One of the most important works of military history published in the last decade, The Old Army is the only comprehensive study of the people who made up the "garrison world" in the peacetime intervals between the War for Independence and the Spanish-American War. Drawing on diaries, letters, and other primary documents, Edward M. Coffman vividly recreates the harsh, often lonely life of men, collected mostly from the streets of Northern cities, for whom enlistment was "a leap in the dark...a choice of evils." He pays special attention to the roles of women and children, as well as black Americans, and to the development of military professionalism. From the testimony of those who lived it, Coffman traces the evolution of the American Army from "the days of small things"--of limited resources and downright hardship--to the modern military age that began at the turn of the century.
"An excellent review of the American army in the nineteenth century."--Capt. William E. Fischer, Jr., United States Air Force Academy "There is not a page that does not have a gem of information and interest for both specialist and general reader. For military history 'buffs' or scholars the book is a must."--Richard H. Bradford, West Virginia Institute of Technology "A splendid work. Fully up to Coffman's high standard....Will definitely appear on my recommended reading list."--George P. Winston, University of South Carolina "An excellent book. Informative, entertaining, and provocative. An essential work for any student of U.S. military history."--Brian M. Linn, Old Dominion University "I am awed by the quantity, quality, and diversity of the sources that Coffman used and by the superb control he exercised over the mass of information to write a fascinating history....A very interesting book that is also an encyclopedia of useful information....An original contribution to our knowledge of American society."--American Historical Review "A major contribution to the social history of the United States and of its army."--Journal of Southern History "[Coffman] has gleaned interesting and often entertaining tidbits and anecdotes from a host of letters, diaries, and memoirs to produce an enlivening history that is as enjoyable to read as it is edifying....The author's initial chapter is...by far the best overview of the Federalist military, with insightful generalizations on background, training, and experiences, available anywhere....The Old Army is highly recommended as must reading for virtually any U.S. military historian."--Ohio History "The definitive study. [Coffman's] scrupulously detailed chronicle of the activities and frustrations of officers and enlisted men, and his hundred pages of footnote references, should stimulate others to follow what until recently was a sort of overlooked attic in history's mansion."--American Studies International "A labor of love."--Choice "The skillful use of primary sources and the emphasis on the army in larger society make for a scholarly and interesting social as well as military history. Highly recommended."--Library Journal
Number Of Pages: 560
Published: 8th December 1988
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.22 x 14.02 x 2.57
Weight (kg): 0.45