Friday, October 18, 2013

What 20th Century Wars Did Soldiers Get Medals For?

For another way to think about war, I turned to U.S. military campaign service medals.  The reason I used this as a database is that they are authorized by Congress.  And not every kind of conflict counts for a medal.  For example, veterans' groups have lobbied for a Cold War medal, but that legislation has not passed.  So this is, in essence, a U.S. government database of military service in conflicts that the United States has participated in. 
My information about medals came from John E. Strandberg and Roger James Bender, "The Call of Duty": Military Awards and Decorations of the United States of America, 2nd. ed.

20th Century Wartimes?

When U.S. histories talk about war, sometimes these are the 20th century wars they talk about. These wars are important, of course.  But they are not the only wars that mattered.


For my discussion on Saturday at Fire Dog Lake, I thought I would upload a few figures from my book, which can help illustrate some of my arguments.  This one represents traditional thinking about wartime and peacetime -- the idea that they are different from each other, and history progresses by moving from one kind of time to another.

A consequence of this way of thinking is that wartime is, by definition, temporary.  Beginning a wartime involves starting something that, by definition, comes to an end.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

War Time discussion Saturday at Fire Dog Lake Book Salon

If you are looking for a post-shutdown change of scene, please join me online on Saturday at the Fire Dog Lake Book Salon for a discussion of my book War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences.  The discussion is hosted by Leah Bolger of Veterans for Peace.  It will be from 5 to 7 pm Eastern Time.

If you'd like to join the discussion, you can register ahead of time at Fire Dog Lake.  The discussion will be on the main page.