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Butler is one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal and the Medal of Honor, and the only Marine to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions. PitcherBooks Jun 20, We never learn. Over and over they fabricate emergencies and threats to stampede us into allowing the robber barons to profit astronomically from our idiotic inability to know the truth, How many times are we going to fall for the contrived attacks on our ships and soldiers.

Tens of thousands of young men dead and maimed, but we just herd forward prodded by propaganda and the illusion of danger. All the while they profit and they profit big from the war and then, even more cynically, from the aftermath. For chrissakes wake the hell up. The author, through a highly qualified argument supported by facts, thoroughly discounts the moral and ideological justification for war and concentrates on the geopolitical factors that actually motivate the cause for war. He was one of the first Americans to really bring the economic implications of war to the forefront of the public conscience.

He noted how proponents of war typically call on God as a supporter of the cause and how they embellish the mission as one of liberation and the spreading of freedom, but that these people tend to shy away from discussing the economic details of military ventures.

War Is a Racket - Wikipedia

In short, this book, though small, is an inspirational foundation for all anti-war arguments in our current times, a firsthand account of a story that tragically keeps repeating itself. Rocourt Jun 20, If I wrote a book saying that I think all people, in their hearts, are basically good When Anne Frank wrote the very same thing while she was living in a secret compartment of her neighbor's home, hiding from jackboots who would work her to death in a concentration camp This book isn't quite on Anne Frank's level, but it has a lot of added importance because of who wrote it.

At the time of publication, Smedley Butler, despite having the decidedly non-badass name of "Smedley", was a real-life tough guy, and America's most highly decorated Marine Corps General. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for him to scribble off some banal, testosterone-laden memoir about about what a rockstar warfighter he was. Far from the popular conception of being a force for common defense, Butler identifies a long litany of examples where the military merely acted as muscle to enable American industry in exploitive enterprises abroad.

In the book's most cited passage, he states eloquantly: "I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in In China in I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Turning to the business of war itself, Butler took note of the corrupt military-industrial establishment, and how it propegates unneccessary conflict. After a career spent planning and fighting military engagements, Butler came to recognize the enormous dividends these conflicts pay out to a very few, powerful Heads of Industry. Through commissions on the sale of privately-issued war bonds, and grossly overcharging the Department of Defense for privately-manufactured munitions, men like J.

Morgan literally made tens of millions of dollars by sending their fellow countrymen to die of sepsis, dyssentary and chemical burns in the trenches of Europe. Yes, with appalling frequency, Robber barons wield political influence to create conflict and avoid peaceful resolution to disagreement. The propaganda ramp-up to World War I was a coordinated PR blitz linking war with patriotism, and turning severely on dissenters. Does anybody know of a specific vital American interest the Great War was fought to protect?

Save your money , this "book" is an opinion article that is easily found on the internet in its entirety. Skip to main content. About this product. Brand new: lowest price The lowest-priced brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging where packaging is applicable. Need your item quicker?.

We would love to be given the opportunity to work with you to resolve any problem you may have. Product Features. See details. See all 4 brand new listings. Buy It Now. Add to cart. About this product Synopsis "War is a Racket" is marine general, Smedley Butler's classic treatise on why wars are conducted, who profits from them, and who pays the price. Few people are as qualified as General Butler to advance the argument encapsulated in his book's sensational title.

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Therefore to some degree Butler is correct and it is healthy to ask questions, big questions however his conclusions seem too absolute. I favor free market capitalism but without checks, balances and consequences graft and corruption can take place. The 21st Century is a global society and as nice as isolation might be, life today is not that simple on plant earth. At times there is more to worry about than a potential racket as true evil also exists.

Most of all I appreciate the selfless dedication of those who defend such freedom. View all 8 comments. May 11, Book Wyrm rated it really liked it Shelves: between-the-wars , politicks. War pays. The copper industry loves it, the textile industry loves it, and the weapon industry is so obviously enamoured by it that they won't let so small a thing as treason stop them selling guns to the enemy too.

