Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ebook of the Week - When Janey Comes Marching Home: Portraits of Women Combat Veterans.

Browder, Laura. When Janey Comes Marching Home: Portraits of Women Combat Veterans. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.

Browder and photographer Sascha Pflaeging provide a compelling portrait of 52 female veterans from various combat units who were deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and neighboring regions in recent years. In her introduction, Browder explores the evolution of roles that women have played in the military dating back to the Revolutionary War and raises some potentially unsettling questions about the incompatibility of “mommyhood” and military service, the various stereotypes with which female soldiers are routinely confronted, and the physical and psychological perils of service that are, arguably, unique to women. Each chapter begins with a brief synthesis of the interviews relevant to the chapter subject, followed by interview excerpts and photographs of the veterans. The inclusion of Pflaeging’s photos helps to personalize the narratives even further, although the quality of the photos is not always consistent. Throughout the book, the juxtaposition of accounts of brutal sexism with expressions of empowerment and accomplishment consistently defy easy conclusions about women in the military. Overall, an illuminating and thought-provoking read. 

Previewed by Jennie Ray.  Click here to read the book.

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