by Amanda Witherell
I was in seventh grade when the Gulf War started and I remember watching news coverage of the bombs over Baghdad from the back row of my history class and having no clue what it meant. Welcome to the vast and sometimes disturbing plateau that is American public education.
Which is why I'm jealous of all the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth graders at San Francisco's public schools who will have Addicted to War as a supplemental text in their history classes.
This week the 77-page footnoted comic book by Joel Andreas will be in the hands of teenagers around the city thanks to the joint efforts of local peace activist Pat Gerber, the SFUSD Board of Education's Curriculum Subcommittee (Eric Mar, Dan Kelly, and Sarah Lipsom) and the publisher, Frank Dorrel of AK Press, who reduced the price of the book enough that 4,000 copies could be purchased through donations without the use of taxpayer money.
Surely, there will be some controversy stirred up over some of the more candid photos of death and the perceived "San Francisco values" in the book -- which includes the overt argument in favor of peace. Gerber told us Fox News' Sean Hannity already decried it as "left-wing propaganda" but she said she couldn't think of an argument against the book that couldn't be tempered with an argument for it.
Look for a more detailed story about the book in next week's Guardian.