- Paperback: 364 pages
- Publisher: Haymarket Books; First Edition edition (September 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1931859272
- ISBN-13: 978-1931859271
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #691,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Soldiers in Revolt: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War First Edition Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
the author at least clears this up and for that this book is highly recommended.
in vietnam marines-army-air force all became slowly dysfunctional.
the book is an interesting read with making us relate to the multiple wars we are fighting in the present by relying on an exhausted and demotivated army.
as of now-the killing and threatening of U.S. ARMY officers by U.S. ARMY soldiers has been reported in afghanistan/iraq on many many occasions.
will this be a prelude to another U.S. ARMY collapse in conjunction with an already collapsing economy.
the book gives an account how a slowly collapsing army stops operating.
at that time we had a functioning economy that avoided further collapse of other institutions.
now in 2012 we do not have this luxury anymore-as the book points out without going into detailed economics-
our institutions are already gone or failing or/and are in the process of failing/becoming dysfunctional.
this means if the institution called army will collapse-it will pull all other institutions with it-meaning civil war will break out.
No one can argue that the prospect of having to go to Vietnam, for the enlisted or the volunteer, was not an easy one to deal with. Specially as the war revealed many flaws in leadership, with missions that seemed doomed for failure at the insistence of commanders forcing their troops into impossible assignments with the constant threat of prosecution if disobeying a direct order. Film after film, one sees at least one soldier unable to move forward, while all around fellow combatants keep dropping wounded or dead.
According to the book, the black segment of the troops rebelled the most, with arguments that they were treated in an inferior manner, ignored for promotions that other races would invariably be able to get in a much easier manner, having to take the worst assignments in the military conflict, it all eventually became too much, and revolt became part of a bigger problem that caused the discharge of countless individuals as a way to quell the resistance, and the violence that it was generating.
The thing is that in times of war, one has to obey direct orders, or the whole system breaks down. The hell that Vietnam must have been to some who fought there, who in no time realized this was a war to the death, and perhaps lost their motivation to obey orders with the rationalization that they had no beef with the enemy, some saying that the North Vietnamese had never done anything personally to them, so why should they sacrifice their lives in a war that did not belong to them? These episodes of revolt occurred in all imaginable areas, with some cases where expensive machinery was destroyed to prevent mobilization to the combat zones. Very hard to judge others that are sacrificing their lives each and every day, to fight a war that later became maligned by the very own country that fought it. Jane Fonda, activists like her, supporting and encouraging dissension, thinking their way was the better way.
When it comes down to it, there were also many brave men, no different than those that revolted, that did their duty, however dangerous or unwanted, and serve their nation even though they might have suspected that some of the orders given by their superiors were tactically wrong and should have never been followed, they still carried on given their lives as part of the contract they were fulfilling. Revolt does not work in any military operation, for the moment of change is not on the battle fields, but one can see where the nightmare and the fear would be at its most obvious location.
Soldiers in Revolt: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War makes some good points, it is told with pin point accuracy (as far as this reader could tell) based on archived information regarding this difficult period in which the military was exposed in so many different ways, not all of them in a good way. I happen to believe that one must follow orders, and if one is given them, pray to God he or she is given good ones, but at the end of the day those that chose to revolt perhaps helped a little to change some hard pressed policies that needed change, but they did not became heroes that way, perhaps that was good enough if their final goal was to remain in one piece. Fights, unrest, disputes, attacks that took place among our troops, placing explosives in tents or military clubs, rioting, etc, can not be justified in times of war. Those that avoided the war that way, may have their powerful reasons, but in no way shape or form, compares to the one who fought with diligence, disregarding their personal safety, and honoring this way the fine tradition of our military that still shines very brightly today. 4 Stars.
I received a court-martial, put in the stockade in Mannheim for 30 days, then put into a sort of a house arrest for several months, and finally discharged as an undesirable.
It was very frustrating to come back to the U.S. to be stereotyped as some kind of right-wing, baby killer veteran by people who thought they were hip. I tried to tell the story many times but only to disbelief. I gave up talking about it quickly seeing that people's perceptions were pretty much shaped by the mass media.
I didn't know about this book when it was released in the 70's. I recently found out about on the Internet. I'm so glad this and other stories of resistance in the military during the Vietnam era are being told. Such rebellion within the American military was unprecedented. This is an important and relevant part of American history.
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