Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Beyond the Band of Brothers
The US Military and the Myth that Women Can't Fight

$29.99 (G)

  • Date Published: June 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107628106

$ 29.99 (G)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Women can't fight. This assumption lies at the heart of the combat exclusion, a policy that was fiercely defended as essential to national security, despite evidence that women have been contributing to hostile operations now and throughout history. This book examines the role of women in the US military and the key arguments used to justify the combat exclusion, in the light of the decision to reverse the policy in 2013. Megan MacKenzie considers the historic role of the combat exclusion in shaping American military identity and debunks claims that the recent policy change signals a new era for women in the military. MacKenzie shows how women's exclusion from combat reaffirms male supremacy in the military and sustains a key military myth, the myth of the band of brothers. This book will be welcomed by scholars and students of military studies, gender studies, social and military history, and foreign policy.

    • Presents a new perspective on the band of brothers myth and its relation to women in combat
    • Offers a new way of thinking about the role of myth and emotion in relation to policy
    • Includes a discussion of the 2013 announcement that the combat exclusion for women would be removed
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "Megan MacKenzie has offered us all a careful, persuasive dissection of a potent patriarchal myth. After reading this accessible book, 'combat', 'bonding', 'upper body strength' and 'national security' will never look the same. Beyond the Band of Brothers is for anyone interested in grappling with myth, militarism or sexism."
    Cynthia Enloe, author of Bananas, Beaches and Bases

    "Women’s combat exclusion is gone: yet myths glorifying wars and men who fight them are as strong as ever. Mackenzie challenges us to engage in more profound conversations about the tragedies of war."
    J. Ann Tickner, American University, Washington DC

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107628106
    • length: 234 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.32kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: myths, men and policy making
    1. The combat exclusion is a story we tell ourselves … about men
    2. The disintegration of the combat exclusion in Iraq and Afghanistan
    3. It just doesn't feel right: emotion and the combat exclusion policy
    4. Faster, stronger, more male: women and the failure of physical standards
    5. Sex, cohesion, and national security
    6. Using online debates to map public reaction to the combat exclusion

  • Author

    Megan MacKenzie, University of Sydney
    Megan MacKenzie is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. Her research centers on gender and security. Her book Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone: Sex, Security and Post-Conflict Development (2012) included interviews with over 50 female soldiers who participated in Sierra Leone's civil war.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.