"The Kinder, Gentler Military: Can America's Gender...

Editor's Choice

March 05, 2000|By Michael Pakenham

"The Kinder, Gentler Military: Can America's Gender Neutral Fighting Force Still Win Wars?" by Stephanie Gutmann (Scribner, 300, $25)

Gutmann believes -- and formidably documents -- that the idea and practice of unisex armed forces is a disaster. Her record and analysis of the gender integration of the U.S. military establishment is based on exhaustive travel to military and naval sites and interviews with legions of participants. She concludes that the program has miserably -- and inevitably -- failed. Beyond that, she attributes other serious problems within the armed forces -- low morale, failing recruitment, more -- to the misguided integration effort. Political correctness zealots will hate this book, but Gutmann, a well-credentialed journalist, has done an important service -- in a compelling book.

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