race, homophobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Each of these stories is unique, yet collectively they add up to a heartbreaking picture of the sacrifices women soldiers are making for this country.

Benedict ends by showing how these women came to face the truth of war and by offering suggestions for how the military can improve conditions for female soldiers-including distributing women more evenly throughout units and rejecting male recruits with records of violence against women. Humanizing, urgent, and powerful, The Lonely Soldier is a clarion call for change.

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