American Military Life in the 21st Century: Social, Cultural, and Economic Issues and Trends

2 vols. ABC-CLIO. 2018. 700p. illus. ed. by Eugenia L. Weiss & . index. ISBN 9781440855184. $198; ebk. ISBN 9781440855191. REF
OrangeReviewStarAlthough Weiss and Castro (both, Suzanne Dworak-Peck Sch. of Social Work, Univ. of Southern California) express a deep appreciation for all veterans, their focus in this informative two-volume set is on current service members and their families as well as recent U.S. military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Volume 1, which studies active duty members, is organized into four sections: military culture and diversity, military leadership, deployment and combat, and service member health and well-being. Volume 2 is divided into sections on military-connected families, veterans, society and the military, and those serving in the National Guard and the Reserves. Each of the 52 chapters follows a similar format: topic overview, identification of historical trends, discussion of recent developments, examination of current conditions, and an extended reading list. Numerous charts, tables, and figures support the insightful text. Emphasizing the psychological and social issues active duty personnel and veterans face, most contributors are scholars and practitioners in the fields of mental health, psychology, and sociology. Subjects such as reactions to killing, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the care of the wounded remind readers of the unique and critical influences of warfare.
VERDICT This excellent reference provides readers at all levels with a better understanding of how 21st-century military life not only impacts individuals who are serving but also their loved ones.
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