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As the post-9/11 wars wind down, a literature professor at West Point explores what it means for soldiers, and our country, to be caught between war and peace.
In her critically acclaimed, award-winning book Soldier's Heart, Elizabeth D. Samet grappled with the experience of teaching literature at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Now, with No Man's Land, Samet contends that we are entering a new moment: a no man's land between war and peace. Major military deployments are winding down, but soldiers are wrestling with the aftermath of war and the trials of returning home while also facing the prospect of low-intensity conflicts for years to come. Drawing on a range of experiences-from a visit to a ward of wounded combat veterans to correspondence with former cadets, from a conference on Edith Wharton and wartime experience to teaching literature and film to future officers-Samet illuminates an ambiguous passage through no man's land that has left deep but difficult-to-read traces on our national psyche, our culture, our politics, and, most especially, an entire generation of military professionals.
In No Man's Land, Elizabeth D. Samet offers a moving, urgent examination of what it means to negotiate the tensions between war and peace, between "over there" and "over here"-between life on the front and life at home. She takes the reader on a vivid tour of this new landscape, marked as much by the scars of war as by the ordinary upheavals of homecoming, to capture the essence of our current historical moment.