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Woltmann, A.G. (1950). The American Soldier: Combat and its Aftermath. Psychoanal Q., 19:275-276.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19:275-276

The American Soldier: Combat and its Aftermath

Review by:
Adolf G. Woltmann

By Samuel A. Stouffer, Edward A. Suchman, Leland C. DeVinney, Shirley A. Star and Robin M. Williams, Jr. Volume I. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949. 599 pp.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER: COMBAT AND ITS AFTERMATH. By Samuel A. Stouffer, Arthur A. Lumsdaine, Marion H. Lumsdaine, Robin M. Williams, Jr., M. Brewster Smith, Irving L. Janis, Shirley A. Star and Leonard S. Cotrell, Jr. Volume II. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949. 675 pp.

These two books, which soon will be followed by the publication of two additional volumes, might be called a social-psychological study of attitudes. They contain the findings of the Research Branch of the War Department's Information and Education Division, and constitute one of the largest social science investigations ever made. Between Pearl Harbor and the end of the war, this branch administered over two hundred different questionnaires (many of which contained one hundred or more questions) to more than half a million American soldiers in all parts of the world.

These two volumes do not relate war history, nor are they concerned with various campaigns. They are clearly written, statistically well-documented, scientific reports which cover almost every phase of army life as lived and experienced by our soldiers.

At the beginning of the war the inducted civilians had to adjust to the army's authoritarian organization which demanded rigid obedience to its highly stratified social system, infractions of which were subject to penalties. The inductee had to become accustomed to the emphasis on traditional ways of doing things and to the discouragment of initiative. The first volume, therefore, deals in great detail with the adjustment processes which transformed the civilians into soldiers. Among the topics discussed are social mobility in the army, job assignment and job satisfaction, attitudes toward social leadership, social control, and the orientation of the soldier toward the war.

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