Ann Wright and Susan Dixon, Dissent: Voices of Conscience “During the run-up to war in Iraq, Army Colonel (Ret.) and diplomat Ann Wright resigned her State Department post in protest. Wright, who had spent 19 years in the military and 16 years in diplomatic service, was one among dozens of government insiders and active-duty military personnel who spoke out, resigned, leaked documents, or refused to deploy in protest of government actions they felt were illegal. In Dissent: Voices of Conscience, Ann Wright and Susan Dixon tell the stories of these men and women, who risked careers, reputations, and even freedom out of loyalty to the Constitution and the rule of law.” Although this book does not tell the story of Col. Ted Westhusing, it should.
Bacevich, Andrew J., The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War “I think it’s important to broadcast the importance of this book…As a West Point graduate, a soldier for more than 20 years, a Vietnam veteran, and a self-described conservative, Bacevich is far from your average anti-war writer. The fact that someone with his credentials is so deeply concerned with America’s tendency to shoot first and ask questions later should make all of us think twice about the direction in which we are headed.” –concerned citizen
Glasser, Ronald, M.D., Broken Bodies, Shattered Minds: A Medical Odyssey From Vietnam to Afghanistan “At the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the numbers of patients suffering flashbacks who were being admitted to the PTSD clinics of the VA hospitals quadrupled. What surprised the physicians and psychologists running the clinics was that these patients were not those who had recently been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan; they were the Vietnam veterans whose remembrances of war had been reactivated by the deployment of a new generation of young soldiers and marines sent into what appeared to be another hopeless war set out once again at the very border of things.”
Grossman, Dave, Lt. Col, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and in Society “In recent years we have exercised the choice to move ourselves from the brink of nuclear destruction. In the same way, our society can move away from the technology that enables killing. Education and understanding are the first step. The end result may be that we will come through these dark years as a healthier, more self-aware society…We must put the safety catch back on our society.”
Hong Kingston, Maxine, Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace, “This is the glowing result of a brave experiment. After the first Gulf War, Berkeley National Book Award winner Maxine Hong Kingston (China Men) began a writing and meditation group for Bay Area vets that quickly expanded to include refugees, protesters, veterans’ families, even former gang members. In this first anthology, 80 of the 500 or so participants offer poems and stories spanning five wars. A soldier from the first Iraq war writes that he will not feel whole until he returns to Iraq and makes “peace with the people I once falsely believed were my enemies”; a Vietnam vet describes befriending a northern Vietnamese prisoner after a brutal interrogation; a Cambodian refugee tells of watching her father march to his death and finding his final words, “Do not cry,” a poem of strength that guides her through life. Contributors range from noted authors such as Grace Paley and Larry Heinemann, who helped teach the workshops, to startlingly talented new voices such as veterans Sean Mclain Brown, Sandy Scull, and James Janko, a Vietnam medic who began his Pulitzer-nominated debut novel, Buffalo Boy and Geronimo, at the workshop.” –Jaimal Yogis
Willson, Brian S., Blood on the Tracks: The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson History is certainly most meaningful, inspiring, and real when it is shared first-hand, as Willson has done in “Blood on The Tracks.” This brilliant historical/political/psychological masterpiece should be required reading everywhere. Imagine if every politician read this before politicking, if every corporate officer read this before incorporating, if every warrior read this before throwing the first punch, and if all citizens were to read this before starting their engines, before turning on their lights, and before deciding what to purchase. I was first inspired by Willson’s words and heroic deeds in 1995, in Mexico, when as a foreign correspondent I interviewed him about his peace envoy work there in the war-torn state of Chiapas. For me, his new memoir brings even greater breadth to the concept of heroism, describing how each of us can take practical steps toward helping make the world a much brighter, safer, and less painful place for all, and why we should. This is a man who deserves a peace prize greater than any such award yet inaugurated. –Catherine Gallegos
Zinn, Howard, A People’s History of the United States “Class interest has always been obscured behind an all-encompassing veil called “the national interest.” My own war experience, and the history of all those military interventions in which the United States was engaged, made me skeptical when I heard people in high political office invoke “the national interest” or “national security” to justify their policies…Is there a “national interest” when a few people decide on war, and huge numbers of others–here and abroad–are killed or crippled as a result? Should citizens not ask in whose interest are we doing what we are doing?”