Unofficial Ambassadors: American Military Families Overseas and the Cold War, 1946-1965

By Donna Alvah | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

I first discussed the idea for this study with Professor Roland Marchand many years ago. From the start, Roland liked the prospect of a project that analyzed the contributions of women and families to foreign relations. He served as my dissertation supervisor until he passed away in November 1997. I remain grateful for his encouragement and advice.

I must thank many other people who, in reading all or parts of the manuscript at different stages of its creation, have offered scholarly scrutiny, practical advice, reassurance, generosity of time and energy, and a good sense of humor. I have benefited from Andy Rotter's thinking on gender and Cold War foreign relations, and also on writing and chapter organization, and last but not least from his and Padma Kaimal's kindness and friendship. From my first meeting with Karen Halttunen in 1993, I admired her insight and sharp thinking, and knew that working with her would be a privilege. Her contributions as a dissertation supervisor— straightforward critiques of the strengths and weaknesses of all the chapters at various stages, from the first to the last drafts; readings of conference papers; discussions of my concerns; keeping me on track to meet deadlines; suggestions for consulting with other professors outside her own field of expertise; and steady encouragement—were exactly what I needed to get through. I also appreciate Jay Mechling's suggestions on children and American culture; Cynthia Enloe's feedback on women, gender, race, class, the military, and international relations; Judith DeGroat's thoughtful suggestions on a later version of the manuscript; and Steve Rabson's close reading of and advice for parts of the manuscript. The comments of two anonymous readers were quite helpful.

At conferences, several scholars assisted my thinking on this project, including Robert Dean, Catherine Forslund, Petra Goedde, Walter Hixson, Maria Höhn, Christina Klein, Andy Rotter, Alex Epstein, and Molly Wood. The Cross-Cultural Women's History group in the University of California Davis Department of History, the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History, and the Cold War History Group at the University of California at Santa Barbara sponsored presentations of my research. I thank

-ix-

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Unofficial Ambassadors: American Military Families Overseas and the Cold War, 1946-1965
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: Going Overseas 14
  • 2: Unofficial Ambassadors 38
  • 3: A U.S. Lady's World 81
  • 4: “shoulder to Shoulder” with West Germans 131
  • 5: “dear Little Okinawa” 167
  • 6: Young Ambassadors 198
  • Conclusion 226
  • Notes 235
  • Bibliography 261
  • Index 273
  • About the Author 291
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