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Military Anthropology: Soldiers, Scholars and Subjects at the Margins of Empire (Hardback)
  • Military Anthropology: Soldiers, Scholars and Subjects at the Margins of Empire (Hardback)
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Military Anthropology: Soldiers, Scholars and Subjects at the Margins of Empire (Hardback)

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£40.00
Hardback 352 Pages
Published: 26/04/2018
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In almost every military intervention in its history, the US has made cultural mistakes that hindered attainment of its policy goals. From the counterproductive strategic bombing of Vietnam to the misguided accidental burning of the Koran in Afghanistan, the US has blundered around with little consideration of local cultural beliefs and almost no concern for the long-term effects on the host nation's society. Cultural anthropology--the so-called 'handmaiden of colonialism'--has historically served as an intellectual bridge between sovereign Western powers and local nationals. What light can it shed on the difficult intersection of the US military and foreign societies today? Each chapter in this book tells the story of an anthropologist who worked directly for the military, such as Ursula Graham Bower, the only woman to hold a British combat command during WWII. Each faced challenges including the negative outcomes of exporting Western political models to societies where they don't fit, and errors of perception that prevent understanding of indigenous societies. Ranging from the British colonial era in Africa to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Military Anthropology illustrates the conceptual, cultural and practical barriers encountered by military organisations.

Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
ISBN: 9781849048125
Number of pages: 352
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

‘A fascinating and pioneering study.' - Asian Affairs

‘Never before has cultural awareness mattered so much to military operations. By exploring the extraordinary lives and experiences of a remarkable bunch of characters, Montgomery McFate demonstrates the importance of military anthropology to the study and conduct of war. This is a most enlightening volume.’  - Theo Farrell, Dean of Arts and Social Sciences, City, University of London, author of 'Unwinnable: Britain’s War in Afghanistan'

‘Montgomery McFate has written a dense but fascinating book that examines the role of anthropologists in warfare, focusing on the importance of understanding culture to achieve success in counterinsurgency, unconventional warfare, and information operations. Invaluable to strategic practitioners in a world that promises continuing American engagement in small wars.’ - John Nagl, US Army Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), Headmaster of The Haverford School, and author of 'Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern War'

'A long overdue study of a critical yet often overlooked dimension of strategy and war. McFate puts her finger on why the military and academia find it so difficult to trust each other, and why both must find a way to do so.' - Antulio J. Echevarria II, Editor, Parameters, US Army War College

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