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The Civilian and the Military: A History of the American Anti-Militarist Tradition Hardcover – Import, January 1, 1956


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1st edition (1956)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0000CJEGC
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,309,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James E. Egolf VINE VOICE on December 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Arthur Ekirch's book titled THE CIVILIAN AND THE MILITARY: A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN ANTIMILITARIST TRADITION is a well written carefully researched book dispelling the false notion that Americans always loved conscription, war, blood, and "guts and glory." In fact, from the time of U.S. Colonial and early National History, the realities are quite to the contrary.

Colonial Americans resented regular army troops in North America. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)referred to a standing army as a devouring monster. James Madison (1751-1835)wrote that standing armies were foes of true liberty. Ekirch was clear that Colonial Americans saw standing armies as agents for rulers, foreign and domestic, to collect taxes and quell dissent against an oppressive status quo.

Such opposition to a conscripted standing army continued in early National U.S.History. For example in 1790, Gen Knox wanted members of Congress to pass a bill creating a U.S. standing army of over 5,000. However, the political opposition to such a large army was such that the final bill resulted in an army of 1,216 men. Such opposition continued during the War of 1812 which documents show was instigated by those in the U.S. House and Senate known as the War Hawks. In 1814,there was talk of national conscription (slavery)which Daniel Webster(1782-1852)blasted in a scathing denounciation that such conscription was both slavery and murder of young American men. This speech is well worth reading. Webster ripped the abuse of language in the proposal to conscript American youth.

After the War of 1812, criticism of a big military did not ebb. The arguement for a big navy was refuted by practical common sense. Those who wanted a big navy were critisized for wanting foreign wars and were asking for trouble.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard E. Noble VINE VOICE on September 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you feel that war is not all that good a thing and you are feeling rather left out of mainstream America these days, this book might bring you back into the fold. It seems that there have always been Americans who are not in favor of a "Militarist" state and who have always felt that there should be more of a "separation of Military and state" than appears to be the condition today. In fact this tradition goes all the way back to the "Founding Fathers" and even colonial times.
This is a very good book for tracing the anti-war American patriot. I wish that there were more books of this type.

Richard Edward Noble - The Hobo Philosopher - Author of:

Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
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