Left Face: Soldier Unions and Resistance Movements in Modern Armies

Left Face: Soldier Unions and Resistance Movements in Modern Armies

Left Face: Soldier Unions and Resistance Movements in Modern Armies

Left Face: Soldier Unions and Resistance Movements in Modern Armies

Synopsis

Based on more than one hundred interviews and group discussions with low-ranking soldiers, conscripts, and volunteers, this volume provides a unique perspective on the history, and analyzes current status, of soldier unions and resistance movements in twenty countries. Cortright and Watts trace the changing profile of military protest in both professional and volunteer armies and, from the new data collected, formulate the Threshold Theory of Military Resistance--a hypothesis which correlates the nature of each army's protest activities with its national economic status. This volume offers military sociologists, scholars, social scientists, soldiers, and veterans fresh insight into the dynamics of protest within the military world-wide.

Excerpt

Dear reader, we ask your indulgence for the peculiar nature of the volume before you. Apart from its unusual subject matter, soldier resistance, the book suffers the odd circumstance of being both history and a report on current events. Left Face was written over a period of more than fifteen years and was constantly interrupted by the activist obligations of the two authors: David Cortright to the demanding duties of Executive Director of SANE during the 1980s in the United States, and Max Watts to the founding and nurturing of the independent left-wing daily newspaper Die Tageszeitung in West Germany.

The book began from our participation in soldier movements in the 1960s and 1970s and continued through periodic observations into the 1980s and 1990s. Much of the manuscript was written in the 1970s and later reworked into historical perspective, although updates were continuously added right up to 1990.

Our sources and documentation are also unusual. The bulk of the information comes from low-ranking soldiers in the form of interviews and direct observation. We rely on scholarly journals and official reports, but most of our documentation is through the words and experience of soldiers in more than a dozen countries. Over the past twenty years we conducted more than a hundred interviews and group discussions with low-ranking soldiers, both conscripts and volunteers, in the U.S., Dutch, French, German (West and East), Italian, Swiss, Australian, British, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Austrian, Polish, Belgian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chilean armed forces. It is from this rich resource that the story of Left Face is told.

We were motivated to begin our inquiry in the early 1970s by the striking realization that the resistance then occurring in the U.S. military, which we and others assumed to be soley due to the Vietnam War, was in . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.