How America Goes to War

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005 - Political Science - 156 pages


With American involvement in Iraq in the forefront of national news coverage and in the minds of many citizens, questions concerning America's involvement in past conflicts have once again arisen. This is the story of how the United States has gone to war and how the evolution of the nation's war-making apparatus has mirrored the nation's rise to global power. It focuses on the president's role as commander-in-chief vis-a-vis Congress from George Washington to George W. Bush. Conflicts range from the War of 1812 to the Mexican and Civil Wars, the two World Wars, conflicts in Southeast Asia, and recent wars in the Middle East. Topics include Congress's role in various wars, the evolution of the War Department to the Department of Defense, as well as developments in weapons, tactics, and strategy.

Wars have played an integral role in America's transformation from a continental power into a world force. Over time, America's war making has favored and continues to favor the expansion of the President's role at the expense of the Congress. America's future will be determined in large part by the way in which the nation chooses and engages in military pursuits. Questions about how and when we go to war have never been so vital or relevant. This thought-provoking one volume overview serves as a quick introduction to these important issues.

 

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Contents

The Whiskey Rebellion
1
Mr Madisons War
11
The War with Mexico
21
The Civil War
31
The SpanishAmerican War
43
The Great War
51
The Second World War
63
Korea
75
The Cold War
99
New War Old Cost
111
The Fifth Horseman
127
Afterword
141
Further Reading
149
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About the author (2005)

Frank E. Vandiver was Distinguished University Professor, President Emeritus of Texas A&M University, and Director of the Mosher Institute for Defense Studies. He was Professor of History and Provost of Rice University. He has been Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University and has taught at the United States Military Academy. His books include Black Jack: The Life and Times of John J. Pershing (National Book Awards Finalist), Mighty Stonewall: Shadows of Vietnam: Lyndon Johnson's War, and Their Tattered Flags: The Epic of the Confederacy.

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