Vietnam War Bibliography:

The Draft, and Personnel Issues

J. Angrist, "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records." American Economic Review, 80:3 (1990), pp. 313–36.

Christian G. Appy, Working Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam. Chapel Hill: University North Carolina Press, 1993. x, 365 pp. The full text is available online to paid subscribers of Questia.

Arnold Barnett, Timothy Stanley, and Michael Shore, "America's Vietnam Casualties: Victims of a Class War?" Operations Research, 40:5 (September-October 1992), pp. 856-66. Argues that poor and working-class men were not seriously overrepresented among the Americans who died in Vietnam. Their evidence was very questionable (see Fallows, below), but their conclusion was at least partly correct; lower-class men were not as badly over-represented among the dead as has often been suggested.

Lawrence M. Baskir & William A. Strauss, Chance and Circumstance: The Draft, the War, and the Vietnam Generation. New York: Knopf, 1978. pb New York: Vintage, 1978. xix, 312 pp. A very important study; this is usually the first book I check, if I am trying to answer a question in this area.

Kirklin J. Bateman, "Project 100,000: New Standards Men and the U.S. Military in Vietnam." Ph.D. dissertation, George Mason University, 2014. DA 3638128.

Martin Binkin and Mark J. Eitelberg, Blacks and the Military. Washington: The Brookings Institution, 1982. xiv, 190 pp.

Allan Blackman, Face to Face With Your Draft Board: A Guide to Personal Appearances. Berkeley, CA: World Without War Council, 1969. 90 pp.

Albert A. Blum, Drafted or Deferred: Practices Past and Present. Ann Arbor: Bureau of Industrial Relations, University of Michigan, 1967. 249 pp.

Marion A. Bressler and Leo A. Bressler, Country, Conscience, and Conscription: Can They Be Reconciled? Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1970. 121 pp.

Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors. This organization, based in Philadelphia, provided counseling to young men wanting to avoid combat service by being classified as conscientious objectors. A number of documents produced by the organization have recently been placed online in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University, in its "Social Movements Collection." These include:

"Channeling." Ramparts, December 1967. A set of excerpts from a document also titled "Channeling," issued by the Selective Service System in July 1965 as part of an "Orientation Kit," apparently for members of draft boards, but withdrawn in 1967. Reprinted as a 2-page pamphlet by the American Friends Service Committee, High Point, NC. The text has been placed online in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University.

Bruce K. Chapman, The Wrong Man in Uniform: Our Unfair and Obsolete Draft and How We Can Replace It. New York: Trident Press, 1967. xv, 143 pp.

Richard V.L. Cooper, Military Manpower and the All-Volunteer Force.  R-1450-ARPA.  Santa Monica: Rand, September 1977. xxiv, 407 pp. Discussion (pp. 204-13) of how representative the military was of American society, comparing the Vietnam War years of the draft with the post-war years of the all-volunteer force, includes detailed data on the characteristics of those who joined the military during the war.

G. David Curry, Sunshine Patriots: Punishment and the Vietnam Offender. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1985. xiv, 146 pp.

Phillips Cutright, Achievement, Mobility, and the Draft: Their Impact on the Earnings of Men. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of Research and Statistics, 1973. xv, 228 pp.

Carlton S. Dargusch and John D. Alden, Selective Service and Military Policies on Classification, Deferment, and Delay. 3d ed.: New York: Engineering Manpower Commission of Engineers Joint Council, 1967. 79 pp. 5th ed.: New York: Engineering Manpower Commission of Engineers Joint Council, 1970. 64 pp.

Captain David A. Dawson, USMC, The Impact of Project 100,000 on the Marine Corps. Washington, DC: History and Museums Division, United States Marine Corps, 1995. iv, 239 pp.

William M. Donnelly, "'The Best Army that Can Be Put in the Field in the Circumstances': The U.S. Army, July 1951 - July 1953." Journal of Military History 71:3 (July 2007), pp. 809-47. This excellent analysis does not deal directly with Vietnam, but people interested in the Army's personnel policies and problems in the Vietnam era will find it useful as background, and for comparison.

