The Routledge Handbook of the History of Race and the American Military  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of the History of Race and the American Military

Edited By

Geoffrey Jensen

ISBN 9781138482913
Published January 24, 2018 by Routledge
244 Pages

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Book Description

The Routledge Handbook of the History of Race and the American Military provides an important overview of the main themes surrounding race in the American military establishment from the French and Indian War to the present day. By broadly incorporating the latest research on race and ethnicity into the field of military history, the book explores the major advances that have taken place in the past few decades at the intersection of these two fields. The discussion goes beyond the study of battles and generals to look at the other peoples who were involved in American military campaigns and analyzes how African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Chicanos helped shape the course of American History—both at home and on the battlefield. The book also includes coverage of American imperial ambitions and the national response to encountering other peoples in their own countries.  

The Routledge Handbook of the History of Race in the American Military defines how the history of race and ethnicity impacts military history, over time and comparatively, while encouraging scholarship on specific groups, periods, and places. This important collection presents a comprehensive survey of the current state of the field.

Table of Contents


Early Encounters: From the Colonial Era to the Mexican-American War

1. "So necessary that we could not hold the country without them": Indian and Colonial Military Cooperation in the Colonial Southeast

Julie Anne Sweet

2. African Americans and the American Revolution

Michael Lee Lanning

3. Race and Republicanism: Understanding the Mindset of the Mexican War Soldier

Richard Bruce Winders


All for the Union or All for Dixie?: Minority Service throughout the Civil War and Reconstruction

4. The Debate before the Fight: Black Northerners and the Question of Enlistment

Brian Taylor

5. Warriors or Soldiers?: Native American Combatants in the Civil War West

Clarissa W. Confer

6. "We Did Our Duty as Men Should": African Americans in the Civil War

David J. Williams

7. Race and Irregular Warfare on the Trans-Mississippi Border, 1861-1865

Matthew Stith

8. Bottom Rail on Top: Black Union Soldiers in the Army of Occupation, 1865-67

Don Shaffer

9. "Our Brave and Ever to Be Remembered Soldiers": The Contested Legacy of Black Union Military Service in the Post-Civil War South

Paul Coker


From Empire to Ridding the World of Tyranny: Race, Mythology, Culture and War during the early Twentieth Century

10. From Black Regulars to Buffalo Soldiers: The Emergence of a Legend

Frank Schubert

11. "Are Not My Men the Same?": Race, Ethnic Identity, and Pawnee Indian Military Service During the Indian Wars

Mark van de Logt

12. Buffalo Soldiers in Africa: African American Officers in Liberia, 1910-1942

Brian G. Shellum

13. "Only America Left Her Negro Troops Behind": The African American Military Experience in the First World War

John Morrow, Jr.

14. Of Codes and Culture: The Navajo Experience in World War II

Robert S. McPherson

15. Nisei Who Said "No": Japanese American Draft Resistance in World War II

Eric Muller


Race, the Military, and the American Century: Post World War II Politics, Racial Desegregation of the military, the African American Vietnam Experience, and

Latino service in the Armed Forces

16. "‘The Veterans’ Angle’": Ninety-third Division Ex-GI Vasco Hale, Disability, and the NAACP’s Struggle for Fair Housing and Power in Post-World War Two Hartford, Connecticut

Robert Jefferson, Jr.

17. The Political, the Personal, and the Cold War: Harry Truman and Executive Order 9981

Geoffrey W. Jensen

18. The Navy’s Search for Black Officers through ROTC and The Edge of Institutional Change

Isaac W. Hampton II

19. African Americans and the Vietnam War Era

James Westheider

20. The Right to Bear Arms: Enlisting Chicanos into the U.S. Military, 1940-1980

Steven Rosales

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Geoffrey W. Jensen is Assistant Professor of History at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.


The Routledge Handbook of the History of Race and the American Military is a first of its kind reference work on the intersection of race and ethnicity and America’s military establishment from the colonial period up through the late twentieth century. Its twenty well-written and documented chapters provide detailed coverage of the complex relationship between race and ethnicity and America’s military past. Students, researchers, and general readers will consider Geoffrey W. Jensen’s well-edited work an invaluable contribution to the emerging field of War and Society.

John David Smith, author of Lincoln and the U.S. Colored Troops