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Kenneth C. Davis, The Hidden History of America at War: Untold Tales from Yorktown to Fallujah

Bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis shares his unique, myth-shattering, and insightful look at war—why we fight, who fights our wars and what we need to know but perhaps never learned about the growth and development of America’s military forces. Sponsored by Hachette Book Group.

Starting with the founding of the nation and progressing through the War in Iraq, Davis provides an in-depth examination based on his belief that it is “nearly a moral imperative to understand war.” Arguing that from its earliest days America has had an uneasy relationship with the military, Davis charts how our country’s military developed from a group of rag-tag “citizen soldiers” in 1775 to the high-tech, global and increasingly privatized organization it is today, and he reveals what we can learn from that transformation.

Davis makes his case through rich storytelling and analysis of six landmark battles: 

    • Yorktown, Virginia – October 1781 
    • Petersburg, Virginia – June 1864 
    • Balangiga, Philippines – September 1901 
    • Berlin, Germany – April 1945 
    • Hué, South Vietnam – February 1968 
    • Fallujah, Iraq – March 2004 

The real stories behind these six battles speak to something much larger than casualty counts and simple assessments of winners and losers. In The Hidden History of America at War, Davis introduces readers to some of the little known but important faces behind the conflicts and underscores the importance of the courage and sacrifices of the men and women who have fought our wars for centuries. He interweaves these personal tales with some of the key decisions made by Presidents, Secretaries of State, and CIA officials that are all too often left out of the history textbooks. Ultimately, Davis believes that a better understanding of America’s past at war can lead us into a better future.

KENNETH C. DAVIS is the author of the Don't Know Much About® series with more than four million copies in print worldwide. He is a frequent media guest on national television and radio, has written for the Op-Ed page of the New York Times, and has been a commentator on NPR's "All Things Considered." He posts regularly at and makes "virtual visits" to schools, libraries, and other audiences. 

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