The Intimidators (Paperback)
This novel dramatizes the underdog's fight for survival against an unjust system. It is about the brutal, shocking, and horrific world of Navy boot camp during the Vietnam conflict. The story's protagonist is nineteen-year-old Carl Travis, an anti-war activist who flunks out of Kent State because he spends more time protesting the Vietnam War than keeping up with his studies. He then forfeits his student deferment and risks being drafted into the Army. He does not want to flee to Canada to escape the draft nor does he want to go to prison for five years, so he enlists in the US Navy's hospital corps to avoid combat and the killing. He enters basic training and boasts to his shipmates about rioting at Kent State in May 1970, when National Guardsmen fired on protestors and killed four students. Carl's Navy superior officers learn about his anti-war past and threaten to make his life a living hell if he stirs up any trouble with his shipmates. Carl endures the harassment and brutal disciplinary action against him for resisting Navy rules and regulations and for protesting the mistreatment of other recruits. He struggles to survive and regain his identity, freedom, and dignity in this vulgar, abusive, sometimes violent, and dehumanizing world of the military.