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I Ain’t Marching Anymore: Dissenters, Deserters, and Objectors to America’s Wars

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A sweeping history of the passionate servicemembers and veterans who bravely and courageously refused to participate in war and protested Before the U.S. Constitution had even been signed, soldiers and new veterans protested. Dissent, the hallowed expression of disagreement and refusal to comply with government’s wishes, has a long history in the United States. Soldier diss A sweeping history of the passionate servicemembers and veterans who bravely and courageously refused to participate in war and protested Before the U.S. Constitution had even been signed, soldiers and new veterans protested. Dissent, the hallowed expression of disagreement and refusal to comply with government’s wishes, has a long history in the United States. Soldier dissenters, outraged by the country’s wars or egregious violations in conduct, speak out and change U.S. politics, social welfare systems, and histories. I Ain’t Marching Anymore carefully traces soldier dissent from the early days of the republic through the wars that followed, including the Civil War, long battles against slavery and racism, genocidal “Indian Wars,” both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, and contemporary military imbroglios. Acclaimed journalist Chris Lombardi presents a soaring history valorizing the brave men and women who spoke up, spoke out, and talked back to national power. Inviting readers to understand the texture of dissent and its evolving and ongoing meaning, I Ain’t Marching Anymore profiles conscientious objectors and dissenters including Frederick Douglass’s son Lewis, Evan Thomas, Howard Zinn, William Kunstler, and Chelsea Manning, adding human dimensions to debates about war and peace. Meticulously researched, rich in characters, and vivid in storytelling, I Ain’t Marching Anymore celebrates the sweeping spirit of dissent in the American tradition.


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A sweeping history of the passionate servicemembers and veterans who bravely and courageously refused to participate in war and protested Before the U.S. Constitution had even been signed, soldiers and new veterans protested. Dissent, the hallowed expression of disagreement and refusal to comply with government’s wishes, has a long history in the United States. Soldier diss A sweeping history of the passionate servicemembers and veterans who bravely and courageously refused to participate in war and protested Before the U.S. Constitution had even been signed, soldiers and new veterans protested. Dissent, the hallowed expression of disagreement and refusal to comply with government’s wishes, has a long history in the United States. Soldier dissenters, outraged by the country’s wars or egregious violations in conduct, speak out and change U.S. politics, social welfare systems, and histories. I Ain’t Marching Anymore carefully traces soldier dissent from the early days of the republic through the wars that followed, including the Civil War, long battles against slavery and racism, genocidal “Indian Wars,” both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, and contemporary military imbroglios. Acclaimed journalist Chris Lombardi presents a soaring history valorizing the brave men and women who spoke up, spoke out, and talked back to national power. Inviting readers to understand the texture of dissent and its evolving and ongoing meaning, I Ain’t Marching Anymore profiles conscientious objectors and dissenters including Frederick Douglass’s son Lewis, Evan Thomas, Howard Zinn, William Kunstler, and Chelsea Manning, adding human dimensions to debates about war and peace. Meticulously researched, rich in characters, and vivid in storytelling, I Ain’t Marching Anymore celebrates the sweeping spirit of dissent in the American tradition.

39 review for I Ain’t Marching Anymore: Dissenters, Deserters, and Objectors to America’s Wars

  1. 4 out of 5

    Louise Gray

    An incredible book which spans decades in its discovery of hidden heroes. Challenging the concept of valour, this book explores what it means - and what it costs - to speak out against popular opinion, to criticise the decisions made by leaders and to do so when emotions run high and any criticism can be seen as traitorous. With details which support credibility and language which engages the reader in challenging issues, this book is essential reading for those who are fascinated by human behav An incredible book which spans decades in its discovery of hidden heroes. Challenging the concept of valour, this book explores what it means - and what it costs - to speak out against popular opinion, to criticise the decisions made by leaders and to do so when emotions run high and any criticism can be seen as traitorous. With details which support credibility and language which engages the reader in challenging issues, this book is essential reading for those who are fascinated by human behaviour.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Legacy Of Power. So I blatantly ripped off the title of my favorite episode of Power Rangers ever for the title of this review. It fits. In that episode (a decade+ old now), the new Rangers of that season are shown a video detailing where the show has been up until them, from the original Mighty Morphin (OG Rangers that came into the zeitgeist in the mid 1990s) through the previous season's Ninja Storm. This book does the exact same thing for service members who dissent from killing people or as Legacy Of Power. So I blatantly ripped off the title of my favorite episode of Power Rangers ever for the title of this review. It fits. In that episode (a decade+ old now), the new Rangers of that season are shown a video detailing where the show has been up until them, from the original Mighty Morphin (OG Rangers that came into the zeitgeist in the mid 1990s) through the previous season's Ninja Storm. This book does the exact same thing for service members who dissent from killing people or assisting efforts to kill people. It traces the history from the earliest days of Europeans in America (at least the British variants of them), including the French and Indian (aka Seven Years', for the Continentals) Wars through some of the most current modern dissenters (with particular focus on Bradley/ Chelsea Manning). Indeed, the one glaring omission here seems to be Edward Snowden, though perhaps his case is just different enough to be outside the specific scope of this text. Still, in most other cases where this happens - a group or individual opposes war, but for reasons or in situations different from the very specific situation the author chooses to pursue here - such groups are usually mentioned and quickly dismissed. Which makes the Snowden case being missing all the more glaring. Regardless, a well documented tome highlighting quite a bit of history that many Americans - particularly of the post-WWII and post-Vietnam eras - have likely never heard of. Which makes it that much more important, and that much more powerful in terms of a "Legacy of Power" look at nearly 300 years of history of dissent among American soldiers (and sailors, and Airmen, and Marines, and... whatever the hell they're gonna call the Space Force people). Very much recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Westlake

