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Little is known about those who openly refused to enter military service in World War II because of their convictions against killing. While many of those men accepted alternative civilian service, more than 6000 were incarcerated with sentences ranging from a few months to five years. Some were tried, convicted and reimprisoned for essentially the same offence - resisting induction into the armed forces -after their initial release.
"This book examines the challenges posed by conscientious objectors during World Wars by focusing on two main themes: ethic of conviction and ethic of civic responsibility. In this groundbreaking study, author Yuichi Moroi asks: How did conscientious objectors express their conviction in the case of the state's imperative for war? On what basis could conscientious objectors define their civic responsibility and act upon it?"--BOOK JACKET.
With more than 1,700 cross-referenced entries covering every aspect of World War II, the events and developments of the era, and myriad related subjects as well as a documents volume, this is the most comprehensive reference work available on the war. • Provides a clear understanding of the causes of World War II, reaching back to World War I and the role of the Western democracies in its origin • Examines home front developments in major countries during the war, such as race and gender relations in the United States • Recognizes the important roles played by women in the war and describes how the United States mobilized its economy and citizenry for total war • Discusses the Holocaust and establishes responsibility for this genocide • Details the changing attitudes toward the war as expressed in film and literature
This deeply researched book is the first history of the War Resisters League, an organization that represents the major vehicle of secular radical pacifism in the United States. Besides opposing all U.S. wars and championing conscientious objection to these wars, Scott H. Bennett shows how the WRLled by its colorful membersfunctioned as a movement halfway house, assisting and influencing a variety of social reform groups and campaigns. He devotes special attention to WWII conscientious objectors who staged dramatic wartime work and hunger strikes in Civilian Public Service camps and prison against Jim Crow, censorship, conscription, and other policies; these radical COs moved the postwar WRL in new directions and transformed radical pacifism. By recovering the important links between the WRL and the peace, civil rights, civil liberties, and anti-nuclear movements, he demonstrates the social relevance and political effectiveness of radical pacifism. Bennett emphasizes the WRL's most important legacy: its promotion, legitimization, and Americanization of Gandhian nonviolent direct action, which infused the postwar peace and justice movements.
This absorbing selection of letters - the first published correspondence between GI and CO brothers - offers fresh perspectives on the American experience during World War II. These letters enrich our understanding of the war by documenting the different ways that Americans honored their conscience and served their country during an era of global conflict.
Radical Pacifism in Modern America traces cycles of success and decline in the radical wing of the American peace movement, an egalitarian strain of pacifism that stood at the vanguard of antimilitarist organizing and American radical dissent from 1940 to 1970. Using traditional archival material and oral history sources, Marian Mollin examines how gender and race shaped and limited the political efforts of radical pacifist women and men, highlighting how activists linked pacifism to militant masculinity and privileged the priorities of its predominantly white members. In spite of the invisibility that this framework imposed on activist women, the history of this movement belies accounts that relegate women to the margins of American radicalism and mixed-sex political efforts. Motivated by a strong egalitarianism, radical pacifist women rejected separatist organizing strategies and, instead, worked alongside men at the front lines of the struggle to construct a new paradigm of social and political change. Their compelling examples of female militancy and leadership challenge the essentialist association of female pacifism with motherhood and expand the definition of political action to include women's political work in both the public and private spheres. Focusing on the vexed alliance between white peace activists and black civil rights workers, Mollin similarly details the difficulties that arose at the points where their movements overlapped and challenges the seemingly natural association between peace and civil rights. Emphasizing the actions undertaken by militant activists, Radical Pacifism in Modern America illuminates the complex relationship between gender, race, activism, and political culture, identifying critical factors that simultaneously hindered and facilitated grassroots efforts at social and political change.
In response to the massive bloodshed that defined the twentieth century, American religious radicals developed a modern form of nonviolent protest, one that combined Christian principles with new uses of mass media. Greatly influenced by the ideas of Mohandas Gandhi, these "acts of conscience" included sit-ins, boycotts, labor strikes, and conscientious objection to war. Beginning with World War I and ending with the ascendance of Martin Luther King Jr., Joseph Kip Kosek traces the impact of A. J. Muste, Richard Gregg, and other radical Christian pacifists on American democratic theory and practice. These dissenters found little hope in the secular ideologies of Wilsonian Progressivism, revolutionary Marxism, and Cold War liberalism, all of which embraced organized killing at one time or another. The example of Jesus, they believed, demonstrated the immorality and futility of such violence under any circumstance and for any cause. Yet the theories of Christian nonviolence are anything but fixed. For decades, followers have actively reinterpreted the nonviolent tradition, keeping pace with developments in politics, technology, and culture. Tracing the rise of militant nonviolence across a century of industrial conflict, imperialism, racial terror, and international warfare, Kosek recovers radical Christians' remarkable stance against the use of deadly force, even during World War II and other seemingly just causes. His research sheds new light on an interracial and transnational movement that posed a fundamental, and still relevant, challenge to the American political and religious mainstream.

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