The only ones who don't get paid are the soliders, except in pennies, which is immediately leached back off them to pay for their own supplies. Butler is incredibly sarcastic throughout, but can you really blame him when he tells you all of the above? And, really, nothing's changed. W War pays. We still fetishise our military, create charities for our 'heroes' who die and kill for other's profits, and the companies who lobby to send them away don't give any of the blood money back, unless a charitable donation works nicely for their tax margins.

The people invaded bury family and friends and get 'loans' to rebuild their own homes, thus opening up a new foreign market and few extra numbers added to the stock market computers. Nothing has changed, we've merely digitised and automated much of it, that's all. Mar 09, Edward Rathke rated it it was amazing. Such a simple and powerful and obvious statement. What's interesting about Smedley is that he's not against war in a general sense. He's against the kind of war that had become common in the early 20th century which is the model for all wars now.

To put it a different way: he was not against war, but he was against imperialism. Smedley dissects WWI in quick and simple ways that are sort of a cost benefit analysis.


  • War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier!
  • War Is a Racket by Butler, Smedley D!
  • Kausalität und Argumentrealisierung: Zur Konstruktionsvarianz bei Psychverben am Beispiel europäischer Sprachen (Linguistische Arbeiten) (German Edition);
  • ISBN 13: 9780922915866.
  • Modeling the Environment: Techniques and Tools for the 3D Illustration of Dynamic Landscapes;
  • An Unsatisfactory Conclusion.

Who benefits from war? Who pays the burdens of war? Smedley answers these two ques Such a simple and powerful and obvious statement. Smedley answers these two questions, but also tells you how much the profiteers profited and how much the soldiers paid for the privilege of losing their lives or getting brutalized, both mentally and physically, in the grind of war.

Indispensable reading, really. I'm shocked I had never heard of it till relatively recently. Or, I'm not shocked, because this is exactly the kind of book that powerful people don't want you to read. But still, it's strange to know this book has existed for 80 years and I had never heard of it. It really is a simple book, and a clear explanation of who benefits and who loses in war.

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The TL;DR version is: you lose, and soldiers lose more. Banks and arms-dealers make big. Shelves: war-world-war-1 , non-fiction , ebook. The recitation of figures, combined with the Mad As Hell tone sometimes makes him sound like a drunk accountant railing at his bosses in the bar on Friday night, but it doesn't negate his points in the slightest. I can imagine that after having his epiphany about the profit-driven motive for WW1, the gathering storm clouds of war in the mids had him going out of his mind at insane history repeating itself. A shortened version sans the famous quote cited in several other reviews here is at the link above.

It's only 16 printed pages. You owe it to yourself to read it if you have an interest in WW1 and the cyclical nature of America's foreign military adventures. Karla I think he mentioned it Thursday, but I was happy to find it online. Sep 21, AM. Aug 13, Gerry rated it liked it Shelves: generals , classics , history , non-fiction-general. Smedley D. Butler, Maj. His actions taken during the First World War were unquestionably brave, and this makes for a mild understatement to the truth.

In reflection of the horrors of war the person of notoriety takes a different stance and has a change of heart, is this something that came with age or his Quaker background I cannot say for certa Smedley D. In reflection of the horrors of war the person of notoriety takes a different stance and has a change of heart, is this something that came with age or his Quaker background I cannot say for certain.

Major General Butler died less than 1 year and 6 months before the attack on the U. Naval docks at Pearl Harbor, the U. Army Schofield Barracks, and U. In this manner I believe he would have had his feelings and beliefs changed back to where they were at the time before he wrote this book through the end of his life - then again maybe not. His speeches and writings in also reflect a further solidification to the isolationist-pacifist he became at the near end of his career and life.

