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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A racket indeed!, 10 April 2012
This review is from: War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated General (Paperback)
As is it was in the past, so it is today. I read this while in the military and it has made a lasting impression with the ultimate decision after not being able to stomach all the lies about the Iraq war (as well as reading about the lies and distortion that led the US into almost all other wars) and the government complicity and cover-up of 9/11 to leave the military. You see advertisements and people claiming that serving is a noble cause and that making the `ultimate sacrifice' by being killed in the line of duty should be respected. Military members serve the lie and serve not to preserve and to spread democracy, but to enrich the few and allow them to a level of control that should sicken any person with a conscience. I wish I had read this before going into the military, because then I would not have put my energy toward the criminal and inhumane enterprise that needs to be dismantled. The Military-Defense-Industrial complex that Eisenhower named and that fully took over with the murder of JFK at their hands has become a driving force toward war. Remember this as they get ready to attack Iran.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If want to understand war, begin with this., 25 Aug. 2009
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H. AFZAL "Daven" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated General (Paperback)
A must read by all those wishing to understand why war was a large part of the 20th century history, and why it will continue be over the coming years. Smedley D Butler may have written this a century ago, but the points he makes are still relevant today, if not more so.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book recommended for academic readers of war literature, 14 July 2011
This review is from: War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated General (Paperback)
I purchased this book and was glad that i did as it is fact based an gives an alternative view about war and who really benefits, all Americans should be made to read this book since it is written by such a highly decorated American war hero Brigadier General Smedley D Butler and benificial to the masses as we live in such war plagued times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Conscript Capital...", 11 Nov. 2013
By 
John P. Jones III (Albuquerque, NM, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated General (Paperback)
Smedley Butler was one of the most decorated American soldiers ever. He won the Medal of Honor, twice! He served in the Marine Corps for 33 years, and was on virtually all the battlefields that the United States participated in during the early years of the 20th century, from China and the Philippines, to France during World War I, and then on to be an "enforcer" for Wall Street in the "Banana Republics" in the `20's. He clearly "paid his dues"; his opinions, which obviously changed, have much merit; he ultimately came to the conclusion that he had been used by the "powers that be." Even after resigning from the Marine Corps in 1931, he claims they still wanted to use him, with certain Wall Street interests trying to recruit him into a plot to overthrow "the Socialist," FDR, and install a fascist dictatorship, per Congressional testimony. He even developed a rather sardonic view towards the medals that he won: "Napoleon once said: `All men are enamored of decorations...they positively hunger for them.' So, by developing the Napoleonic system-the medal business- the government learned it could get soldiers for less money, because the boys like to be decorated. Until the Civil War there were no medals."

This edition contains five essays, and is the one to purchase. It contains the title essay, "War is a Racket," which is only 28 pages long. There are two other essays by Butler, "Common Sense Neutrality" which was a plea to stay out of what would become the Second World War (although he had carried the American flag throughout the world, he ended up in the isolationist camp), and "An Amendment for Peace." There is an introductory peace by Adam Parfrey which provides additional details on the plot to overthrow FDR, and the book concludes with some black and white pictures on the horrors of war, certainly updating Goya, since some are truly horrific, including the veteran with much of his face missing.

The title essay is a polemic, and it is short, but it is rich in ideas, so many of which are carefully air-brushed out of the main stream media. Butler commences by stating how many Americans grew truly rich because of the First World War: 21,000 became millionaires, or billionaires. He then goes on to identify some of the corporations, starting with du Pont, whose profits rose over pre-war levels by astounding percentages (for du Pont, it was more than 950%). He says it quite simply: "We must take the profit out of war." And proposes the mechanism: pay the corporate titans, and all others, the same wage as those in the trenches, which was $30 a month at the time, for the duration of the war. In this manner, they could show their patriotism, and they still have the advantage of not being shot at! Yes, "conscript capital." Butler also addresses how President Wilson, who had campaigned in 1916 on the platform that he had "kept us out of war," suddenly declared war six months after his re-election. (Ah, how history repeats, with LBJ proclaiming that "American boys should not be fighting Asian wars" and within six months, he too, would be sending the troops). Butler says that the reason, "stripped of its diplomatic language" was that an allied commission saw Wilson, said their cause was lost, and the American suppliers of their weaponry would not get their money back! So...

His essay on neutrality is also an interesting read, though in retrospect, the received wisdom is on the side of those who saw the ultimate evil of the Nazis, and felt it should have been crushed as early as possible.

