As she did so provocatively with military spouses in Army Wives, Tanya Biank gives us the inside story of women in today’s military - their professional and personal challenges from the combat zone to the home front.
Since 9/11, more than 240,000 women have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan - more than 140 have died there, and they currently make up 14 percent of the total active-duty forces. Despite advances, today’s servicewomen are constantly pressed to prove themselves, to overcome challenges men never face, and to put the military mission ahead of all other aspects of their lives, particularly marriage and motherhood.
In this groundbreaking insider’s look at the women defending our nation, Tanya Biank brings to light the real issues - femininity, belonging to an old boys’ club, veiled discrimination, dating, marriage problems, separation from children, questions about life goals, career trajectories, and self-worth - that servicewomen are facing by focusing on four individual stories.
Brigadier General Angela Salinas, the Marine Corps’ first Hispanic female general, faces the challenge of commanding an all-male institution. Second Lieutenant Bergan Flannigan finds herself on the front lines in Afghanistan, serving in the same military police company as her husband. As a marine drill instructor, Sergeant Amy Stokley demands the very best from the recruits at Parris Island. And Major Candice O’Brien deals with deployment to Afghanistan, with two young children and a strained marriage back home.
Undaunted is the story of these courageous trailblazers - their struggles, sacrifices, and triumphs in the name of serving the country they love.
©2013 Tanya Biank (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Undaunted contains fascinating multiple portraits of the real-life experiences of women in the military, from young enlisted women to a seasoned and celebrated general. Tanya Biank explores these lives with inside knowledge, compassion, and wit. This important book reads like a novel, and as I read, I couldn’t wait to see how these brave women’s lives would unfold." (Amy Dickinson, New York Times best-selling author)
"Undaunted is a vivid, even thrilling work.…Biank makes the reader feel you are there with four extraordinary, yet very human women who have chosen the profession of arms. Following their remarkable journeys not only sheds light on a pivotal moment in our cultural history, but also provides fresh meaning to the time-honored military values of ‘Honor, Courage, Commitment'." (Jeff Melvoin, executive producer of Army Wives)
"To many traditional men, especially those who have known the rigors of military service, the question often is, why would women want to take on this challenging life? By the end of Tanya Biank’s fine book, Undaunted, the answer is clear: Because they want to do it, and they can do it. In short, women have a right to achieve their fullest potential and pursue their dreams no less than men in any field. The four women the author traces demonstrate that when the will, the ability, and love of country are there, gender makes no difference in a soldier, sailor, or marine." (Joseph E. Persico, New York Times best-selling author)
The stories of four military women and their lives in the past five years or so-- two Army and two Marines. The book outlines the courage, dedication and commitment required to balance a military career with a family and the expectations of society. I found some of the vignettes interesting and confirmed my opinions, e.g. the story of the French boss who ignored the needs of a female major who had been assaulted. I can't help but wonder why the author did not include examples from the Navy or the Air Force. Perhaps, the predominantly combat arms services provided better precedents for the author's themes? The book is; however, on the Air Force Chief's reading list, which is where I found it.
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