I highly recommend this 2018-19 series of articles written by Maj. Danny Sjursen, a retired U.S. Army officer and former history instructor at West Point. Danny is among a growing number of former insiders who had an epiphany, saw the light, and turned against the system they once served often with a vengeance. Here is an excerpt from the tongue-in-cheek bio on his website.
Daniel Albert (Danny) Sjursen is just another exasperating, insufferable, self-centered Leo with a minor Messiah complex, born on August 5, 1983. He grew up in the sort of Staten Island neighborhood where streets are named for firemen and cops killed on 9/11 and is best known for its blue-collar chic. That said, it was a great childhood on a block replete with countless kids ready to play stickball, street hockey, touch football, or kick-the-can. After doing his best Good Will Hunting impression in New York City public schools – combined with his deep-seated toxically masculine patriotism – he found his way to West Point in July 2001.
And here is the Truthdig editor’s note about his 38-essay series with the above title:
The past is prologue. The stories we tell about ourselves and our forebears inform the sort of country we think we are and help determine public policy. As our current president promises to “Make America great again,” this moment is an appropriate time to reconsider our past, look back at various eras of United States history and re-evaluate America’s origins. When, exactly, were we “great”?
Peripherally related to this is a website called Americans Who Tell The Truth – Models of Courageous Citizenship developed by Robert Shetterly. The world is in short supply of real heroes. You’ll find some here.
Here’s a related article by Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch fame: Welcome to the American Century – Even If It Is a Hell on Earth (2.11.21).
All 38 essays are linked below.
Part 1: Original Sin
Part 2: Roots in Religious Zealotry
Part 3: Whose Empire?
Part 6: Whose Revolution? (1775-1783)
Part 10: Liberty vs. Order (1796-1800)
Part 11: The Jeffersonian Enigma (1800-1808)
Part 13: Birth of an ‘Era of Revolutions’
Part 16: A Broken Union (1851-1861)
Part 18: Reconstruction, a Failed Experiment
Part 21: Tragic Dawn of Overseas Imperialism
Part 23: The Decade That Roared, and Wept
Part 26: Just How Good Was the ‘Good War’?
Part 28: JFK’s Cold War Chains
Part 29: Vietnam, a U.S. Tragedy
Part 30: Civil Rights, a Dream Deferred
Part 31: Nixon’s Dark Legacy
Part 32: Carter’s Cage of Crisis
Part 33: The Reagan Revolution
Part 35: Bill Clinton, the ‘New Democrat’
Part 36: Bush II and the Birth of Forever War
Part 37: The Obama Disappointment
Part 38: A Once, Always and Future Empire