However, there are truths to some of his emotional statements but not enough fact to ensure a complete mindset of turn-around for these statements and personally held beliefs to become warranted in action as he had called for at the time. Following the Second World War and considering that conscription ended in it was only for a short time — in the U.

Isolationism was a product of an era that had long left the station with the attack at Pearl Harbor. Meanwhile the U. President Eisenhower had also known that Vietnam was on the rise, confirmed later by President Kennedy and greatly increased by President Johnson with the Gulf of Tonkin resolution of General Butler fails miserably in this book.

I use the reference to the farewell speech by President Eisenhower here because there are many parallels but in a less emotional manner to General Butler's opinion. General Butler doesn't consider the fact of the attack of "Black Tom", the sinking of the Lusitania, nor the Zimmerman Telegram - these points are fully ignored. Times have changed since as they had from to and beyond. In conclusion — I did not care for the modern day introduction nor conclusion. The pages within and between that represented this book in was simply off base - time would prove this.

The world in the end can thank none other than Sir Winston S.

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Churchill for his fortitude of strength and that of the British people who fought this Second World War alone for 2 years before the Russians were forced to enter the war. Operation Barbarossa began one year and one day after the death of General Butler. Three stars is generous in my view but would rather give this book a 2. View all 6 comments. Sep 09, Christopher rated it liked it Shelves: philosophy-social , self-defense-military. I have to admit, all of the hype I'd encountered before finally getting to this book led me to believe that this would be an articulate and impassioned voice of "right" over "might" from the pen of one the USMC's mightiest warriors.

Smedley died before WWII and all of the statistics and numbers he gives in this " I have to admit, all of the hype I'd encountered before finally getting to this book led me to believe that this would be an articulate and impassioned voice of "right" over "might" from the pen of one the USMC's mightiest warriors. Still, his sentiment is sincere and at the time it was written, there weren't too many men with his credentials able to speak out this way, calling out Wall Street and their bought-and-paid-for politicians; but the value I think of Smedley Butler lies more in what he did for his fellow military men than what he wrote: Smedley Butler and the Bonus Army.

View all 4 comments. Dec 11, John Rachel rated it it was amazing. This powerful, easily read book is as relevant today as the day it was originally published. It takes about an hour to read. Treat yourself to the insights of a man who has seen from the inside the fraud perpetrated on the American public for most of the nation's history, then get angry and do something about it.

War is a horror we can do without, especially since it's driven by greed and promoted almost exclusively with lies. Feb 11, Paul rated it it was amazing. The pieces that make up this book were first published about 70 years ago. Butler was a highly decorated Marine Brigadier General who was involved in many military expeditions in the early 20th century to countries like Haiti, China and Cuba.

After that, he began to speak out about the real motives behind America's military actions--profit. Just before World War I, the pro The pieces that make up this book were first published about 70 years ago. Then why, when the war came, did that same profit margin skyrocket to hundreds, or even thousands of percent? The author also mentions several cases of companies who sold the US Government totally useless items. One company sold Uncle Sam 12 dozen inch wrenches. The problem is that there was only one nut large enough for those wrenches; it holds the turbines at Niagara Falls.

The wrenches were put on freight cars and sent all around America to try and find a use for them. When the war ended, the wrench maker was about to make some nuts to fit the wrenches. The parallels with today are too numerous to mention. The next time war is declared, and conscription is on the horizon, Butler proposes a limited national plebiscite on whether or not America should go to war. But the voting should be limited only to those of conscription age, those who will do the actual fighting and dying.

Also, one month before anyone is conscripted, all of American business and industry who profits from war should be conscripted, from weapons makers to international banks to uniform makers. All employees of those companies, from the CEO down to the assembly line worker, should have their salary cut to equal the base pay of the soldier who is fighting, and dying, to improve their bottom line. Let's see how long the war fever lasts.

