Paperback / softback
December 16, 2014
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.05 Pounds (US)
$35.00 USD, £17.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Citizen Soldiers, new edition

The Plattsburg Training Camp Movement, 1913-1920

The Citizen Soldiers explores the military reform movement that took its name from the famous Business Men's Military Training Camps at Plattsburg, New York. It also illuminates the story of two exceptional men: General Leonard Wood, the rambunctious and controversial former Rough Rider who galvanized the Plattsburg Idea with his magnetic personality; and Grenville Clark, a young Wall Street lawyer.

The Plattsburg camps strove to advertise the lack of military preparation in the United States and stressed the military obligation every man owed to his country. Publicized by individuals who voluntarily underwent military training, the preparedness movement rapidly took shape in the years prior to America's entry into the First World War. Far from being war hawks, the Plattsburg men emphasized the need for a "citizen army" rather than a large professional establishment. Although they failed in their major objective—universal military training—their vision of a citizen army was largely realized in the National Defense Act of 1920, and their efforts helped to establish selective service as the United States' preferred recruitment method in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

Featuring a new preface by the author, this new edition of a seminal study will hit shelves just in time for the World War I Centennial.

About the Author

John Garry Clifford (1942–2014) was an American historian and professor of political science at the University of Connecticut. He is the coauthor of The First Peacetime Draft and America Ascendant.


"[A] scholarly and insightful account of the preparedness efforts of one elite group of civilians and army officers. In its breadth of research, liveliness of style, and perceptiveness of analysis this book clearly supersedes [previous histories] of the Plattsburg movement. It also makes a worth contribution toward a fuller understanding of the forces that helped to precipitate the dramatic changes in American military institutions in World War I."—American Historical Review

"[T]his book reveals the fine military history being written by younger American scholars. Garry Clifford has consulted materials at the Library of Congress and the National Archives, used the previously untapped papers of Grenville Clark at Dartmouth, and interviewed survivors of the Plattsburg Movement. He has given the movement a significant place in the story of how, in the early twentieth century, concerned American civilians and soldiers forged a new military manpower policy to replace the ineffective and inequitable nineteenth-century volunteer system."—Daniel R. Beaver, Journal of American History

"The Citizen Soldiers is a solid addition to the literature on 20th century preparedness."—Donald J. Mrozek, Military Affairs

"This highly readable book [. . .] is thoroughly researched. In the view of this reviewer, The Citizen Soldiers is a worthy recipient of the Frederick Jackson Turner Award."—James J. Hudson, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society

"It is not hard to see why this book won the prestigious Frederick Jackson Turner Prize. It is a fine contribution to an understanding of the development of American military policy."—David W. Levy, Indiana Magazine of History

University Press of Kentucky
new edition

9780813154077 : the-citizen-soldiers-clifford
Paperback / softback
342 Pages
$35.00 USD

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