Love of Country

These thoughts are from the author's notes, discovered after publication of the book:

I had resisted the draft for love of country.

I could love America—the faces, the diverse peoples, the cheeseburgers—and not embrace the empire.

I love your freedom but your armies of coercion I need not love; your arrogance toward other nations I need not love.

I love the national pastime—the pitcher chewing gum and reaching for the resin bag in his one on one duel with the hitter, jockeying, erasing the lime at the far end of the box as he jockeys for position.

I can still cry at the national anthem, but “the flag that was still there” had survived the onslaught of the burning of D.C. by the greatest empire of the day. It was never a celebration of some peasant village set to flame with napalm.

I had resisted the draft for love of country.

—Richard Gould