- Paperback: 456 pages
- Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; New edition edition (March 31, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807854360
- ISBN-13: 978-0807854365
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance during the Vietnam War New edition Edition
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"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."
Exhaustively researched, thoughtfully argued, and cogently written, "Confronting the War Machine" is the best scholarly study of draft resistance during the Vietnam War. (Christian G. Appy, author of "Working-Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam")
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. (Melvin Small, author of "Antiwarriors: The Vietnam War and the Battle for America's Hearts and Minds")
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
[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
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
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
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
This book deserves to be regarded among the important monographs now filling out our understanding of that tumultuous period.--American Historical Review
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
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
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
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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.
What I found especially fascinating about Foley's approach is his concentration on events transpiring in the greater Boston area, where I had many personal experiences, both with the active resistance against the war as well as the other related anti-war activities. So the author's cogent analysis and colorful anecdotes often churn up memories of people and the times from my own reservoir of such experiences some thirty-five years ago. What was so intriguing about the movement was the way it transformed what was initially a massive loathing for what was considered an unmanly and suspect strategy into one that was much more widely supported and endorsed by mainstream Americans. Thus, by placing themselves and their futures on the line (many resisters eventually served time in prison rather than serve in the military), the resisters did change public opinion and popular perception of the war itself and on the ways in which honorable young men could behave in response to it.
Eventually, such efforts actually helped to end the draft, as President Nixon foisted a lottery system as an interim approach to the patently unfair policies of the draft, and soon thereafter created an all-volunteer service in response to the public outcry over 'selective service'. The actions of the war resisters sparked a wide-spread recognition among their peers of the obviously unfair nature of the draft itself, and helped to legitimize the mass-protests against the war involving millions of Americans outraged by the racist and social class distinctions made in draft policies. Finally, Foley shows how greater civic awareness is required to ensure a more enlightened and informed understanding of one's patriotic duties to the country during time of war. Enjoy!