"The Real Story of America's Servicewomen in Today's Military"

Jan 30, 2013

Today on ST, we speak by phone with the author and journalist, Tanya Biank, whose book, "Army Wives," is the basis for the popular series of the same title on Lifetime TV. Biank is also the daughter, sister, and wife of U.S. Army colonels, and during her days as a newspaper reporter, she traveled around the globe with American soldiers. Biank's new book, just out, is called "Undaunted: The Real Story of America's Servicewomen in Today's Military" --- and this is what we're discussing with her on our program.  Given the decision, announced one week ago, by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to remove the military's 1994 ban on women serving in combat, this is a timely, well-reported work of nonfiction that feels especially relevant. Specifically, "Undaunted" presents detailed profiles of four different women serving in our military --- their professional and personal challenges, from the combat zone to the home front. As a critic of this book has noted for Publishers Weekly: "Biank is a skilled biographer, providing contextual snapshots of America's military with each passing year. Her immersion in each woman's state of mind makes these stories read almost like a novel, and the clarity of detail, from cadet slang to the social politics on base, reveals the thoroughness of her research. Biank doesn't offer any groundbreaking conclusions --- women are ever more prevalent in the military, but still face challenges in a hyper-masculine environment --- but these engaging glimpses into the life of military women are more than worth reading for their own sake."