Daniel Holland’s memoir, Death Wins All Wars: Resisting the Draft in the 1960s, will be published by See Sharp Press in September of 2019. He has held a litany of day jobs for writers from longshoreman to drivers ed instructor, day care teacher to garbage collector, artist’s model to art school administrator, all while observing the intimacies of the human condition. In 1985 he won the Milwaukee Irish Fest poetry competition, featuring a first prize of a Waterford Crystal beer mug with a lifetime refill at the Gordon Park Pub. During that first year, he exceeded the cash value of the Pulitzer Prize in free beer while working on his epic poem, “A Thousand Beers of Solitude,” which is a work in progress.
While Daniel Holland’s memoir details his involvement in the draft resistance movement of the 1960s, the impetus to share his story now comes from the dangerous new president and congress that have taken control of the United States Government. There is no telling how quickly they will plunge our nation into war. People who are of age to fight in the wars of today were not yet born when the lessons of Vietnam were being learned, so this book may serve as a guide to the decisions they face in today’s volatile world. Holland’s chapters highlighting the headlines and breaking news of the time alternate with coming of age rites-of-passage chapters as his personal memories and current reflections on those events portray a growing consciousness and his evolution of youthful naiveté into committed antiwar activism. Then his focus turns to the legal adventures that follow: indictment, arrest, arraignment, defending himself at trial, and sentencing. Interspersed with these, he shares episodes of draft board raids, secret rooms, and the day-to-day responsibilities of a full-time activist. He follows a surprise ending with a thoughtful afterword contemplating our personal responsibilities for peace.