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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
No Man's Land

No Man's Land

Preparing for War and Peace in Post--9/11 America

Elizabeth D. Samet

Picador

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As the post-9/11 wars wind down, a literature professor at West Point explores what it means for soldiers, and our country, to be caught between war and peace.

In her critically acclaimed, award-winning book Soldier's Heart, Elizabeth D. Samet grappled with the experience of teaching literature at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Now, with No Man's Land, Samet contends that we are entering a new moment: a no man's land between war and peace. Major military deployments are winding down, but soldiers are wrestling with the aftermath of war and the trials of returning home while also facing the prospect of low-intensity conflicts for years to come. Drawing on a range of experiences-from a visit to a ward of wounded combat veterans to correspondence with former cadets, from a conference on Edith Wharton and wartime experience to teaching literature and film to future officers-Samet illuminates an ambiguous passage through no man's land that has left deep but difficult-to-read traces on our national psyche, our culture, our politics, and, most especially, an entire generation of military professionals.

In No Man's Land, Elizabeth D. Samet offers a moving, urgent examination of what it means to negotiate the tensions between war and peace, between "over there" and "over here"-between life on the front and life at home. She takes the reader on a vivid tour of this new landscape, marked as much by the scars of war as by the ordinary upheavals of homecoming, to capture … More…

As the post-9/11 wars wind down, a literature professor at West Point explores what it means for soldiers, and our country, to be caught between war and peace.

In her critically acclaimed, award-winning book Soldier's Heart, Elizabeth D. Samet grappled with the experience of teaching literature at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Now, with No Man's Land, Samet contends that we are entering a new moment: a no man's land between war and peace. Major military deployments are winding down, but soldiers are wrestling with the aftermath of war and the trials of returning home while also facing the prospect of low-intensity conflicts for years to come. Drawing on a range of experiences-from a visit to a ward of wounded combat veterans to correspondence with former cadets, from a conference on Edith Wharton and wartime experience to teaching literature and film to future officers-Samet illuminates an ambiguous passage through no man's land that has left deep but difficult-to-read traces on our national psyche, our culture, our politics, and, most especially, an entire generation of military professionals.

In No Man's Land, Elizabeth D. Samet offers a moving, urgent examination of what it means to negotiate the tensions between war and peace, between "over there" and "over here"-between life on the front and life at home. She takes the reader on a vivid tour of this new landscape, marked as much by the scars of war as by the ordinary upheavals of homecoming, to capture the essence of our current historical moment.

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Shelf Awareness Best Books of the Year

1

BETWEEN SCYLLA AND CHARYBDIS

Coming Home



FIRST SERVICEMAN: What gives?

SECOND SERVICEMAN: Oh, my folks had a barbeque last night. Turned out to be a homecoming.

FIRST SERVICEMAN:...

Praise for No Man's Land

“Splendidly written and intensely provocative... [No Man's Land] is an appropriate memorial...” —Philip Seib, Dallas Morning News

“As a civilian professor at West Point--a state of not quite military, not quite civilian--Samet is uniquely positioned to ponder and probe the intellectual and emotional challenges confronting the modern officer corps. Her smooth flowing essay delivers penetrating observations and criticisms... of what it means for the United States and its soldiery to be "adrift between war and peace.” —Gregory Crouch, Washington Post

“So much as No Man's Land expertly filters our last decade of war through the prism of literature, it is also does something more-it sounds a clarion call for institutional change in a period of great uncertainty.... That such a message comes from a professor of literature at West Point seems reason enough for optimism.” —The New Republic

“Part literary criticism, part intellectual memoir, and part reportage of the struggles, successes, and in two cases the deaths of her former students, No Man's Land is a moving, insightful, and refreshingly iconoclastic guide toward a more nuanced understanding of America and the military that fights for it.” —Phil Klay, Redeployment

“[Samet] writes evocatively and eloquently.” —J. Ford Huffman, Military Times

Reviews from Goodreads

Elizabeth D. Samet

Elizabeth D. Samet is the author of Soldier's Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest and was named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2007 by The New York Times; and Willing Obedience: Citizens, Soldiers, and the Progress of Consent in America, 1776–1898. Her essays and reviews have been published in The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, and Bloomberg View. Samet won the 2012 Hiett Prize in the Humanities and was also awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to support the research and writing of a book about mythologies of the war veteran in Hollywood cinema. She is a professor of English at West Point.

image of Elizabeth D. Sameto
© Bachrach

Elizabeth D. Samet

Elizabeth D. Samet at the New Republic

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