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Download Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps, by Danny Campbell, Aaron B. O’Connell Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Danny Campbell, Aaron B. O’Connell Narrator: Danny Campbell Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Marine Corps has always considered itself a breed apart. Since 1775, America’s smallest armed service has been suspicious of outsiders and deeply loyal to its traditions. Marines believe nothing more strongly than in the Corps’ uniqueness and superiority, and this undying faith in its own exceptionalism is what has made the Marines one of the sharpest, swiftest tools of American military power. Along with unapologetic self-promotion, a strong sense of identity has enabled the Corps to exert a powerful influence on American politics and culture.

Aaron O’Connell focuses on the period from World War II to Vietnam, when the Marine Corps transformed itself from America’s least respected to its most elite armed force. He describes how the distinctive Marine culture played a role in this ascendancy. Venerating sacrifice and suffering, privileging the collective over the individual, Corps culture was saturated with romantic and religious overtones that had enormous marketing potential in a postwar America energized by new global responsibilities. Capitalizing on this, the Marines curried the favor of the nation’s best reporters, befriended publishers, courted Hollywood and Congress, and built a public relations infrastructure that would eventually brand it as the most prestigious military service in America.

But the Corps’ triumphs did not come without costs, and O’Connell writes of those, too, including a culture of violence that sometimes spread beyond the battlefield. And as he considers how the Corps’ interventions in American politics have ushered in a more militarized approach to national security, O’Connell questions its sustainability.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “O’Connell offers an excellent analysis of how the marines became the Marines.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This insightful cultural history is recommended for those interested in US military history and modern US history.”

    Library Journal

  • “A brilliant synthesis of military and cultural history. Underdogs will do for Marine Corps history what Peter Karsten’s The Naval Aristocracy did for naval history.”

    Ronald H. Spector, author of In the Ruins of Empire

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