The author calls this book a ""kind of contemporary art of reflection"" on his personal experiences as minister to the more...

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AMERICAN DESERTERS IN SWEDEN: The Men and Their Challenge

The author calls this book a ""kind of contemporary art of reflection"" on his personal experiences as minister to the more than five hundred American deserters from the armed services now in Sweden. Much of what he has to say has relevance to the more than ten thousand deserters now in Canada. France, Japan and wherever else the men go ""over the hill"" at the rate of one every three minutes. The particular attraction of Sweden as a refuge seems to lie in a number of factors: the long history of the country as a ""neutral"" during two World Wars, its accessibility to men leaving the American forces in Europe when they receive orders for Vietnam, and the tolerant, and in some respects, helpful, policy of the Swedish government. Nevertheless, life is not easy there for the escapees. The necessity for learning a new language raises a formidable obstacle for some. And the realization that their residence in Sweden ""for the duration"" may mean for life becomes a psychological burden to be reckoned with. The author was sent to be minister to this community by peace forces in the United States. One of his chief aims in the book would seem to be to ""set the record straight"" in the face of Pentagon distortions of the records and profiles of these men. But the book also examines the ""monstrous immorality"" of our actions in Vietnam; and it makes clear how far government and people in this country have had to blind conscience in order not to acknowledge the truth by which these men have chosen to live. In this respect, the book is a document in social ethics of primary importance.

Pub Date: July 1, 1971

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Association Press

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1971