Butler's work remains an essential read for anyone... and should that not be all of us...who wonders how we seem to get into wars so easily, yet have so much difficulty ending them. A very suitable read for Veterans' Day. 5-stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An exposure of the purpose for war... even world war., 29 Aug. 2014
By 
Dr. Michael J. Cross "Mike Cross" (Reading, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated General (Paperback)
This books rings true and reminds me of conversations between my parents when I lived in London 60 years ago. At that time they discussed the way certain insignificant businesses built them selves up on wartime supplies to become quite large by the end of the war. The implication of this was that profiteering was taking place during the Second World War, which makes me wonder whether this was done with the connivance of the government.

When they state (in 2014) that we are "all in it together", naturally it is a reference to the fact that they "All have their fingers in the till together". It is not realistic to suppose that the corruption that we all see so plainly in African countries does not take place here in the UK. I remember a Nigerian saying to me when I commented on problems with corruption in Nigeria, that "We had very good teachers", referring to the British in Nigeria having their hands in the till before the Africans got there.

Hence the book explains the opportunity that a war provides for ripping off the public, and if you read material elsewhere, you will discover that both world wars were started by rich people for that precise purpose... to enrich themselves. This was discussed extensively during my early childhood, and we were not a politically-connected family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating window into history, 27 Feb. 2012
This review is from: War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated General (Paperback)
This is a collection of writings by prominent anti-war and isolationist commentators in 1930s America. They all provide convincing cases of why the U.S should stay out of war, keenly anticipating the looming war in Europe and tensions with Japan. While not exactly pacifist, Gen Butler et al show how a country's military, and it's people, can be manipulated by very shady corners of government and business in to fighting unjust and unnecessary wars. While some of the text is dated, it has a message relevant today as ever. This book complements Mark Kurlansky's "Non-violence: The History Of A Dangerous Idea" superbly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sule, 1 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated General (Paperback)
This should be required reading for all human beings. War being the scourge of humanity, Butler explores the greed that stokes it's furnace..
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting viewpoint., 5 Sept. 2014
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A good introduction about what goes on behind the scenes once war starts. Also an explanation of why the USA should stay out of wars. Having said this I feel it was a book written for its time. The world is a different place from the two World Wars. Still a very good read.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So . . . I say, "TO HELL WITH WAR!", 13 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated General (Paperback)
I'd read about Gen. Smedley and the fascist coup he was asked to be a part of before I bought this book, and was taken back that there are still people in the higher ranks that have honesty and belief in their fellow man such as Smedley did. Here is a man who was offered the chance to take over the country, all the money and power he could ever want, what does he do? He plays along so he can find out the names of the participants and exposes them for the world to see. Unfortunately the mainstream media never really covered the congressional hearings that took place, the only mention of it was smear campaigns on Smedley himself, and for good reason, as those papers doing the smearing happened to be affiliated with people who were in on the coup.

Why would a gang of Industrialists want to hire an anti-war 'activist' to help take over the Country you say?

Well, Smedley wasn't always anti-war. He started speaking out against the establishment when World War One veterans, 500,000 to be exact, were refused their war bonus'. Smedley had given many speeches at their protests in Washington D.C and was well known amongst the troops. Generals Patton, MacNider and MacArthur were brought in to disband the protests, sometimes causing deaths.

At the congressional hearings it is stated that the group wanted either MacArthur or MacNider to lead the coup, but were aware the half-a-million-strong disenchanted veterans knew MacArthur and MacNider were involved in working against the veterans in their protests and getting hold of their war bonus'. The group had their eyes on Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler to lead the veterans as he was seen as the only one who had the troops support. At first, Smedley went along with them, just enough to find out the names of the conspirators. Then proceeded to expose them. The book only covers a small portion of the event but there are resources online that go into the minutes of the hearings.

Other than coup d'états, this book is very touching. A plea to all citizens to become more informed and learn to differentiate between propaganda and reality, to not be so eager to beat the war drum. Smedley makes it clear that the only winners in war are the Industrialists, Bankers, and generally anyone who makes a lot of money from it without ever having to pick up a rifle. At the time of Smedley's writing he was touring the U.S, among other things visiting veterans Hospitals. It becomes obvious that seeing the World War One veterans, mentally scarred, limbless or blind 25 years on had a huge impact on him, as it would anyone else. "Living Dead" he calls them. He makes a desperate plea at the end of the book to all Mothers and Fathers to not be so eager to send their boys off to war.

Smedley warns about foreign entanglements and proceeds to explain why America should have a defensive military only as the country's strategic location makes it near impossible for invasion of a foreign force, and that if the country were to be invaded, the invader would be met by tens of millions of armed citizens as well as a well-trained army, navy and air force. No doubt Smedley and military minds like him are turning in their grave at the present day situation.

This is only a short book, roughly 66 pages, but it's well worth it. Men like Smedley aren't talked about in the history books as the system does not look down upon such men with favouritism. If anything this book and reading about General Smedley has taught me to keep on informing myself, friends and family.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated General (Paperback)
Everyone should read this book before they get to an age of voting.
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