Morris Janowitz: The Reconstruction of Patriotism: Education for Civic Conscoiusness; University of Chicago Press; Chicago. 

In some ways nothing seems more un-American than military life. The hierarchic authority, the strict discipline, the regimenta­tion of appearance and manner all appear antithetical to the modern American notion of individual rights. However, in Tbe Reconstruction of Patriotism Morris Janowitz reminds us that democracy, including American democracy, requires not only a sense of citizen rights, but also a commitment to citizen obliga­tions. For inculcating such a commitment, military service is well suited. Indeed, Professor Janowitz shows that the Amer­ican democracy would probably have been impossible had not the colonists effected “a break with the format of monarchical armies in Europe” during the Revolution by developing the new concept of “the citizen soldier.” Moreover, until the end of World War II the armed forces continued to function as a pow­erful institution of “civic educa­tion,” serving both to “incorpo­rate the citizen soldier into the larger society” and to imbue him with a feeling of patriotic duty.

Since 1945, though, the ideal of the citizen soldier has largely eroded, and with it the “ideology of obligatory service.” This erosion would be perilous enough if its only victim were the army, already having difficulties in the all-volunteer era and faced with the prospect of declining cohorts. But, Professor Janowitz argues, with military service no longer providing any counter-weight to “the current emphasis on rights as against obligations,” the very idea of democratic citizenship is in doubt. The disappearance of the citizen soldier is especially troubling, at a time when the public schools are no longer adequately performing their traditional function of teaching civic responsibility. In many instances, in fact, public school teachers even encourage an antipatriotic “oppositionist” stance among their pupils. For these reasons, The Reconstruction of Patriotism proposes a new program of compulsory national service, either in the military or in CCC-type work, as a means of making young Americans “more aware of their obligations as citizens.” This proposal deserves serious consideration. Boot camp may well be the only place that can teach many of today’s young people some of the sterner lessons in civics.