By Michael Stewart Foley
Laying off gentle on a misunderstood type of competition to the Vietnam battle, Michael Foley tells the tale of draft resistance, the leading edge of the antiwar circulate on the peak of the war's escalation. not like so-called draft dodgers, who left the rustic or manipulated deferments, draft resisters overtly defied draft legislation through burning or handing over their draft playing cards. Like civil rights activists prior to them, draft resisters invited prosecution and imprisonment. targeting Boston, one of many movement's such a lot trendy facilities, Foley unearths the an important position of draft resisters in transferring antiwar sentiment from the margins of society to the guts of yankee politics. Their activities encouraged different draft-age males against the war--especially collage students--to re-examine their position of privilege in a draft approach that provided them protections and despatched disproportionate numbers of working-class and minority males to Vietnam. This acceptance sparked the switch of strategies from criminal protest to mass civil disobedience, drawing the Johnson management right into a war of words with activists who have been principally suburban, liberal, younger, and center class--the middle of Johnson's Democratic constituency. analyzing the day by day fight of antiwar organizing performed via traditional american citizens on the neighborhood point, Foley argues for a extra complicated view of citizenship and patriotism in the course of a time of battle.
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Extra info for Confronting the war machine : draft resistance during the Vietnam War
Even in early 1968, when draft resistance became a national movement unto itself, and draft card burnings were being discouraged in favor of draft card turn-ins held in churches, the words ‘‘draft resister’’ conjured up images of ﬂaming cards that, like the Stars and Stripes aﬁre, caused many Americans to cringe. Those images persist to this day. More important, the nascent draft resistance of 1966 and the reaction to it also inaugurated other important trends that later extended into the subsequently much wider resistance movement, or at times set precedents that proved instrumental in the way organizers shaped the later movement.
Having helped to win the war, the draft ended on March 31, 1947. But policy makers openly contemplated renewing the draft law even without an attendant national emergency, for soon after the old law expired, the armed services began to lose 15,000 men from the armed services each month due to attrition amid growing tensions with the Soviet Union (which were exacerbated by the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia). ≥∫ The establishment of a peacetime draft did not occur without criticism. In 1947, the War Resisters League sponsored the ﬁrst public draft card burning and turn-in in New York City.
Because the timing of the event coincided with a month-long strike that had shut down Boston’s three daily newspapers, many of the city’s residents awoke two days later to read a front-page editorial on the subject in the Manchester, New Hampshire, paper, which was trying to make inroads in the Boston market during the strike. ’ ’’∑ Few people who sympathized with the attackers would go as far as Loeb in their characterizations of those involved, yet they did see the issue in terms of loyalty and disloyalty, patriotism and traitorous behavior.
Confronting the war machine : draft resistance during the Vietnam War by Michael Stewart Foley