Queen of Battle

by John W. Cooley



Book Details

Language :
Publication Date : 12/08/1999

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 370
ISBN : 9780738803142
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 370
ISBN : 9780738803135

About the Book

Kate McKeane is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point.  Upon graduating, because she was female, she was denied entry into the Army's Infantry Branch -- the branch known in military circles as the "queen of battle". Instead, she was commissioned in the Military Intelligence Corps.

The story begins by weaving several scenes together to show simultaneous planning and machinations at the highest levels of government to inaugurate a real-life test of women's ability to participate effectively and survive in actual ground combat.  The President of the United States, top military brass, and a female U.S. Congresswoman collaborate to design a military experiment dubbed the "MINERVA EXPERIMENT" to test the combat mettle of the female officer generally.  Kate McKeane, the daughter of a respected Army general, is selected to be one of the test subjects.  The test site for the Experiment is Colombia, South America where the United States' drug interdiction efforts are being expanded to include, with Colombian government cooperation, the infusion of U.S. air and ground combat troops.  All the while the Minerva Experiment is being planned, a well known D.C. female arch-conservative socialite is conspiring with certain U.S. and Colombian officials to undermine the success of the experiment and to eliminate or to all but trivialize the future role of women in ground combat.  These conspiratorial efforts though formidable, are, in the end, unsuccessful.

     The story takes Kate through her last months at West Point, through Airborne and Ranger training with its arduous physical requirements and dangerous episodes, through issues of sexual harassment and gender discrimination, through romantic interludes with her love interest, Captain Bryan Flanagan, and through issues of lesbian and gay participation in the military.  She also must deal with a mentally ill sister and a father, an army general, who has shirked his parental responsibilities.  Near the half-way point in the story, Kate's Ranger Company, led by Bryan, is thrust into the mountainous jungles of Colombia to conduct "OPERATION ATHENA" against the Bodega cartel which has kidnapped and is holding U.S. dignitaries captive (including the D.C. socialite who was in Colombia as an official observer of Operation Athena). Surviving several close calls with death, Kate and Bryan are eventually successful in locating the hostages and in facilitating their escape from the notoriously merciless Bodega brothers. Near the end of the operation, Kate is seriously wounded and fate is even less kind to Bryan.  

    In an epilogue, Kate, having been successful in opening the infantry ranks to women, confronts war's reality in an awards ceremony on West Point's Plain.  In the spirit of the Greek goddess Athena -- the warrior/nurturer -- Kate decides what she has to do to right prior wrongs when she finally recognizes the true "queen of battle."

About the Author

John W. (Jack) Cooley is a former United States Magistrate, Assistant United States Attorney, Senior Staff Attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and a litigation partner in a Chicago law firm. He is a past Chair of the Mediation Committee of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution and a former Council Member of that Section. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the International Academy of Mediators, and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London, England. In private practice in the Chicago area, he is a mediator and arbitrator on the panel of JAMS (The Resolution Experts ®), an international dispute resolution firm. He has served as a Special Master for federal judges and as an arbitrator and mediator in a wide variety of complex, multi-million dollar commercial disputes, both domestic and international in character. An Adjunct Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law, he teaches a course in negotiation and mediation. In addition, he is the principal designer and instructor of a "Mediation Advocacy" cybercourse that was developed by Northern Illinois University in cooperation with the ABA's Section of Dispute Resolution. He is the author of The Mediator's Handbook: Advanced Practice Guide for Civil Litigation (National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 2000); Mediation Advocacy (NITA, Second Edition, 2002), Arbitration Advocacy (NITA, Second Edition, 2003), The Arbitrator's Handbook (NITA, 2d Edition, 2005), Creative Problem Solver’s Handbook for Negotiators and Mediators (American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution with the generous support of the Association for Conflict Resolution, 2005), and more than 100 articles on litigation, judicial, and Alternative Dispute Resolution topics. The First Editions of Mediation Advocacy and of Arbitration Advocacy have been published in the Portuguese language by the University of Brasilia in Brazil. Mr. Cooley, a Vietnam War combat veteran, is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and the University of Notre Dame Law School, receiving a year of his legal training in international and comparative law at the School's Centre for Legal Studies in London, England.