Notes toward an introduction

  July 2020: As the book approaches publication WITHOUT an introduction, I decided to repost this from ten years ago, when it was still under the aegis of UC Press and Chelsea Manning was still imprisoned at Quantico. The book evolved as well, but the themes below whisper from between its pages. It’s been a long timeContinue reading “Notes toward an introduction”

Before Evan Thomas became an iconic conscientious objector

The summer before Evan Thomas leaves the country, 1915 smells of war. The smell sickens Thomas, a lean young man with a narrow face and alert eyes. Thomas hates living and working at the American Parish, the East Harlem immigrant settlement house pastored by his brother Norman. On every newsstand, headlines scream of battles inContinue reading “Before Evan Thomas became an iconic conscientious objector”

. 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”

96-year-old outtake: fort leavenworth goes on strike

Long after the Armistice was signed in November 1918, open rebellions continued to startle military authorities, including the conglomeration of deserters, CO’s and malcontents that stuffed the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks in 1918.

Bring back the draft? A-gain?

Last time there was a national call to resume conscription, it came from former Marine and zillion-term Congressman Charles Rangel (left), who fought on the famous Hill 902 during the Korean War. Rangel’s bill to do so, introduced on the eve of the 2003 Iraq invasion, was mostly meant to highlight the still-deep inequity betweenContinue reading “Bring back the draft? A-gain?”

is this the Alabama portion of Wisconsin?

I’m told it’s not. But what about this? Although the parade website says the event is “Honoring all Americans who have served,” it has refused to allow Veterans for Peace members – many of whom are combat veterans with Purple Hearts – from taking part in the observance on Saturday, Nov. 7. The parade committeeContinue reading “is this the Alabama portion of Wisconsin?”

News you can use – and a taste of how I write

With the book’s pub date at least a year away, I know it’s too early for excerpts. But when Michael Archer, who has built a giant of online publishing since he and I parted ways as Fred Tuten‘s students at CCNY, asked if I had something that might suit, what could I do but pullContinue reading “News you can use – and a taste of how I write”