Hell, No, We Didn't Go!

Hell, No, We Didn't Go!: Firsthand Accounts of Vietnam War Protest and Resistance

Paperback Published on: 30/04/2024
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Synopsis

As long as there have been wars, there has been conscription. And conscription has never been popular.

When asked in a Gallup poll taken in August 1965 whether the US decision to send troops to Vietnam was a mistake, sixty percent of Americans polled said no. But as American casualties increased and the war escalated, polls showed fewer Americans supporting US actions in Vietnam. That, however, did not stop the drafting of Americans into military service. Later, when the leaked Pentagon Papers revealed that the United States had misled Congress and the American public about the extent of US involvement in Vietnam through lies and the withholding of information, support was driven further downward. Today, the Vietnam War is regarded as the most unpopular war of the twentieth century.

In Hell, No, We Didn’t Go! Eli Greenbaum presents firsthand accounts of men who were driven to resist or dodge the Vietnam draft at all costs. He introduces readers to a cross section of individuals who found ways to defy the draft by leaving the country, going to prison, becoming conscientious objectors, gaming the system, conspiring to fail physicals, and even enlisting--anything to avoid being drafted. These vivid essays and candid oral histories detail events that were often controversial, sometimes volatile, and almost always emotionally charged. Greenbaum brings together a chorus of first-person accounts of draft resistance and protest, held together by an overarching personal narrative, while providing context, commentary, and an unusual fifty-year perspective on the men’s decisions to avoid the Vietnam War no matter what.

While some men passively accepted conscription as their fate, others actively resisted it, sometimes going to extremes. Each account reveals individual motivations, fears, and hopes--everything from disagreement with American foreign policy to questions of cowardice and the meaning of patriotism, all underlined by courage and determination.

  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • ISBN: 9780700636303
  • Number of pages: 272
  • Weight: 172g
  • Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm

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