Before the U.S. Constitution had even been signed, soldiers and new veterans protested. Dissent, the hallowed expression of disagreement and refusal to comply with the government’s wishes, has a long history in the United States. Soldier dissenters, outraged by the country’s wars or egregious violations in conduct, speak out and change U.S. politics, social welfare systems, and histories.
I Ain’t Marching Anymore carefully traces soldier dissent from the early days of the republic through the wars that followed, including the genocidal “Indian Wars,” the Civil War, long battles against slavery and racism that continue today, both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, and contemporary military imbroglios.
Acclaimed journalist Chris Lombardi presents a soaring history valorizing the brave men and women who spoke up, spoke out, and talked back to national power. Inviting readers to understand the texture of dissent and its evolving and ongoing meaning, I Ain’t Marching Anymore profiles conscientious objectors including Frederick Douglass’s son Lewis, Evan Thomas, Howard Zinn, William Kunstler, and Chelsea Manning, adding human dimensions to debates about war and peace.
Meticulously researched, rich in characters, and vivid in storytelling, I Ain’t Marching Anymore celebrates the sweeping spirit of dissent in the American tradition and invigorates its meaning for new risk-taking dissenters.
About this site: I started writing this book almost 15 years ago. Originally intended for publication by University of California Press, the writing was delayed by illness — which actually has also meant that I’ve been able to follow this movement a little longer, too. Now, I’ve had the honor of agreement by The New Press to be the book’s publisher, and thrilled to know it’s in the fall 2020 catalog.
As for me: Before I became a journalist full time, I worked for a range of nonprofit organizations – most crucially, while on staff with CCCO in the 1990s. for about four years I helped coordinate the G.I. Rights Hotline and worked on issues around military personnel. Talking to soldiers every day changed my life. What I learned then eventually led me to dream this book, which was developed years later first at Columbia Journalism School’s Book Seminar. My portfolio and other journo bona fides are over at Incredible Panic Rules.
This website is a loose conglomeration of some of what I’ve noticed along the way, and some of what the people whose stories make it live have had to say about it all. The site is a work in progress, just like the book; you might want to follow me on Twitter at @CrisAintMarchin, or check out the book’s Facebook page, which I update with relevant news and which has grown into a community of its own.