The Draft? A Report Prepared by the Peace Education Division of the American Friends Service Committee. New York: Hill and Wang, 1968. x, 112 pp.

Robert S. Erikson and Laura Stoker, "Caught in the Draft: The Effects of Vietnam Draft Lottery Status on Political Attitudes," American Political Science Review, 105:2 (May 2011), pp. 221-237.

James Fallows, "What Did You Do in the Class War, Daddy?" Washington Monthly, October 1975.

James Fallows, "Low-Class Conclusions", The Atlantic Monthly, April 1993, pp. 38-42. (Text available online to subscribers.) A very strong attack on the article by Barnett, Stanley, and Shore that is listed above. There was an exchange in which Barnett and Stanley defended their work and pointed out some of the defects in Fallows' position, and Fallows responded, in The Atlantic Monthly, August 1993, pp. 11-12, 14.

Alfred B. Fitt, oral history. Deputy Under Secretary of the Army for Manpower 1961-1963; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Civil Rights 1963-1964; General Counsel of the Army 1964-1967; Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs 1967- . He discusses a lot of personnel issues such as the draft, the role of blacks on the military, the role of the reserves, Project 100,000, etc. This oral history, from the collection at the LBJ Presidential Library, has been placed online in the Lyndon B. Johnson Oral History collection at the Miller Center for Public Affairs, University of Virginia.

George Q. Flynn, The Draft, 1940-1973. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1993. xiv, 376 pp.

George Q. Flynn, Lewis B. Hershey, Mr. Selective Service. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1985. xv, 386 pp.

George Q. Flynn, Conscription and Democracy: The Draft in France, Great Britain, and the United States. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002. x, 303 pp.

Michael S. Foley, Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance During the Vietnam War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003. xv, 449 pp.

Michael Stewart Foley, "Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance during the Vietnam War." Ph.D. dissertation, History, University of New Hampshire, 1999. 608 pp. AAT 9926017. Draft resistance in Boston.

James M. Gerhardt, The Draft and Public Policy: Issues in Military Manpower Procurement, 1945-1970. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1971. xxi, 425 pp.

Colonel James M. Gibson, USA, "Seminar on Racial Relations" Military Review, July 1970, pp. 13-19.

Ann Fagan Ginger, ed., The New Draft Law: A Manual for Lawyers and Counselors. Berkeley, CA: National Lawyers Guild, 1967. 135 pp.

John R. Graham, A Constitutional History of the Military Draft. Minneapolis: Ross & Haines, 1971. ix, 147 pp.

Hamilton Gregory, McNamara's Folly: The Use of Low-IQ Troops in the Vietnam War. West Consohocken, PA: Infinity Publishing, 2015. xiv, 251 pp. Based partly on the author's own experience in US Army training in 1967, and partly on research.

Michael Harwood, The Student's Guide to Military Service. Manhasset, NY: Channel Press, 1962. 313 pp. 2d ed.: New York: Appleton-Century, 1965. 279 pp. Rev. ed.: New York: Bantam Books, 1966. 247 pp. 4th ed.: New York: Meredith Press, 1968. viii, 154 pp.

General Lewis Hershey, oral history. Director of the Selective Service System until 1970. This oral history, from the collection at the LBJ Presidential Library, has been placed online in the Lyndon B. Johnson Oral History collection at the Miller Center for Public Affairs, University of Virginia.

Captain James R. Holbrook, USA, "Volunteer Army: Military Caste?" Military Review, August 1971, pp. 91-95.

How Can the United States Best Maintain Manpower for an Effective Defense System? A Collection of Excerpts and a Bibliography Relating to the National High School Debate Topic, 1968-1969, Pursuant to Public Law 88-246. Washington, D.C.: Legislative Reference Service, Library of Congress / GPO, 1968. v, 132 pp.

