For the 50th (?!) anniversary of Kent State

Originally posted on I Ain't Marching Anymore:
Written 10 years ago, and most of the text below didn’t make it into the published book. I’m listening to a program on NPR’s Talk of the Nation about the events of May 4, 1970, at Kent State University. including a survivor of the shootings and a…

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,…

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)”

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.”

Song, Struggle and Sorrow: Phil Ochs and Victor Jara

Originally posted on Occupied With Song:
On May 9th, 1974, Phil Ochs organised a concert at Madison Square Garden. “An Evening with Salvador Allende” was a tribute to Chile’s peacefully elected socialist president, and a protest against the brutal military coup that had instituted a dictatorship the previous September. Ochs had a personal reason for…

“Including the corpses, pal.” Notes from this week in soldier-dissent

A flyer/ad directed at troops concerned they’ll be deployed against protests in the wake of George Floyd. Of the 3 orgs in the caption, two are my former employers (sorta). Last year, I joined the board of the Center on Conscience And War, feeling the need to help the last org standing after the death ofContinue reading ““Including the corpses, pal.” Notes from this week in soldier-dissent”

Chapter titles: the best outtakes

In this Week Three of the U.S. coronavirus crisis, books seem more popular than ever — though as its economic impact hits home, I do find myself wondering if anyone will be buying them in November, or burning them to keep warm. Still, Ain’t Marching is in production now, and though its official publication date’sContinue reading “Chapter titles: the best outtakes”