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Confronting the War Machine

Draft Resistance During the Vietnam War
Foley, Michael S. (Book - 2003 )
Confronting the War Machine
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The University of North Carolina Press
Focusing on the draft resistance movement in Boston in 1967-68, this study argues that these acts of mass civil disobedience turned the tide in the antiwar movement by drawing the Johnson administration into a confrontation with activists who were largely young, middle-class, liberal, and from suburban backgrounds--the core of Johnson's constituency.

Shedding light on a misunderstood form of opposition to the Vietnam War, Michael Foley tells the story of draft resistance, the cutting edge of the antiwar movement at the height of the war's escalation. Unlike so-called draft dodgers, who left the country or manipulated deferments, draft resisters openly defied draft laws by burning or turning in their draft cards. Like civil rights activists before them, draft resisters invited prosecution and imprisonment.

Focusing on Boston, one of the movement's most prominent centers, Foley reveals the crucial role of draft resisters in shifting antiwar sentiment from the margins of society to the center of American politics. Their actions inspired other draft-age men opposed to the war--especially college students--to reconsider their place of privilege in a draft system that offered them protections and sent disproportionate numbers of working-class and minority men to Vietnam. This recognition sparked the change of tactics from legal protest to mass civil disobedience, drawing the Johnson administration into a confrontation with activists who were largely suburban, liberal, young, and middle class--the core of Johnson's Democratic constituency.

Examining the day-to-day struggle of antiwar organizing carried out by ordinary Americans at the local level, Foley argues for a more complex view of citizenship and patriotism during a time of war.


Authors: Foley, Michael S.
Statement of Responsibility: Michael S. Foley
Title: Confronting the war machine
draft resistance during the Vietnam War
Publisher: Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2003
Characteristics: xv, 449 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. [425]-438) and index
Subject Headings: Vietnam War, 1961-1975 Protest movements United States Vietnam War, 1961-1975 Draft resisters United States
Topical Term: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
LCCN: 2002010967
ISBN: 0807854360
0807827673
Research Call Number: JFE 03-4080
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Foley, Michael S.
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