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Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "The Story of America's Peace Seekers While terrorists kill in pursuit of their goals, there are people whose goal is never to kill, no matter what the situation. Here, Milton Meltzer explores Americans' long tradition of pacifism. From the Quakers of colonial times to the conscientious objectors of Vietnam, Americans have risked much to stand against violence in any and every form. First published in 1985, "Ain't Gonna Study War No More is now fully updated and revised by the author. Buchnummer des Verkäufers

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Inhaltsangabe: The Story of America?s Peace Seekers

While terrorists kill in pursuit of their goals, there are people whose goal is never to kill, no matter what the situation. Here, Milton Meltzer explores Americans? long tradition of pacifism. From the Quakers of colonial times to the conscientious objectors of Vietnam, Americans have risked much to stand against violence in any and every form. First published in 1985, Ain?t Gonna Study War No More is now fully updated and revised by the author.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.: THIS IS A BOOK ABOUT COURAGE. NOT THE COURAGE IT takes to go into battle, but the courage to organize resistance to war when a fever for it inflames the country, and the courage to refuse military service under pain of being called a coward and enduring the threat of prison or even execution. In the 1980s, refusal to register for the draft within thirty days of a man's eighteenth birthday could bring penalties of up to five years in prison and a ten thousand-dollar fine. Yet of the twelve million or more young Americans required to register for the draft by the middle of 1984, five hundred thousand had not a much higher proportion than in the early years of the Vietnam War.

At eighteen, or approaching that age, men had to decide whether to register for the draft. Facing that decision, a surprising number of the "me" generation who were coming of age during the eighties were saying, "Not me." It appeared that an antidraft, anti-intervention movement had resurfaced-a sign that a considerable number of young people would no longer blindly follow our leaders into war.

If you ask, "What war?" the box score on mass violence around the world provides the answer. Let's take just the early 1980s:

- Forty-five of the world% 164 nations were involved in wars. Estimates of the number of people killed range from one million to five million.

- There were ten conflicts in the Middle East Persian Gulf, another ten in Asia and Africa, seven in Latin America, and three in Europe. Five of these were conventional wars between nations and twenty-five were internal guerrilla struggles.

- In 1981, the forty-five nations involved in conflicts spent more than $528 billion on their armed forces. The United States and the USSR and its satellites were the major suppliers of their military weapons.

Facts, facts, facts. "We are the best informed people on earth ' " said the poet Archibald MacLeish of his fellow Americans. "We are deluged with facts, but we have lost or are losing our human ability to feel them."

The young Americans who refused publicly to register for the draft were violating the law in the hope that their willingness to accept prosecution and punishment would draw the Peoples attention to the facts about war. They denounced war because it destroys life, corrupts society, and violates morality. They considered U.S. military intervention in the affairs of other nations to be wrong. They worried that what began as conventional war could escalate to a nuclear war. For the young, especially, the threat of a nuclear attack is frightening. They live with the threat of imminent annihilation. They fear that they may never reach adulthood. But is war inevitable? Are we powerless to shape our future?

By refusing to make that first connection with the military-registering for the draft-some young men separated themselves from the machinery of war. Such action by itself may not stop war from coming. This they knew. But at least they would not take part in the killing process.

How does a soldier who has been through that process feel? Here is the voice of Alfred Döblin, a German who served in the Kaiser?s army in the First World War. He speaks through Becker, a character in his novel A People Betrayed:

You receive a mobilization order. An agency, an office that you don't know, writes go here, go there, go to your death, to your ruin, go, so that you lose a leg, so that you get a bullet in your spine. Be careful, my boy, there will be gas, poison gas, mustard gas; swallow some. And you'll soon notice it may cost your head, your leg, your lungs, your life, and no one will ever replace them, since your mother gave all that to you just once. And you've been expecting it for a long time. During peacetime You prepared yourself for it, in the midst of your Kant and Plato. And you--don't question. You don't question, You go, you obey. The agency that issues the Orders is more than God. You listen, more than to God...

Then Becker asks himself:

What is it I've finally come to believe is the real evil behind it all? Not the war itself... the incomprehensible, incredible thing about war was-we ourselves. We, you and I. coolies, animals, without the vaguest idea, awareness or understanding ... doing what we were told and not thinking anything about it. Yet it was our lives that were at stake, and we had been taught even as children that God himself created them and set us humans above all his other creatures. And here we were flinging them aside, our lives, as though they were dead logs, as though we had never learned anything, heard anything, and lying there numb like the sub humans who slaved to build the pyramids.

I did it and so did you, educated men who had been pumped full of Christianity, ancient and modern philosophy, Plato, Spinoza, Descartes, Kant. And in the end they had merely flowed right through us and left nothing behind, leaving us oafish slaves, brainless creatures, gasping for air, complete troglodytes, semi apes from the stone age. How is that possible, you ask yourself, how? It was a matter of our very existence. Didn't we really believe any of it, didn't we take seriously what they told us, what we learned? Are we like barrelsful of holes?

When Döblin returned from war, he had learned something. He had not been able to learn it from books. Are we different in America? Are there books we can learn from? School histories emphasize the importance of war. But they ignore, for the most part, the story of resistance to war. Yet resistance does have a history, and surely we should know something about it. No wars fought by the U.S. have ever had the full support of all Americans. And some of the wars-both a long time ago and very recently-were met with open and powerful resistance.

It's impossible to think of any other subject that can match this in importance-for today and for our future.

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