3rd Edition

The American Culture of War The History of U.S. Military Force from World War II to Operation Enduring Freedom

By Adrian R. Lewis Copyright 2018
    584 Pages
    by Routledge

    584 Pages
    by Routledge

    Now in its third edition, The American Culture of War presents a sweeping critical examination of every major American war since 1941: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the First and Second Persian Gulf Wars, U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the war against ISIS. As he carefully considers the cultural forces that surrounded each military engagement, Adrian Lewis offers an original and provocative look at the motives, people and governments used to wage war, the discord among military personnel, the flawed political policies that guided military strategy, and the civilian perceptions that characterized each conflict. This third edition features:

    • A new structure focused more exclusively on the character and conduct of the wars themselves
    • Updates to account for the latest, evolving scholarship on these conflicts
    • An updated account of American military involvement in the Middle East, including the abrupt rise of ISIS

    The new edition of The American Culture of War remains a comprehensive and essential resource for any student of American wartime conduct.

    PART I: Tradition and an Envisioned Future Collide

    1 War and Culture: An Analytical Approach

    2 The American Practice of War: Cultural Tenets

    3 The Legacy of World War II: Man versus Machine

    4 Truman, the Cold War, and the National Military Establishment, 1945–1950

    5 The Korean War: The Opening Phases, 1950–1951

    6 The Korean War: The Final Phases, 1951–1953

    PART II: The Eff orts to Adapt to a Nuclear World

    7 Eisenhower, the Cold War, and Massive Retaliation, 1953–1960

    8 Kennedy, McNamara, and Artificial Limited War, 1961–1963

    9 The Vietnam War: The Opening Phases, 1955–1967

    10 The Vietnam War: The Final Phases, 1967–1975

    PART III: The New American Practice of War: War Without the People

    11 The Recovery and Reorganization of the Armed Forces of the United States, 1975–1990

    12 The Persian Gulf War: Operation Desert Shield, 1990–1991

    13 The Persian Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm, 1991

    14 Bush’s Global War on Terrorism and Operation Enduring Freedom, 2001–2011

    15 The Second Persian Gulf War: Operation Iraqi Freedom I, the Conventional War, 2003

    16 The Second Persian Gulf War: Operation Iraqi Freedom II, the Nation-Building and Counterinsurgency War, 2003–2010

    17 Epilogue: Citizenship and War


    Adrian R. Lewis is Professor of History at the University of Kansas. He has taught at the Naval War College and at West Point, and is a retired United States Army Major. He is the author of Omaha Beach: A Flawed Victory.

    "Adrian Lewis’s The American Culture of War goes beyond all other books on 20th and 21st Century wars by bringing into focus all of the societal influences that the American men and women bring to the battlefield. This makes it the perfect book for a general audience who are not just interested in the military issues associated with war."

    • Ron Milam, author of Not a Gentleman’s War and Executive Director of the Institute for Peace & Conflict at Texas Tech University

    "This third edition reiterates and reinforces the author’s argument that America’s ground forces have grown too small, and too isolated from the national mainstream, to sustain the kinds of war government policies have accepted. The resulting tissue of unsavory improvisations has been and is likely to remain a formula for slow-motion disaster."

    • Dennis Showalter, Colorado College

    "Adrian Lewis's The American Culture of War is, first of all, a superb account of U.S. military history since World War II. Equally noteworthy is Lewis's deep reflection on the cultural, social, and political transformations of the American way of war and the stresses they have placed on American democracy. An important, stimulating, and timely book!"

    • Lance Betros, Provost, U.S. Army War College