What Soldiers Do presents a devastating new perspective on the Greatest Generation and the liberation of France, one in which the US military use the lure of easy, sexually available French women to sell soldiers on the invasion, thus unleashing a "tsunami of male lust" among the war-weary GIs. The resulting chaos-ranging from flagrant public sex with prostitutes to outright rape and rampant venereal disease - horrified the battered and demoralized French population and caused serious friction between the two nations at a crucial point as the war drew to a close.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 368
"Roberts has amassed an enormous amount of detailed information and her... book provides a refreshing view of the price of liberation." (Literary Review) "In this vivid account of GIs in wartime France, Roberts documents how the Greatest Generation was sometimes as badly behaved beyond the battlefield as it was brave in combat. What Soldiers Do is not a conventional history. It deeply-and often colorfully-textures our understanding of the experiences of men at war, the contours of mid-twentieth-century sexual (and racial) mores, and the frequently ignorant and even lurid attitudes toward other peoples that attended America's ascent to global hegemony." (David M. Kennedy, author of Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War) "This clear-eyed examination of what randy American soldiers got up to in France from D-Day through 1946 strips away the sentimentality from the overworked, cliched portrayal of the Greatest Generation." (Publishers Weekly)"