Women are officially barred from combat in the American armed services, yet in today’s wars, where there are no front lines, the ban on combat is virtually meaningless. More than in any previous conflict in our history, American women are engaging with the enemy, suffering injuries, and even sacrificing their lives in the line of duty.
When Janey Comes Marching Home juxtaposes 48 photographs (see accompaning file) by Sascha Pflaeging with oral histories collected by Laura Browder to provide a dramatic portrait of women at war. Women from all five branches of the military share their stories here - stories that are by turns moving, comic, thought-provoking, and profound. Seeing their faces in stunning color portraits and reading what they have to say about loss, comradeship, conflict, and hard choices will change the ways we think about women and war.
Serving in a combat zone is an all-encompassing experience that is transformative, life-defining, and difficult to leave behind. By coming face-to-face with women veterans, we who are outside that world can begin to get a sense of how the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have impacted their lives and how their stories may ripple out and influence the experiences of all American women.
Laura Browder is the Tyler and Alice Haynes Professor of American Studies at the University of Richmond. She is the author of Her Best Shot: Women and Guns in America and is the writer and coproducer of the documentary film Gone to Texas: The Lives of Forrest Carter, based on her book Slippery Characters: Ethnic Impersonators and American Identities.Sascha Pflaeging is a freelance photographer for clients such as Getty Images, CBS, and Us magazine.
“Candid and touching, with resonant photographs from Pflaeging, these brief narratives give voice to a too-often-overlooked aspect of female American experience.” (Publishers Weekly)
“[These] unflinching accounts unfold to a tangible and poignant humanity.” (Library Journal)
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