The Draft, 1940-1973 (Modern War Studies)

George Q. Flynn

Published by University Press of Kansas
ISBN 10: 0700611053 / ISBN 13: 9780700611058
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Synopsis: Individual liberty is ingrained in American culture. Yet, in contrast to this cherished ideal, American men were inducted into military service under a system that flourished for more than twenty years before its rationalization was seriously questioned by more than a small minority of citizens.

Analyzing this paradox, George Flynn provides the first comprehensive look at an institution that managed to sustain political and public favor through two wars before dying out under a barrage of protests during a third. Placing the American draft within a historical context, he shows how social and political considerations determined the character of conscription in the United States.

The draft developed as it did, he argues, not mainly because of military needs or strategy, but because of political decisions initiated by civilians with nonmilitary agendas. Explaining why the draft remained relatively immune to political criticism prior to the Vietnam conflict, Flynn chronicles the draft's military and strategic successes and failures in America's mid-century wars. He shows how major institutions and lobbies representing science, education, and various professions and religions influenced it and how, ultimately and ironically, the selective character of the draft eventually made the system inequitable and helped cause its downfall.

Challenging the assertion that centralization of state power has been a constant characteristic of twentieth-century America, Flynn reveals how local interests were frequently at odds with national interests and that often the local powers prevailed. Thus, he argues, the operation of Selective Service helped curb centralization and assured the continued power and influence of localism.

A complex and volatile issue in America, the draft has been a perennial concern for our presidents and military leaders in their quest for military preparedness and mobilization. Tying military issues to the broader history of state and society, this book examines a continuing problem of the modern state—how to find enough of the right individuals to shoulder defense responsibilities.

From the Back Cover: "At long last we have a definitive account of the draft in modern America. George Q. Flynn blends narrative with historical detail to show how conscription first unified and then divided our country. This is must reading for anyone concerned with the changing contours of citizenship duties and obligations."--Charles Moskos, author of A Call to Civic Service

"A monumental work by an accomplished scholar, this is a full and rich political history of conscription in America from 1940 through 1973 (and a bit beyond). A fine book based on great research and filled with new details."--John Chambers, author of To Raise an Army: The Draft Comes to Modern America

"Flynn pursues imaginatively the contrast between the mythic purpose of efficient, centralized selection of manpower and the myth of equality of sacrifice in a democratic society."--J. Garry Clifford, author of The First Peacetime Draft

"A well-researched and remarkably even-handed book that places America's experience with selective service in the broader context of the nation's values and public policies."--James T. Patterson, author of America in the Twentieth Century: A History

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Title: The Draft, 1940-1973 (Modern War Studies)
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: VERY GOOD

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Book Description University Press of Kansas, United States, 1993. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Individual liberty is ingrained in American culture. Yet, in contrast to this cherished ideal, American men were inducted into military service under a system that flourished for more than twenty years before its rationalization was seriously questioned by more than a small minority of citizens.Analyzing this paradox, George Flynn provides the first comprehensive look at an institution that managed to sustain political and public favor through two wars before dying out under a barrage of protests during a third. Placing the American draft within a historical context, he shows how social and political considerations determined the character of conscription in the United States. The draft developed as it did, he argues, not mainly because of military needs or strategy, but because of political decisions initiated by civilians with nonmilitary agendas. Explaining why the draft remained relatively immune to political criticism prior to the Vietnam conflict, Flynn chronicles the draft s military and strategic successes and failures in America s mid-century wars. He shows how major institutions and lobbies representing science, education, and various professions and religions influenced it and how, ultimately and ironically, the selective character of the draft eventually made the system inequitable and helped cause its downfall.Challenging the assertion that centralization of state power has been a constant characteristic of twentieth-century America, Flynn reveals how local interests were frequently at odds with national interests and that often the local powers prevailed. Thus, he argues, the operation of Selective Service helped curb centralization and assured the continued power and influence of localism.A complex and volatile issue in America, the draft has been a perennial concern for our presidents and military leaders in their quest for military preparedness and mobilization. Tying military issues to the broader history of state and society, this book examines a continuing problem of the modern state how to find enough of the right individuals to shoulder defense responsibilities. Seller Inventory # TNP9780700611058

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