Jerome Johnston and Jerald G. Bachman, Young Men Look at Military Service: A Preliminary Report. Ann Arbor: Survey Research Center, University of Michigan, 1970. iii, 115 pp.

Jerome Johnston and Jerald G. Bachman, Young Men and Military Service. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 1972. xiv, 254 pp.

David Kendall and Leonard Ross, The Lottery and the Draft: Where Do I Stand? New York: Harper & Row, 1970. 159 pp.

Edward L. King, "Making It in the U.S. Army", The New Republic, May 30, 1970, pp. 19-21. Deals with the way the personnel system for officers was messed up.

LTC Edward L. King, The Death of the Army: A Pre-mortem. New York: Saturday Review Press, 1972. vii, 246 pp. The main emphasis is on problems in the officer corps.

Albert D. Klassen, Military Service in American Life since World War II: An Overview. Chicago: National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago, 1966. xiv, 288 pp.

Douglas L. Kriner and Francis X. Shen, The Casualty Gap: The Causes and Consequences of American Wartime Inequalities. Oxford University Press, 2010. 320 pp. Argues that the cost of recent American wars, including Vietnam, has fallen disproportionately on poorer and less educated communities.

Janice H. Laurence and Peter F. Ramsberger, Low-Aptitude Men in the Military: Who Profits, Who Pays? New York: Praeger, 1991. Deals with two cases, one of which was "Project 100,000".

Gerald Leinwand, The Draft. New York: Washington Square Press, 1970. 190 pp.

Robert A. Liston, Greeting: You Are Hereby Ordered for Induction... The Draft in America. New York: McGraw Hill, 1970. 159 pp.

Conrad J. Lynn, How To Stay Out of the Army: A Guide to Your Rights under the Draft Law. New York: Monthly Review Press / Grove Press, 1968. 130 pp.

Monro MacCloskey, You and the Draft. New York: Richards Rosen Press, 1965. 192 pp.

Man-power for Defense: How Can the United States Best Maintain Man-power for an Effective Defense System? Normal, IL: Mid-West Debate Bureau, 1968. iv, 276 pp.

Jean Anne Mansavage, "'A Sincere and Meaningful Belief': Legal Conscientious Objection during the Vietnam War." Ph.D. dissertation, History, Texas A&M University, 2000. 303 pp. AAT 9968962.

Matthew Wade Markel, "The Organization Man at War: Promotion Policies and Military Leadership, 1929-1992." Ph.D. dissertation, History, Harvard, 2000. 405 pp. AAT 9972370. Looks at officer promotion policies, and behavior of commanders at the battalion and brigade or regiment level, in the U.S. Army and Marines.

Harry A. Marmion, The Case Against a Volunteer Army. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1971. xii, 107 pp.

Donald W. Maxwell, "'These Are the Things You Gain If You Make Our Country Your Country': U.S.-Vietnam War Draft Resisters and Military Deserters and the Meaning of Citizenship in North America in the 1970s," Peace & Change 40:4 (October 2015), pp. 437-61.

Military Law Review. Published by the Judge Advocate General's School, Charlottesville, Virginia, beginning in September 1958. All issues are available online through the Library of Congress. Contains quite a few articles about the legalities of the Selective Service System, conscientious objector status, etc. Examples:

Charles C. Moskos and John S. Butler, All that We can Be: Black Leadership and Racial Integration the Army Way. New York: Basic Books, 1996 (pb 1997). I am not sure how much of this deals with the Vietnam era.

"Project 100,000": In late 1966, when it was becoming difficult to meet the manpower needs of the Vietnam War while still granding draft deferments to groups such as college students, the government decided to start taking into the military (both through enlistment and through the draft) 100,000 young men per year who would have been considered unfit for military service under its previous standards. See above under Bateman, Dawson, Fitt, Gregory, and Laurence, and below under Sticht.

