storytelling as dissent

Yesterday’s War Horse post only spotlit one small share of the vast number of veteran writers and artists, like the one pictured,  charting the forever war. They’re musicians, they’re poets holding incredible slams, they’re winning Pulitzers and National Book Awards. The current bounty has me thinking about how the presence of such artists forms anContinue reading “storytelling as dissent”

when gender-dissent got serious

 My book has a quiet backbeat of gender-dissent, separate from but not irrelevant to its years of conscientious objectors, mutinies and warrior writers. From the beginning, we had women dressing as men to fight, from the Revolution to the Civil War; we had women codebreakers and nurses during World War I and II, and anContinue reading “when gender-dissent got serious”

. Saluting 4,000 vets on the White House lawn

No, not in 2003. Not in 1971. In  1932. The data caught up on me Friday, but May 29, 1932 was when the Bonus March arrived in Washington, D.C. — and laid the groundwork for how the U.S. currently pays veterans for their service in war. These were veterans of the ‘Great War’,World War I: from ourContinue reading “. Saluting 4,000 vets on the White House lawn”

No #47traitors here;The Logan Act’s namesake just wanted peace with France

If you’ve been following national politics some, you may have heard, from both the left and the right, people naming the “Logan Act” as a way to penalize those Republican senators who sent a letter to Tehran behind Obama’s back. This isn’t the site for it, so I’ll leave it to Charlie Pierce to  explainContinue reading “No #47traitors here;The Logan Act’s namesake just wanted peace with France”

bloody bloody caricature of the citizen soldier

This Daily Beast call to strip Andrew Jackson off the $20 is way overdue: it doesn’t stop with the Trail of Tears. The military record that made Jackson a “war hero”? One long recitation of atrocity. Heroically breaking a treaty with the Creeks to slaughter them wholesale. Taking advantage of the Battle of New Orleans to ruleContinue reading “bloody bloody caricature of the citizen soldier”

in defense of channeling voices

In praise of Harvard’a Jill Lepore — including one book that goes down like an insomniac bedtime story, with endnotes nearly as mesmerizing as the text, and another about Ben Franklin’s sister, whose story is no less than his a biography of America.

PTSD in 1945: let there be truth

I was excited to see Paula Span’s piece today in the Times, “No End to Trauma for Some Older Veterans.” She follows one 80-something vet in his struggles and notes that seeking help wasn’t popular in his war: “The prevailing medical advice — even for someone like Mr. Perna, who had fought in North Africa,Continue reading “PTSD in 1945: let there be truth”

Why Bradley Manning belongs here

 I’m already getting assailed for including in my title Bradley Manning, who so many have already branded a traitor — even some vets who are themselves in the book draw the line at what he’s done. But as mesmerized as I am by the case, I’m even more mesmerized by the way it’s galvanized soContinue reading “Why Bradley Manning belongs here”