Intro, continued

After that loooong deconstruction of the book’s title… The following pages offer an idiosyncratic path from the country’s beginnings to the 21st century. Our guides: a handful of soldier-dissenters, who nudged that arc of history toward something resembling peace and justice. In the 1990s, when I was on staff at the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, I used to half-joke that “ifContinue reading “Intro, continued”

this is joe from gainesville

On a Joe Haldeman kick, for reasons perhaps obvious to some of you. After all, there’s that subtitle on my book, the next stop on my introduction exploration: From the French and Indian War to the Forever War. That section of the title has been a shape-shifter. When I first proposed it in 2007 itContinue reading “this is joe from gainesville”

The road to revolution via…Julia Davis?

The TV cameras are gone now. So are most of the veterans I was tracking and wrote about for Guernica, upon the request of the Standing Rock elders. Everyone knows that last week’s decision was only a battle won, and that the struggle continues: the drilling below Sioux land isn’t even completely stopped, the companyContinue reading “The road to revolution via…Julia Davis?”

john huston, veteran for the 1st Amendment

In 1942, John Huston received a mysterious letter containing “names of military personnel and various American Army posts. I puzzled over it briefly and dropped it into the wastebasket. Later I discovered that this was the Army’s way of sending orders.”  He was then a  new director at Warner Brothers, who’d just finished his first soloContinue reading “john huston, veteran for the 1st Amendment”

memorial day, Tomas Young and what we owe

I’ve =been rightly scolded for treating Memorial Day a bit too much like Veterans Day. My two commentaries this week are about Tomas Young, shot by a sniper in 2004, who took 10 years to die and  before then, emerged as an opponent of the Iraq war. (If you haven’t seen Body of War, you might wantContinue reading “memorial day, Tomas Young and what we owe”

TheWarHorse.org is taking on the hardest questions

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but this ambitious, mostly soldier-driven journalistic project is already going some unexpected places. (Full disclosure: I hope to write for them sometime on a freelance basis. I can take NO credit for the thorough, startling work they’ve already produced.) Talk about testing what new ways nonfiction storytelling can go.Continue reading “TheWarHorse.org is taking on the hardest questions”

Happy 45th Anniversary, Daniel Ellsberg — or why he belongs in my book

today, almost exactly 45 years after a Marine Corps vet finally rocked the world, here it is. Now you know why I tried, and why my fantastic ex-colleague Judith Ehrlich followed her landmark CO movie with one about Ellsberg.

Ron Kovic’s Convention speech

Which no one ever heard, because the networks had stopped filming in 1972. (They’d already wrecked the candidacy of WWII veteran Edmund Muskie. ) We’ll never know if that speech might have rocked the world of Richard Nixon. Now, thanks to Studs Terkel’s chat with Hunter S. Thompson, you can hear it starting at minute 36.Continue reading “Ron Kovic’s Convention speech”