George E. Reedy, Who Will Do Our Fighting for Us? New York: World Publishing Co., 1969. 126 pp. Introduction by Edward M. Kennedy.

Colonel Selwyn P. Rogers, Jr., USA, "An All-Volunteer Force" Military Review, September 1970, pp. 89-95.

Ben [Benjamin R.] Sherman, Medic! The Story of a Conscientious Objector in the Vietnam War. iUniverse, 2002. 280 pp. New York: Ballantine (Random House), 2004. 288 pp. Sherman was drafted into the Army in 1968, and got in-service conscientious objector (I-AO) status early in 1969. He was trained as a medic. He was in Vietnam from April to July 1969.

Patricia Mary Shields, "The Determinants of Service in the Armed Forces During the Vietnam Era." Ph.D. dissertation, Economics, Ohio State, 1977. 173 pp. DA 78-06201. Looks a lot at black-white differences.

Colonel James H. Short, USA, "Young Soldiers Fade Away . . ." Military Review, October 1969, pp. 44-53. Problems of officer retention.

Hugh Smith, "Conscientious Objection to Particular Wars: Australia's Experience during the Vietnam War, 1965–1972." War and Society 8:1 (May 1990).

Thomas Sticht, "Project 100,000 in the Vietnam War and Afterward," in Sanders Marble, ed., Scraping the Barrel: The Military Use of Substandard Manpower, 1860-1960 (Fordham University Press, 2012), pp. 254-270. Sticht has a favorable view of Project 100,000.

David Suttler, IV-F: A Guide to Draft Exemption. New York: Grove Press, 1970. 171 pp.

Curtis W. Tarr, By the Numbers: The Reform of the Selective Service System, 1970-1972. Washington: National Defense University Press, 1981. xii, 177 pp. Tarr was Director of the Selective Service System from April 1970 to April 1972.

Arlo Tatum, ed., Handbook for Conscientious Objectors, eighth edition (third printing). Philadelphia: Larchwood Press/Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, December 1966. The first edition had been published in November 1952, and the first printing of the eighth edition in November 1965. The first printing of the eighth edition had been 11,000 copies, the second 15,000, the third 26,000. The text has been placed on-line in the Virtual Vietnam Archive of the Vietnam Project, at Texas Tech University, in three parts: pp. 1-36, ,   pp. 37-73, ,   pp. 74-110, including index.

Michael Useem, Conscription, Protest and Social Conflict: The Life and Death of a Draft Resistance Movement. New York: Wiley, 1973. xx, 329 pp.

Lt. Col. James S. White, USA, "Race Relations in the Army" Military Review, July 1970, pp. 3-12

June A. Willenz, ed., Dialogue on the Draft: Report. Washington, D.C.: American Veterans Committee, 1967. 141 pp. Seems to be papers from a 1966 conference in Washington.

John M. Willis, "Who Died in Vietnam? An Analysis of the Social Background of Vietnam War Casualties." Ph.D. dissertation, Sociology, Purdue, 1975. 129 pp. 76-7155. Willis estimated the socioeconomic status of a large sample of men who had died in Vietnam on the basis of the census tracts in which their home addresses lay. He concluded that poor neighborhoods were over-represented among the dead; prosperous neighborhoods had been over-represented among the dead of World War II.

Gaillard T. Hunt, an attorney, practiced Selective Service Law (representing young men in legal disputes with the Selective Service System) in the Maryland-DC-Virginia area from 1969 to 1972.  He has informed me that he has recently donated to the Swarthmore College Peace Collection several boxes of his legal papers from this period.  These papers might be of considerable value to anyone doing serious, detailed research on the legal aspects of the Selective Service System, the range of behavior of judges, etc.  The Swarthmore College Peace Collection also has many other papers on related subjects, especially conscientious objectors.  For further information see

Publications of the Selective Service System

Congressional Committee Documentation on the Draft

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Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, Edwin E. Moise. This document may be reproduced only by permission. Revised November 7, 2016.