THE UNLAWFUL CONCERT: An Account of the Presidio Mutiny Case by Fred Gardner

THE UNLAWFUL CONCERT: An Account of the Presidio Mutiny Case

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Presidio incident of October 14, 1968 was a signal event in the escalating conflict over GI rights: 27 prisoners from the stockade in the Presidio in San Francisco took part in a sit-down demonstration protesting the shooting of a fellow prisoner and the general conditions of the base, and were subsequently charged and tried for mutiny. The sympathies of author Gardner, a former editor at Scientific American and Ramparts, are clearly on display, but they do not obtrude to the point of obscuring the narrative. Journalistically thorough, Gardner traces the circumstances leading up to the protest, the event itself, and the trial of the demonstrators, relying heavily on the participants' own words. Though the broad points at issue are the nature of the contemporary Army, its mission, and its role in Vietnam, Gardner wisely maintains a very personal focus upon his particular cast of characters. With documentary directness he fills in the demonstrators' individual histories, their difficulties in adjusting to the military and their AWOL flights; he develops the chain of coincidences that brought the 27 together in a determined rendition of ""We Shall Overcome."" An involving account.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1970
Publisher: Viking