Throughout history, governments have sought to portray deserters from their wars as cowardly and traitorous and the American government is certainly no exception. In examining the motivations of American military deserters from the Revolutionary War to the US occupation of Iraq and analyzing the political purposes of the government's response to deserters, this work exposes that characterization as a falsehood, demonstrating that desertion is usually a response to policy, whether it is the larger policy of the war itself or simply the perception of injustice within the military system itself. The government's treatment of deserters, the author additionally argues, is aimed both at keeping soldiers in line and at maintaining support from the population at large. --booknews
About the Author
Fantina says, "My interest in military desertion dates to the Vietnam era and my protests against that war. More recently I have been in contact with deserters and have researched their stories. In reviewing interviews with these men and researching the government's case against each of them, my beliefs about desertion have crystallized. This led me to explore the reasons for desertion throughout America's history. My belief that the motivations for desertion are many and complex, and are either rooted in or encouraged by military policy, has been supported by my research."