War Games

Paperback $25.95

Smithsonian Books | Jul 06, 2010 | 256 Pages | 6 x 9 | ISBN 9781588342805

  • Paperback$25.95

    Smithsonian Books | Jul 06, 2010 | 256 Pages | 6 x 9 | ISBN 9781588342805

  • Ebook$25.95

    Smithsonian Books | May 27, 2014 | 256 Pages | ISBN 9781588344311

Praise

“This strange, enthralling book on twentieth-century war reenactors becomes a wonderful case study on the power of history in our lives: history as a sort of Grail quest, history as fetish, history as reality itself. Thompson’s reporting on these quarrelsome and oddly self-loathing people is exhaustive. Her analyses of the meaning of memory to them and, ultimately, to all of us, have a subtle precision that recalls the methodology of Proust.”—Henry Allen, author of What It Felt Like—Living in the American Century and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for criticism

“Thompson writes with the eye of an ethnographer, the ear of a novelist, and the voice of a pop singer with a feel for a groove. War Games showcases a bona fide democratic approach to history—with all that implies. Along the way, we’re reminded how much our notions of the past inform the way we live now.”—Jim Cullen, author of The Civil War in Popular Culture and The American Dream

“Exciting, valuable, and engaging, Thompson takes us inside the disturbing world of war reenactment and explores the important questions it raises about war, history, memory, gender, authenticity, and imagination.”—John L. Caughley, professor of American studies, University of Maryland, and author of Imaginary Social Worlds: A Cultural Approach

“Jenny Thompson makes you laugh and makes you cry. She shows us the whole that is America: ordinary men who lead partial lives where their emotional emptiness is met through camaraderie in playing army. An empty America is the result.”—Mark Leone, professor of anthropology, University of Maryland, and author of Invisible America, with Neil A. Silberman

“Donning uniforms and fully participating in several war reenactments, Thompson brings us all the chaos, noise, pain, exhaustion, fear, and adrenaline rush of close combat in a recreated war.”—Jay Mechling, professor of American studies, University of California, Davis, and author of On My Honor: Boy Scouts and the Making of American Youth

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