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Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance During the Vietnam War 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0807827673
ISBN-10: 0807827673
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Editorial Reviews


"Impressive... a vibrant, first-rate scholarly study." -- New England Quarterly

"[Foley] focuses . . . on resisters, whose most dramatic and consequential form of protest was draft-card burning. . . . Strongly recommended." -- Library Journal

"[In] Foley's book . . . well-chosen anecdotes are matched by solid analysis." -- Boston Globe


Foley's book, in which well-chosen anecdotes are matched by solid analysis, rings true to a reviewer who was a friend of many of those involved in the resistance movement, as well as an observer of antiwar actions in Boston.--Boston Globe

A model of research with methods carefully defined and results of primary data laid out in crisp and engaging detail. With Foley's fine study of draft resistance, historians have no further excuse to slight this important movement when dealing with the antiwar era.--Journal of American History

We prepare for the future by understanding the past. Michael Foley's timely book, with lucid, original scholarship, tells the precious story of a time when America, following truly patriotic Americans, gave peace a chance.--James Carroll, author of An American Requiem: God, My Father, and the War That Came Between Us

Impressive . . . Foley drew upon an exceptionally wide range of primary sources. . . . Together with Foley's powerful writing and cogent analysis, this extensive research helps make Confronting the War Machine a vibrant, first-rate scholarly study.--New England Quarterly

[Foley] focuses not on draft dodgers but on resisters, whose most dramatic and consequential form of protest was draft-card burning. . . . Strongly recommended.--Library Journal

This book deserves to be regarded among the important monographs now filling out our understanding of that tumultuous period.--American Historical Review

A meticulous recounting of the origins of the movement in Boston, its national expansion, and its changing ideology and tactics. . . . Foley's thoughtful conclusion reviews the overall impact of the resistance movement.--International History Review

Impressively researched and well written. . . . [Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance during the Vietnam War] deepens our knowledge of the protest movements of the 1960s.--History of Education Quarterly

Provides a thoughtful (and passionate) interpretation of the antiwar movement that is one of the best and most nuanced now available.--Choice

Foley's meticulously researched and well-written study of draft resistance in Boston during the late 1960s describes sympathetically but quite objectively the always interesting and sometimes rather colorful activists who challenged the Selective Service System during the Vietnam War. It sheds new light on the motivations of those antiwarriors and how and why they fashioned their innovative strategies and tactics.--Melvin Small, author of Antiwarriors: The Vietnam War and the Battle for America's Hearts and Minds

Exhaustively researched, thoughtfully argued, and cogently written, Confronting the War Machine is the best scholarly study of draft resistance during the Vietnam War. Foley has recovered an almost forgotten history that poses a striking contrast to many of the postwar stereotypes that portray antiwar activists as frivolous, cowardly elitists who sought only to save their own skins. Here we are introduced to a group of people who confronted some of the most difficult political and moral dilemmas of the entire Cold War period, and did so with seriousness, commitment, and courage.--Christian G. Appy, author of Working-Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 449 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (March 31, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807827673
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807827673
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,991,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on January 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
Nothing inspires so much enduring controversy and strongly held opinions as the subject of active draft resistance during the Vietnam War. The draft resisters were composed of a relatively small segment of the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of young American men of draft age who avoided serving in the Army in one fashion or another. While most avoided active service in one or another fashion by enrolling in colleges or graduate schools, getting married and quickly having children, or by crossing the border into Canada, the draft resisters stood their ground and actively (and often quite dramatically) confronted the system by openly opposing the draft, burning their draft cards publicly, and serving themselves up for the legal and social consequences of refusing to serve in the military.
The author's approach is both appealing and effective; he uses a plethora of anecdotes and then places them in context by providing an overall history of the movement as well as an effective analysis of the effect of the movement both for the individuals choosing to participate in it as well as for the society at large. Author Michael Foley is a history professor at the City University of New York College of Staten Island, and he obviously has some personal experience informing his awareness of the phenomenon, which was in his estimation one of the most important and most progressively attempted efforts at defanging the war machine, a technique which comprising the cutting edge of young Americans opposition to the war in Southeast Asia. It found its inspiration in the Gandhi-like examples of the civil rights movement, and found widespread philosophical and legal support for a method that eventually forced the formal apparatus of government to sit up and take notice.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very informative book on a era in which either you weren't alive at the time, too young, or couldn't believe that you went through all of what happened during the 1960's to early 1970's.
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This book was very engaging and informing. I got it in a timely manner and it was perfect for the research paper I was writing!
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