Private Citizens, Public Press, and the Rise of American Power
Joel R. Davidson
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This book is a history of public information and personal ideas about war and the military over the last century. It examines the interplay between popular media coverage of the nation's wars and the perceptions of ordinary Americans regarding military issues. Davidson studied Americans who produced a wealth of proposals to solve some of the most pressing military problems of their day. His book consists of hundreds of letters sent to those in charge of the armed forces, advising them on issues ranging from grand strategy to individual combat. Davidson sets their letters alongside extracts from the contemporary popular press to illustrate the ways that the media both informed and motivated the public to think about war. This is the first book to look at the ideas of ordinary citizens regarding military matters.