The warrior's words : seeking the American soldier in non-fictional military literature

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


The genre of non-fictional military literature is which has been long overlooked, underappreciated and undervalued in concern to literary research, and otherwise. While other forms of military representation, specifically fictional writing and movies, have long served a classroom function of elucidation, non-fiction has taken a back seat. What's more, in society at large, the population is predisposed to accept mass media accounts of the military, the soldier and warfare rather than turning to the words of the soldier. However, this source has great potential, even beyond the literary sense. This brand of writing could very well be the missing piece of the puzzle to help readers understand a litany of complex issues on a more personal, human level. Conduct a survey investigation via a series of personal accounts, memoirs, historical narratives, biographies, etc., of the possibilities non-fiction military literature offer in regards to the illumination of individual and national sociological, historical and political knowledge. This study approaches literature by way of sociology theories and literary concepts, as well as major historical political events. The guiding premise is to develop and thoroughly explore the overlap between the three subjects by way of the literature. The result is that the reader expands his/her foundational understanding of: a) the sociology of literature, b) military sociology, c) historical and political interrelatedness, d) the military's role in developing the US's national identity, and e) the multifarious uses of literature as a toll to gain insight into heretofore unknown topics. Likewise, because such writing allows for personalized interpretation of historical and/or political events, the reader learns to appreciate their own society holistically. Because of the type of investigation and the fact that it is the first of its kind, the results are slightly generalized, but offer promise for future exploration. Most notable is how this investigation shed light upon the creation and perpetuation of widely held public misperceptions, troubles with mass media legitimacy and military relationship, and revealing to the average reader the nature and face of American soldiers as they shape society, history and politics.




Copyright (c) 2002-2022, LYRASIS. All rights reserved.