Some of these “blurbs,” as they’re called, are on the cover of the book, but we simply ran out of room. When you can bring serious feminists like Pat Schroeder and Phyllis Chesler together with serious soldiers like Generals Kroesen and Warner (whose company commander during some of the most desperate fighting of the Korean War practically demanded that I write this book), you know that something has changed in American culture, and profoundly for the better.
You can find reviews of Women in the Line of Fire beneath this page.
Who does she think she is—Lara Croft, Tomb Raider?
—Thomas Lipscomb, founder of Time Books and Senior Fellow, the Annenberg School for the Digital Future
I’ve been called worse, and Tom’s a good guy, even if he is a bit old to know who Lara Croft is. For years I was that damned militarist to most feminists I knew and that damned feminazi to quite a few military men. Things, however have changed. To my knowledge, this is the first book on women in the military or in combat to have garnered praise from both defense professionals and feminists. It is also not a policy tome, a polemic, or a rant, but written by a citizen for other citizens, to break free the debate on women in the military (which means in combat) from the old arguments of the 70s through the 90s. If it begins with the women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, it ends by arguing that participation in the common defense is a fundamental component of citizenship for women citizens too.
Rare as gold is the modern military study that can combine deft cultural insight (into both our own society and those in which our troops are operating) with institutional analysis of the first scholarly order; but Erin Solaro has achieved just that. Women in the Line of Fire is a compelling, masterly work that will infuriate the guardians of traditional thinking by using even more ancient wisdom, along with the best kind of contemporary vision, to make the intellectual case that is already being made in battles all over the world by America’s woman warriors.
—Caleb Carr, author of The Lessons of Terror: A History of Warfare Against Civilians
Women in the Line of Fire is a brave and original contribution that will attain landmark status. This carefully researched and reasoned work will—or should—inspire a national debate among serious American feminists, both women and men, among civilian patriots, government leaders, and among all those who serve in the armed forces. Solaro takes no prisoners as she presents her case—and her case is nuanced, comprehensive, and well argued. She is not in favor of lowering military standards so that women may serve. She exposes the incredible and unnecessary hardships and double standards that afflict military women but that do not lead to their greater effectiveness. … [But she also] views service in the military as a “civic” obligation, both for women and men…[and] explains that new generations of men and women who are serving together accept and depend upon each other. They are capable of friendship and mutual respect and may constitute a new kind of armed force. This book is essential reading for our times—especially for those who know that America is under jihadic seige and who want to preserve western civilization.
—Phyllis Chesler PhD, author of Women and Madness and The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom
Erin Solaro has written a taut, engrossing book. Part personal odyssey, extensively researched, she convincingly argues that women not only deserve full participation in the American experiment, but that they have proven their right to bear arms in defense of the Republic alongside their brother soldiers. While the Services have foot-dragged and Congress has prevaricated, women in uniform have been quietly stepping into combat roles according to the demands of the battlefield; rather than threatening the cohesion of formerly all-male units, sister soldiers have become teammates and comrades. Solaro’s argument for “civic feminism” is exquisitely made and should become the battle cry for both men and women dedicated to the fullest meaning of American democracy.
—Bob Killebrew, Colonel, US Army retired, author and defense consultant
In her book, Erin Solaro makes a compelling case for dropping all the remaining restrictions on women in the military. She demonstrates convincingly why it is the right thing to do from a national security perspective as well as a moral and cultural perspective. A must read for anyone interested in the future effectiveness of the all-volunteer military.
—Lawrence Korb, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
I do not subscribe to the sweeping recommendations of this study and I do not agree with the characterization of the Army hierarchy as a monolithic bloc of opposition to the integration of women in the Army or in combat. Nevertheless, this is an important work, comprehensive, well-organized and compelling, with a wealth of information that will be invaluable to personnel managers and leaders of our armed forces.
—Frederick Kroesen, General, US Army retired
A triumphant work on behalf of all women in the U.S. military who contribute in an ever-increasing role in the defense of our nation. Women are on the front lines, in the cockpits and at times leading men in combat. Erin Solaro convincingly tells their fight for equality and recognition in the face of hypocritical opposition from the cultural right.
—Quang X. Pham, former Marine officer and author of A Sense of Duty: My Father, My American Journey
Americans should be so proud of the young lionesses guarding their freedoms. Women in the Line of Fire tells their story and the courage they bring to their jobs.
—Patricia Schroeder, AAP President and CEO and former Member of Congress
Erin Solaro carefully destroys one by one many of the longstanding shiboboleths erected to exclude women from serving in combat arms…The miltiary world is changing at a rapid rate, as Erin points out, but as a Combat Infantry Soldier in two wars, I simply cannot change with it. Combat is killing. And I firmly believe that women are better at giving life than taking it. Having said that, I could not be more proud of the fact that two of my granddaughters decided to serve their country as soldiers “in the line of fire.” As for me, I would be more comfortable if the American people decided that the law excluding women from serving in combat arms be changed and that the Draft be re-instituted to ensure sufficient numbers of Soldiers for continuing the Global War on Terrorism.
—from the Foreword by Volney F. Warner, General, US Army, retired