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The Minuteman: Restoring An Army of the People
     

The Minuteman: Restoring An Army of the People

by Gary Hart
 
Former senator Gary Hart calls for the radical restructuring of America's armed forces to replace the present Cold War military with a smaller standing army and a much larger, better trained citizen reserve -- a true militia -- a provocative strategy sure to evoke powerful responses from both the left and right.

Overview

Former senator Gary Hart calls for the radical restructuring of America's armed forces to replace the present Cold War military with a smaller standing army and a much larger, better trained citizen reserve -- a true militia -- a provocative strategy sure to evoke powerful responses from both the left and right.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The role of the military in American society and the related questions of the nature of the military the public wants and needs have been central to U.S. politics and national security since before the Revolution. Hart, the former senator from Colorado and one-time contender for the presidency, offers this extended essay on a future army as an argument for a greatly reduced professional force supported by a larger civilian-based reserve in line with the militia traditions of 18th- and 19th-century America. While those new to the discussion may view his work with skepticism, the author clearly demonstrates that the "expansible" army concept is firmly based on longstanding American ideas on citizenship and defense. Hart enjoyed wide respect for his national security efforts in the Senate, and the present work clearly demonstrates that he has a keen appreciation for critiquing contemporary military issues. An engaging and lively book, it should be considered for public libraries with strong collections in current events and by academic libraries with collection strengths in American military history.John R. Vallely, Siena Coll. Lib., NY
Kirkus Reviews
Proof that a politician can promote a serious idea even without polls supporting it, albeit after leaving public office. In this volume former Democratic senator and presidential candidate Hart points to a forgotten truth: Military structure is politically significant. The Founding Fathers understood that choosing between a citizen militia and a professional standing army was profoundly political, shaping the concentration of power, political relations between government and citizens, and social relations within the populace. Today these larger concerns are obscured by the complex technicalities of modern warfare, allowing most people to believe that military design is for experts. Hart's premise, however, is that peacetime preparation for war is too important to leave to generals. Moreover, the end of the Cold War has created a unique opportunity for discussing the military independent of immediate security needs, a debate "less about what might threaten us and more about who we are." Taking his own cue, Hart argues for maintaining a relatively small full-time army designed for rapid deployment, coupled with an expanded National Guard to be mobilized for larger and more extended commitments of force. This proposal fits squarely within the republican tradition embraced by the Founding Fathers, and the political implications are immediately obvious: Mobilizing the army's a very different proposition, politically, if it involves calling up large numbers of citizens otherwise occupied in civilian life. The broader public debate almost certain to be associated with such action is anathema in some quarters, of course, and Hart notes that official Washington will oppose such an idea,for "those with power seldom like to see it dispersed." Despite the commendation Hart deserves for challenging the experts and contributing to public discourse, however, itþs also disappointing that he doesnþt press forward with the logical extension of his analysis: universal national service, which encompasses a citizen militia. A thoughtful treatise that should be taken seriously.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684838090
Publisher:
Free Press
Publication date:
05/12/1998
Pages:
188
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.87(h) x 0.84(d)

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