Against the Draft: Essays on Conscientious Objection from the Radical Reformation to the Second World War
Around the world and for hundreds of years, men and women have refused to be drafted into bearing arms for their nations' wars. These conscientious objectors to the draft are the subject of Peter Brock's latest collection, Against the Draft. Brock, the world's leading historian on pacifism, has assembled twenty-five of his essays on conscientious objection to the draft from the beginning of the Radical Reformation in 1525 to the end of the Second World War.
Included in the collection are essays on little known facets of the anti-draft movement including the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition of military exemption that started with the outset of the Radical Reformation in 1525 and has continued, with variations, until the present. Further articles deal with the Quakers in a number of countries, Civil-war America, Leo Tolstoy (who became a convinced pacifist in the later part of his life,) British conscientious objectors in the Non-Combatant Corps, the emergence of conscientious objection in Japan, and the fate of conscientious objectors in the psychiatric clinics of Germany and in interwar Poland. Essays on the Central European Nazerenes and on Jehovah's Witnesses in Nazi Germany highlight the exceptionally harsh treatment meted out to conscientious objectors belonging to these two sects, and their steadfast resistance to the state's demand to bear arms. Against the Draft makes an important contribution to the growing study of pacifism and conscientious objection, and represents a key work in the career of the field's foremost scholar.