    This is a book that does a great job filling in gaps in our history of America's wars. Lombardi looks at individuals who have, throughout our nation's conflicts, dared to stand up for their beliefs and go against the powers that be and say "no." It's an empowering lesson, especially considering so much of our popular history sees our conflicts in a monolithic view. It's often an "us vs them" story, and those who don't support it get left behind. Lombardi's analysis begins during the Revolution, This is a book that does a great job filling in gaps in our history of America's wars. Lombardi looks at individuals who have, throughout our nation's conflicts, dared to stand up for their beliefs and go against the powers that be and say "no." It's an empowering lesson, especially considering so much of our popular history sees our conflicts in a monolithic view. It's often an "us vs them" story, and those who don't support it get left behind. Lombardi's analysis begins during the Revolution, an important first chapter that sets the stage for the tone and scope of the book. The Revolution is a great example of a war cast in terms of ebullient support. Lombardi's exploration restores the debates about fighting to the history of this fight. History is complex; this book makes history fuller than it had been. The one drawback to the book is the lack of an introduction and conclusion, at least from the ARC. I would have liked the book to be framed and put into perspective. I think there is a lot that can be said about the nature of the subject and how this fits into historiographical models of today, especially regarding the "people's history" trend that has contributed so much over the past decade.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mike Wittels

    This new book focuses on a too-little-known side of American character and history: troops are not (yet) robots. As Brigadier General S. L. A. Marshall reported in 1947, only about 15-25% of infantrymen in battle during WWII fired when they had a clear chance to do so. In *Men Against Fire*, he wrote, “The American ground soldier… is what his home, his religion, his schooling, and the moral code and ideals of his society have made him. The Army cannot unmake him.” The general went on to make rec This new book focuses on a too-little-known side of American character and history: troops are not (yet) robots. As Brigadier General S. L. A. Marshall reported in 1947, only about 15-25% of infantrymen in battle during WWII fired when they had a clear chance to do so. In *Men Against Fire*, he wrote, “The American ground soldier… is what his home, his religion, his schooling, and the moral code and ideals of his society have made him. The Army cannot unmake him.” The general went on to make recommendations to remedy what he saw as a problem. Lombardi begins her thoughtfully researched chronicle with the story of 20-year-old Jacob Ritter, a Pennsylvania militiaman. Shocked and disgusted by the slaughter around him, he vowed to himself not to take a life. So when his unit was ordered forward during the Battle of the Brandywine, Sept. 11, 1777, he did not fire. The author continues with accounts of troops from 1754 to the present who were against particular campaigns or strategies, inequities in pay or representation, a particular war, or war itself. They became conscientious objectors, dissenters, deserters. They joined protest marches, went on hunger strikes, published or distributed underground anti-war newspapers or pamphlets, engaged in guerrilla theater, and initiated or participated in many other actions. There was overlap, of course, as many were involved in several ways. Many such GIs then or later also acted to support racial and gender equality. The first seven chapters of the book are a bit dry, through no fault of the author’s; history often is when many years must be condensed into a few dozen pages. Once Lombardi starts writing about people she interviewed, knew or worked with, though, the book is hard to put down. In addition to active and reserve troops, there are the veterans. They have formed such worthwhile organizations as Vietnam Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace. Many of their members began their objections while still in uniform. In a way, they became the spiritual godfathers of resisters who came after because they had the moral authority to say: been there, done that, don’t you do it. *I Ain’t Marching Anymore* should be in the library of every high school, college, and university. It should be on the reading list of every American History class. Also, you can donate a copy to the library of the nearest military facility. ‘Tis the season for gifts.

  5. 4 out of 5

    David Hockabout

    This book, is an important history of g.i. war resistance in the U.S. This phenomenon began with founding of the U.S. and continues to this day. This well researched book uncovers little known personages and the well known of these important citizen soldiers and citizens movements. What is amazing, or perhaps not, is the lack of these movements in history books or currently covered in the media. I highly recommend this book as a corrective that must be shared in our schools and public consciousn This book, is an important history of g.i. war resistance in the U.S. This phenomenon began with founding of the U.S. and continues to this day. This well researched book uncovers little known personages and the well known of these important citizen soldiers and citizens movements. What is amazing, or perhaps not, is the lack of these movements in history books or currently covered in the media. I highly recommend this book as a corrective that must be shared in our schools and public consciousness.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gary

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    Cass

  8. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Hughes

  9. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Volpert

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kaiet Areitio

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jerome

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie McGarrah

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

  14. 5 out of 5

    Chris L.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Roderick Curry

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    Nolan L.

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    Briony

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    Laura

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    Danielle

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    Julia

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    Katie

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    Hannah

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    Blake Maddux

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    Alexander Peterhans

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    Crystal

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    Kat Cui

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    Emrys

  28. 5 out of 5

    Clyde Macalister

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    Marianne

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kusaimamekirai

  31. 4 out of 5

    Steve Walker

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    Lydia Wallace

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    Frederick Rotzien

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    James

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    Hil

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    Ally Puri

  37. 5 out of 5

    Tucker Leighty

  38. 4 out of 5

    Yelena

  39. 4 out of 5

    Lady Goodman

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