MILITARY BRATS

LEGACIES OF CHILDHOOD INSIDE THE FORTRESS

Having grown up in an Army family and thus a ``military brat'' herself, Wertsch is, in her own words, ``a journalist in search not only of ways to describe the roots I share with my subjects, but ways to understand those roots and their implications.'' Impelled to tackle the subject after a chance viewing of The Great Santini, a movie about a dysfunctional military family not unlike her own, Wertsch contends that not all military families are as troubled as the one in the film, but that all live in a separate subculture, marked by a strict class system, rigid discipline, extreme mobility, alienation from the civilian community, and a strong sense of mission. Alcoholism is high, family violence is not uncommon, and the father is frequently absent. Wertsch examines at length these factors, their psychological impact on children, and the adjustments made by military offspring as they grow up. Despite its many handicaps, a military upbringing also offers unique bonuses, and Wertsch stresses the particular strengths that military brats can, and often do, develop. In-depth interviews with 80 military brats— plus various social workers, psychologists, teachers, historians, and others—and quoted extensively; indeed, their revelations constitute a large portion of the test. The subjects were all born between 1932 and 1964, so their stories don't reflect the situation in today's all-volunteer military, with its much higher ratio of servicewomen. Although an attempt was made to include offspring of all ranks, the officer class seems to dominate in the interviews. Military families may have the most interest in (and stamina for) this 512-page portrait, but a more tightly edited version would have greater appeal to civilians.

Pub Date: May 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-517-58400-X

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Harmony

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1991

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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