The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations; The Professional Soldier: A Social and Political Portrait

In This Review

The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations

by Samuel P. Huntington
Harvard University Press, 1957
534 pp.
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The Professional Soldier: A Social and Political Portrait

by Morris Janowitz
Free Press, 1960
468 pp.
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These books lay out two divergent understandings of the military profession and its relation to civil society. For Huntington, the tension between soldier and statesman is rooted in the essence of professionalism. Offering a now-classic description of the military mind -- conservative, realistic, and pessimistic about human nature -- he prescribes "objective control" as the optimum form of civil-military relations. This form of civilian control achieves its objectives by maximizing the professionalism of the officer corps to include its autonomy within a clearly defined military sphere. Janowitz, the founder of American military sociology, takes a different tack, arguing that officership has undergone a fundamental transition to what he calls a "constabulary" model, that is to say, increasing resemblance to police forces, which organize and apply violence in tightly controlled and limited circumstances and retain close links with the society they protect. Two brilliant works that disagree but encompass the most penetrating assessment of the military profession in a turbulent age.