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Brats: Children of the American Military Speak Out [Hardcover]

Mary R. Truscott

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Herself an Army brat--the daughter of a general--Truscott interviewed more than three dozen survivors of that special experience. Because of the constant moving imposed by the military on employees, their children tend to develop few lasting friendships, and so grow unusually close to their siblings, she observes. Their peripatetic lives also bring problems in that some brats have to restudy material they had already covered earlier. Many fathers, the book asserts, are autocratic, exacting a military-style discipline at home which, since they are often separated from their families, is all the harder to accept. But above all, the life of an army child is a very private one, kept apart 'kept apart'? (separated used prev. sent.) from "alien" civilian society. Truscott offers no earthshaking revelations, but much interesting reading. Author tour.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Few careers have as strong an impact on a family as the military. Truscott, herself the daughter of a general, interviewed over 40 now-grown "brats." They discuss the details of their childhoods: long separations, frequent moves, discipline, and the pervading rhythms of life on a military base. A recurring theme is the inability to get close to anyone outside the family, and the reticence it engendered. This reticence is apparent in the book. The interviewees gloss over personal problems and reveal little about the personalities behind the anecdotes. Truscott draws no conclusions, but lets the memories speak for themselves. Her interviewees remember good things and bad, but most seem to feel that the overall experience was positive. Fascinating for both military and civilian readers.
- Susan B . Hagloch, Tuscarawas Cty. P.L., New Philadelphia, Ohio
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars totally hysterical July 22 2001
By "fifivivi" - Published on Amazon.com
I read this book when it was first published.....and my copy was unfortunately lost in the borrowing/return process. I am an ARMY brat, was married to a NAVAL aviator then went on to another ARMY aviator. The book brought back so many memories though we lived overseas only in Germany and Hawaii. But, the stories I heard from other BRATS all come together in this wonderful read. I recommend it for the soon-to-be-married military spouse and especially for the other BRATS. We are indeed an unusual group and this book will make you grateful for the childhood you had..though you didn't appreciate it at the time. Thank you, Dad !
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book Jan. 25 2001
By Student - Published on Amazon.com
Although not a military brat, I found this book to be extremely insightful and an altogether wonderful read. As a Foreign Service Brat, there are many parallels (as well as differences) in my life to the stories from this book. For anyone who is a Third-culture Kid or anyone who has an interest in the military lifestyle, this book gives detailed anecdotal portraits. One of the nice touches is that Ms. Truscott interviewed brats of a wide age range which showed some of the continuity of the mobile-lifestyle experience generation after generation. I highly recommend this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Mary Raynor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I saw this book at a military base library and wished I could have a copy and then I saw that I could buy it here on Amazon. I just finished it and and was not disappointed. It brought back SO many memories of my life as a military wife for 24 years. I became a military wife at the age of 17, almost young enough to be a "brat" myself. I never new many brats personally, though, as we did not have children for quite a while and hung around with young couples that had no children, and then when we had children of our own, we hung out with couples who had babies and toddlers, and then my husband retired. So, this book gave me real insight into a slice of the military that I did not know much about. There are some discrepancies in the list at the front of the book, showing who was an officer's kid and who was an enlisted man's kid, a couple of those were wrong, but that was the only flaw I saw. This book is a collection of short memoir-style clips of military-brat life from the 40's through the 70's. Those telling their stories were both men and women, officers' and enlisteds' children, from all branches of the service. The author gives her own commentary at the beginning of each chapter, and it was always very insightful. Actually, their lives sounded, to me, more bleak and dismal than exciting, with the much too frequent moves and family separations as the fathers went to war, however, all of the people interviewed, to the last man and woman, firmly stated that they wouldn't trade their lives for anybody else's, because it made them the strong people that they are, people able to adapt and cope with whatever life throws at them. A well-written, good, fun, easy read. Five stars!
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS BOOK MEANS A LOT TO ME Jan. 18 2014
By Ginny Lavender - Published on Amazon.com
I have saved this book through the years and loaned it to many military brats. It was the first book I ever read that told about MY life. All the other books about childhood spoke of lives entirely different from mine. Like many other military brats, I feel very much an outsider in civilian life, even though it has been decades since I was an Army brat. I highly recommend this book to any military brat and to the spouses dealing with that kind of family life. For what it's worth, I still miss it and military bases still give me that relaxed feeling of finally being home again.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars correct the record June 13 2013
By joanie - Published on Amazon.com
The brief sketch of what this book is all about contains an autobiographical error. Ms. Truscott is not the daughter of WWII General Lucian K. Truscott, Jr. She is his granddaughter. Her father was the General's son, Lucien K. Truscott III, a combat veteran of both Korea and VietNam who retired as a colonel and was awarded the Silver Star for bravery in Korea. My husband was a combat rifleman who served under the young 2nd lieutenant Truscott who was his company commander during the early days of the WWII Occupation of Japan and kept up a correspondence with him in both of their later years.

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