Some loose thoughts about Jacob Ritter (1757-1841)

Originally posted on I Ain't Marching Anymore:
He didn’t speak English when he joined General Washington’s army. And by 1790, he was both a combat veteran and a torture survivor. No wonder he became and stayed a Quaker. ? A careful reading of his 1840 memoir (a smash in Quaker circles)  yields both facts,…

How military veterans are answering the call to defend Black lives

From marching in the streets to forming human walls of protection around protesters, veterans are playing a quiet but important role in demanding racial justice.

It’s showtime, folks.

Join Chris Lombardi & Adam Hochschild for a conversation on writing narrative nonfiction & the history of dissent in the U.S. armed forces. And no doubt we’ll talk about current soldier-dissent, from the National Guard troops refusing domestic deployment to the veterans mobilized to protect Black lives.

About the Book (and this site)

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 welfareContinue reading “About the Book (and this site)”

“The present is a moving target.”

I wrote that years ago when I was first drafting the book’s final chapter, as the “Bradley Manning” story became the complex reality that is Chelsea Manning, as new dissent appeared daily and what had seemed pretty black and white under George W. Bush moulted into a sinister purple glow under Obama. Now, this second,Continue reading ““The present is a moving target.””

John Lewis was a conscientious objector to war. Did you know that?

This blog, like my book, doesn’t tend to dwell on the brave folk who completely avoided military jurisdiction — the thousands in CPS camps during World War Two, the literal millions who spent the Vietnam era in alternative-service jobs. All of whom are important and honored, but to include their stories would swamp an already-capaciousContinue reading “John Lewis was a conscientious objector to war. Did you know that?”

Skip to the index: it’s poetry and all the news you need.

In this last pre-pub gasp, I had the honor of working with an expert in crafting a book’s index. She asked me to brainstorm some possible categories, so I went to books that share mine’s DNA. Looking more closely than I usually do, I’m reminded that a good index constitutes poetry, commentary and relentless factContinue reading “Skip to the index: it’s poetry and all the news you need.”

Soldier-dissent in real time

!– wp:code –> I started this week staring at the #WallofVets. The video above bears re-watching: for its diversity of ages, for the military branches represented, for the solidarity among the protesters, the “walls” of mothers, dads and veterans converged to face federal agents sent to suppress their node of the George Floyd uprising. TheContinue reading “Soldier-dissent in real time”