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Patriotic Dissent: A conversation with Maj. Danny Sjursen
Wed August 26, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
We’re thrilled to bring back our friend Danny Sjursen for a discussion of his new book Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War published by Heydey Books. He’ll join us virtually from his home in Kansas to talk about this latest work and take your questions. Pre-order the book here!
This incendiary work by Daniel Sjursen is a personal cry from the heart by a once-model US Army officer and West Point graduate who became a military dissenter while still on active duty. Set against the backdrop of the terror wars of the last two decades, Sjursen asks whether there is a proper space for patriotism that renounces entitled exceptionalism and narcissistic jingoism. Once a burgeoning believer and budding conservative, Sjursen performed an intellectual and spiritual about-face. He now calls for a critical exploration of our allegiances, and he suggests a path to a new, more complex notion of patriotism. Equal parts unsentimental and idealistic, this is a story about what it means to be an American in the midst of perpetual war, and what the future of patriotism might look like.
Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. Army Major and regular contributor to antiwar.com, Truthdig, The Nation, Tom Dispatch, The Huffington Post, and The Hill. His work has also appeared in Harper’s, The LA Times, and Buzz Feed. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge (2015). He co-hosts the progressive veterans’ podcast “Fortress on a Hill.” Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet.
Here’s praise by friends and former guests of Mass. Peace Action, Chris Hedges and Andrew Bacevich:
“Tyrants, oppressors and exploiters, Eugene V. Debs observed, always wrap themselves in the cloaks of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the public. The true patriots, as Danny Sjursen understands, are not the crowds of flag-waving cheerleaders used and manipulated by the ruling elites to stifle dissent, but those isolated individuals who find the moral courage to speak uncomfortable truths and demand justice. True patriots, as Sjursen explains, make us a better people and a better nation. True patriots, like Martin Luther King or Debs, are usually viciously attacked in their lifetimes. But history exposes, long after true patriots are gone, who stood beside us and who wrapped themselves in the flag to betray us. Sjursen, a combat veteran and West Point graduate, brings to this book the weight of his experience and a moral clarity that delineates the true patriots from the imposters, and with that delineation the meaning of patriotism itself.”
—Chris Hedges, author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning
“Combining history with memoir, Patriotic Dissent bears the hallmarks of everything that Danny Sjursen writes. It is vivid, impassioned, uncompromising, and true. Here is a book that demands to be read and widely discussed.”
—Andrew Bacevich, author of The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory
Don’t forget to support Danny’s work. Pre-order the book now!
This webinar is sponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action, New Hampshire Peace Action, Brooklyn for Peace, Chicago Area Peace Action, and the Raytheon Antiwar Campaign.