Also, go to a VA hospital to see the real aftermath of war. This isn't so much an antiwar book as it is an isolationist book. The separate pieces were published in a time when many Americans felt that getting involved in another European war that had nothing to do with America, was a terrible idea. The author certainly pulls no punches. This book is very highly recommended, especially for those who think that war is a clean videogame where no one really gets hurt. It gets two strong thumbs up. Major General Butler's main point is spot on; war is predominately a racket arranged by politicians to achieve their own ends while attempting to disguise their war efforts as defending "freedom.

He never proves his thesis. The fact that someone turns a profit whether small or large is not a problem at all. In a free market, the suppliers who better engineer, market, a Major General Butler's main point is spot on; war is predominately a racket arranged by politicians to achieve their own ends while attempting to disguise their war efforts as defending "freedom. In a free market, the suppliers who better engineer, market, and supply their product will always come out ahead of other suppliers. To insinuate that a provider, earning a positive return on his investment, is guilty of causing a war because he profits from his enterprise is faulty logic at best and most definitely socialistic.

What the General would have done better to do would have been to demonstrate that, behind the scenes, the product suppliers were the very people pressuring Woodrow Wilson into the war. Or, better yet, he could have attempted to show that Wilson or members of his cabinet had known they would personally profit from the war. The second concern with the pamphlet is his answer to contrived war.

I also agree that too often wars are created only to line Federal bank accounts at the cost of the human life.

Ellen Funny, somebody just gave me a copy of this the other day. You didn't like it? Jun 23, PM. Joshua Phillips Ellen wrote: "Funny, somebody just gave me a copy of this the other day. Actua Ellen wrote: "Funny, somebody just gave me a copy of this the other day. Actually I thought Butler's main point was spot on; war is predominately a racket. However he did a terrible job handling his argument and ended up full-on Marxist.

I just posted a review I wrote, check that out for a more detailed explanation of my dislikes Let me know what you think! This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Marine Corps and, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U. Notably, he is one of only 19 people to be twice awarded the Medal of Honor, and one of only three to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor, and the only person to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor for two different actions. In addition to his military career, Smedley Butler was noted for his outspoken anti-interventionist views, and his book War is a Racket.

His book was one of the first works describing the workings of the military-industrial complex and after retiring from service, he became a popular speaker at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists and church groups in the s. In , he informed the United States Congress that a group of wealthy industrialists had plotted a military coup known as the Business Plot to overthrow the government.

This audio is read by a SAM-esque automated voice, which takes a bit of getting used to. The vocal stresses are quite jolting. Eye-opening stuff this, really. Apr 24, Alex Burrett rated it it was amazing. But that's not surprising. Butler's observations would be equally valid during the Roman Empire, the expansion of the British Empire, the conquest of South America by Spain and Portugal War is a racket. War was a racket during Smedley Butler's time. And war will continue to be a racket for a very long time.

Young people will join armed forces, capitalists will make profits and politicians will hunger for political power. That's not to say you shouldn't read this. You should. Mar 11, Jill Hutchinson rated it liked it Shelves: american-history , military-history.

I'm just not sure how to rate this book, so I put it in the middle category of three stars. It is an odd little read and while you agree with some of the author's assumptions, others are contradictory. Written by a Major General in the Marines who won two Medals of Honor in WWI, there is no doubt that he knows of what he speaks as far as war is concerned. However, the fact that large companies and individuals reaped fortunes from the war, although somewhat disturbing, is a part of free trade and I'm just not sure how to rate this book, so I put it in the middle category of three stars.

However, the fact that large companies and individuals reaped fortunes from the war, although somewhat disturbing, is a part of free trade and has been a side effect of war that will always hold true The author doesn't really expound on how that should be avoided. Additionally the book was published in the late s, so the isolationist approach that the author takes may seem a little dated.

It is worth a try if you are interested in how business and war are so tightly intertwined. Jul 15, Yasiru reviews will soon be removed and linked to blog rated it it was amazing. Only a thinking soldier is ever truly a hero, and real heroes are what governments ruled by mislaid incentives despise the most.