To raise an army : the draft comes to modern America /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Chambers, John Whiteclay, II, 1936-
Imprint:New York : Free Press ; London : Collier Macmillan, c1987.
Description:xi, 386 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., facsims., ports. ; 24 cm.
Subject:World War (1914-1918)
Draft -- United States -- History.
World War, 1914-1918 -- United States
Recruiting and enlistment.
United States -- Armed Forces -- Recruiting, enlistment, etc. -- History.
United States.
Format: Print Book
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Notes:Includes index.
Bibliography: p. 277-372.
Review by Choice Review

Chambers deals with the question of how a nation that prides itself on its devotion to individual liberties and a distrust of the powers of any government could ever adopt conscription as a mechanism for creating a military force. The author believes the answer lies in the constant reiteration of the necessary connection between citizenship and the ``duty'' of each individual to defend the nation against all enemies, ``foreign and domestic.'' In short, the link between the volunteer militia of the Revolution and those individuals later ``volunteered'' by their friends and neighbors to defend the nation is absolute. The difference is simply one of degree, a distinction based on the progressive shift of power from the local and state communities to the national level. This monopolization of military power by central governments over other elements is, of course, part of the history of the development of all modern states. In this sense, the US is not unique, although the armed forces in this country proved less a force for nationalism than elsewhere in the world. This work is essentially a reworked version of Chambers's 1973 dissertation on the creation of the draft law that sent Americans to war in 1917. Upper-division undergraduates and above.-J.K. Sweeney, South Dakota State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review