Children and War: A Historical Anthology by James Marten, Robert Coles

By James Marten, Robert Coles

"This anthology is breathtaking in its geographic and temporal sweep."—Canadian magazine of History

The American media has lately "discovered" kid's stories in present-day wars. A week-long sequence at the plight of kid squaddies in Africa and Latin the US used to be released in Newsday and newspapers have decried the U.S. government's reluctance to signal a United countries treaty outlawing using under-age squaddies. those and various different tales and courses have proven that the variety of young ones impacted via struggle as sufferers, casualties, and contributors has fastened significantly over the past few many years.

Although the size on which teenagers are laid low with struggle can be higher at the present time than at any time because the global wars of the 20 th century, young children were part of clash because the starting of struggle. Children and War exhibits that girls and boys have often contributed to domestic entrance conflict efforts, armies have permitted under-aged infantrymen for hundreds of years, and war-time reports have continuously affected the ways that grown-up little ones of warfare understand themselves and their societies.

The essays during this assortment variety from explorations of youth in the course of the American Revolution and of the writings of unfastened black youngsters throughout the Civil warfare to kid's domestic entrance battle efforts in the course of international struggle II, representations of conflict and defeat in jap kid's magazines, and becoming up in war-torn Liberia. Children and War presents a old context for 2 centuries of kid's multi-faceted involvement with war.

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This wider view of the war also appeared in the students’ response to local conditions, most especially to the poverty that had descended upon the city after 1861. Local circumstances, too, had encouraged the boys to think about places outside of the South. ” Like most of the students, Relf wanted to see an end to the war that had put such a strain on life in New Orleans. ”23 These dire circumstances led Henry Vasserot to think of escaping the states as soon as possible. ”24 Like Etienne Pérault, Henry Vasserot saw becoming a sailor as an opportunity to find a new “country” in which to settle, one that would be more prosperous and stable than wartime New Orleans.


Memoirists considered their wartime experiences special, to be preserved for posterity, and their youthfulness during the war was of interest primarily because it meant they were still alive decades later to tell about it. They would have agreed with John Becker: “Many persons at the present day would be pleased to know, and, if possible, to realize the feelings and reflections of even ordinary individuals during our revolution. . ”27 This was why they wrote. Notes I want to thank Jane Quigley and John Shy for commenting on earlier versions of this essay.

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