Captured by America

Robert C. Doyle’s new book, The Enemy in Our Hands: America’s Treatment of Prisoners of War from the Revolution to the War on Terror (Available Now!) is building buzz in and around the internet, sparking new conversations on America’s wars and the treatment of POWs.


  • Miller-McCune.com published this recent review of Doyle’s book. Erik Hayden “looks at how America has treated — and mistreated — prisoners of war through history resonates in the age of terror.”
  • Relevant Radio interviews Robert C. Doyle on the Drew Mariani Show.
  • John Lofton of “The American View” sits down with the author.

The Enemy in Our Hands


About
Revelations of abuse at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison and the U.S. detention camp at Guantánamo Bay had repercussions extending beyond the worldwide media scandal that ensued. The controversy surrounding photos and descriptions of inhumane treatment of enemy prisoners of war, or EPWs, from the war on terror marked a watershed moment in the study of modern warfare and the treatment of prisoners of war. Amid allegations of human rights violations and war crimes, one question stands out among the rest: Was the treatment of America’s most recent prisoners of war an isolated event or part of a troubling and complex issue that is deeply rooted in our nation’s military history?

Military expert Robert C. Doyle’s The Enemy in Our Hands: America’s Treatment of Prisoners of War from the Revolution to the War on Terror draws from diverse sources to answer this question. Historical as well as timely in its content, this work examines America’s major wars and past conflicts’among them, the American Revolution, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and Vietnam-to provide understanding of the United States’ treatment of military and civilian prisoners.

The Enemy in Our Hands offers a new perspective of U.S. military history on the subject of EPWs and suggests that the tactics employed to manage prisoners of war are unique and disparate from one conflict to the next. In addition to other vital information, Doyle provides a cultural analysis and exploration of U.S. adherence to international standards of conduct, including the 1929 Geneva Convention in each war.

Although wars are not won or lost on the basis of how EPWs are treated, the treatment of prisoners is one of the measures by which history’s conquerors are judged.

Robert C. Doyle, professor of history at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, is the author of A Prisoner’s Duty: Great Escapes in U.S. Military History and Voices from Captivity: Interpreting the American POW Narrative. He has been a history consultant on multiple films and documentaries, including Hart’s War (2002).

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About University Press of Kentucky

The University Press of Kentucky has a dual mission—the publication of books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields for a largely academic audience and the publication of books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia. The Press is the statewide mandated nonprofit scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, operated as an agency of the University of Kentucky and serving all state institutions of higher learning, plus five private colleges and Kentucky's two major historical societies.

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