From Library Journal
Not until the end of this excellent inquiry does the reader learn that Dickerson, the author of the popular music books Women on Top (Watson-Guptill, 1998) and Goin' Back to Memphis (S. & S., 1996), moved to Canada to avoid the draft. His anger and that of the seven resisters who are the main characters of this book make for a highly charged story. Rather than an oral history of their lives, this is a most readable reconstruction of eventsAprimarily from contemporary magazine articlesAof the migration of 500,000 Americans, half of them women, to Canada, where they were welcomed by a government headed by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. This is in sharp contrast to Dickerson's indictment of an America that turned its back on its childrenAboth war resisters and emotionally and physically scarred veteransAas it struggled to redeem its collective soul. An excellent complementAless comprehensive but better writtenAto Tom Wells's acclaimed The War Within (LJ 3/15/94) and, despite the price, recommended for public libraries and highly recommended for Vietnam-era and peace collections.AKarl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Of the approximately 191,522 Americans who fled from the U.S. to Canada to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War, a significant number did not return, even after amnesty was granted by President Carter. Many of those war "resistors," as Dickerson refers to them, stayed and remade their lives in Canada. Dickerson, himself a resister, weaves the tumultuous history of the Vietnam War era into the backdrop of the resisters' own experiences settling into their adopted country. Their personal stories vary, including those of a former ROTC student, an archaeologist who received his draft notice in Yugoslavia, and a female premed student who fled the U.S. with her draft-eligible husband. Many of the resisters were also deeply affected by events other than Vietnam that marked the 1960s stateside, such as the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. They found life in Canada clearly better than fighting an unpopular war or returning to their own troubled country. Recommended for collections that focus on the Vietnam War. Marlene Chamberlain