Cover image for North to Canada : men and women against the Vietnam War
North to Canada : men and women against the Vietnam War
Dickerson, James.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 1999.
Physical Description:
xviii, 199 : illustrations ; 25 cm
1968 - Diane Francis : women against the war -- 1969 - Andrew Collins : flight from the home of the blues -- 1970 - Charles Sudduth : saying "Hell, no" to the KKK -- 1971 - Richard Deaton : making protest a family affair -- 1972 - Jim Thomas : "I didn't want to kill other people" -- 1973 - Michael Wolfson : "I felt the war was politically wrong" -- 1974 - Patrick Grady : "I didn't oppose war in general" -- 1975-1977 - Oliver Drerup : "America lost its way" -- The aftermath.
Reading Level:
1210 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS559.62.U6 D53 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



While we may never know the exact number of Americans who chose Canada over Vietnam, an estimated half-million men and women went north as a result of their opposition to the war. Despite President Ford's amnesty and President Carter's pardon, some of these exiles never returned. This book, which focuses upon those who remained in Canada, offers a resister's eye view of the most traumatic war in American history. Dickerson blends resister interviews with an account of the historical events that served as watersheds for these young Americans.

Dickerson answers the question: Whatever happened to the men and women who went to Canada? With contextual information regarding the policies of both the U.S. and Canadian governments towards the war and its resisters, Dickerson offers evidence that a generation of America's best and brightest was lost to Canada. His inclusion of female resisters contributes a new perspective to the debate that continues to rage more than 25 years after the withdrawal of the last American troops in Vietnam.

Author Notes

James L. Dickerson is the author of several books including "Last Suppers", "Dixie Chicks", & "That's Alright, Elvis". A veteran newspaper journalist, Dickerson lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Of the approximately 191,522 Americans who fled from the U.S. to Canada to avoid the draft during the Vietnam War, a significant number did not return, even after amnesty was granted by President Carter. Many of those war "resistors," as Dickerson refers to them, stayed and remade their lives in Canada. Dickerson, himself a resister, weaves the tumultuous history of the Vietnam War era into the backdrop of the resisters' own experiences settling into their adopted country. Their personal stories vary, including those of a former ROTC student, an archaeologist who received his draft notice in Yugoslavia, and a female premed student who fled the U.S. with her draft-eligible husband. Many of the resisters were also deeply affected by events other than Vietnam that marked the 1960s stateside, such as the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. They found life in Canada clearly better than fighting an unpopular war or returning to their own troubled country. Recommended for collections that focus on the Vietnam War. --Marlene Chamberlain

Library Journal Review

Not until the end of this excellent inquiry does the reader learn that Dickerson, the author of the popular music books Women on Top (Watson-Guptill, 1998) and Goin' Back to Memphis (S. & S., 1996), moved to Canada to avoid the draft. His anger and that of the seven resisters who are the main characters of this book make for a highly charged story. Rather than an oral history of their lives, this is a most readable reconstruction of eventsÄprimarily from contemporary magazine articlesÄof the migration of 500,000 Americans, half of them women, to Canada, where they were welcomed by a government headed by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. This is in sharp contrast to Dickerson's indictment of an America that turned its back on its childrenÄboth war resisters and emotionally and physically scarred veteransÄas it struggled to redeem its collective soul. An excellent complementÄless comprehensive but better writtenÄto Tom Wells's acclaimed The War Within (LJ 3/15/94) and, despite the price, recommended for public libraries and highly recommended for Vietnam-era and peace collections.ÄKarl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The output of books on the Vietnam War seems endless, but this one is different. It focuses on the issue of draft resisters, particularly resisters who fled the US for Canada. Although the direct evidence seems slim, Dickerson concludes that at least 500,000 men and women (in about equal numbers) fled to Canada during the Vietnam War, because Canada was one of only two countries that did not permit extradition for draft-related offenses. Examining the cases of six males and one female, Dickerson argues that most resisters developed a strong attachment to their adopted country and were not always interested in returning to the US after President Jimmy Carter issued pardons to almost all resisters in 1977. The perspectives these men and women offer remind readers of how hostile many Americans became toward their country during the war. In addition, each chapter seeks to contextualize the individuals' experiences by providing a glimpse of federal government activities. Although this is a journalistic rather than an academic account (and is not footnoted), undergraduates should find it interesting. J. Andrew Franklin and Marshall College

Table of Contents

Introduction 1968--Diane Francis 1969--Andrew Collins 1970--Charles Sudduth 1971--Richard Deaton 1972--Jim Thomas 1973--Michael Wolfson 1974--Patrick Grady 1975-1977--Oliver Drerup The Aftermath