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Fighting for Peace: Seven Critical Years in the Pentagon Hardcover – May 1, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0446514811 ISBN-10: 0446514810

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (May 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446514810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446514811
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his familiar, no-nonsense style, Weinberger discusses the massive build-up of American arms during his tenure as secretary of defense, 1980-1988, and warns it is essential that the U.S. retain its present military strength. A strong advocate of the Strategic Defense Initiative, he also considers it crucial that the U.S. develop and deploy a defensive system that "protects rather than avenges." Weinberger expresses pride over his success in establishing a military relationship with Beijing while maintaining a friendly alliance with Taipei. Effusive in his praise of Reagan as a president of courageous, visionary leadership and character, he believes the president made only one major mistake, which Weinberger refers to as "the Iranian hostage activity." In his chapter on the Iran- contra scandal he identifies former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane as a primary villain in the affair, characterizing him as a man lacking in intellect, moral principle or historical understanding. The book is essential reading for those alarmed about the current trend in U.S. military cutbacks. Photos. Conservative Book Club alternate.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Moody on May 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
Most accounts of the Reagan administration characterize Casper Weinberger as the hawkish pro-military buidup Defense Secretary of the early years and the un-bending, un-yeilding Pentagon chief of the later years before he was "ousted". This book offers Cap's perspective and, even if you don't agree with all his reasoning and policies, provides a different perspective of the Reagan years. You don't get everything that occured during Weinberger's rein, but he does offer his angle of most of the major events and reasons for his being maligned towards the end of his term. His loyalty to Reagan is un-questioned and this story is somewhat biased towards those policies, but it's definetly worth reading (you may have some trouble finding it as it's out of print). Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marvin D. Pipher on April 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book should be of great interest to future historians since it tells the story of the Reagan Administration from the unique perspective of Reagan's Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger. The book, however, never managed to catch my fancy.

It failed in this regard for two (perhaps personal) reasons. First, being particularly interested in Ronald Reagan, I was disappointed by the fact that so little attention was paid to interactions between Weinberger and the President. For example, scant mention was made of discussions, pro or con, with the president and his advisors. On the contrary, the impression was given that simply with Reagan's blessing, Weinberger, as Secretary of Defense, was more or less free to operate on his own recognizance. (This of course lends credence to the belief of many of Reagan's critics that he was not a hands-on manager, as was his predecessor, Jimmy Carter. In the case of Weinberger, at least, Reagan apparently set the course for the ship of state and relied upon his appointee to steer the ship to his intended goal.)

Secondly; perhaps it was necessary, as the author states, that each of the major events of Reagan's presidency be compartmentalized in a separate chapter and discussed in isolation, but by doing so the chapters tend to read more like top level executive summaries than as part of a broader on-going saga. Worst of all, for me at least, it wasn't clear that relatively small and discrete events, such as the invasion of Grenada, deserved as much attention as the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), Reagan's efforts to stem the tide of Communism and bring down the Soviet Union, or even Iran-Contra.

All that said, however, this book is still quite interesting for a variety of reasons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Who, What, Where? VINE VOICE on November 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Weinberger was Reagan's man at the Pentagon. Reagan had intended for Cap to be the one who would ask of all defense projects what the cost yield would be for each item. Instead what happened was that Weinberger came to oversee one the biggest expansions in the Pentagon's budget. Instead of being "Cap the knife", he became Cap the bloated. This book attempts to explain that the increases were needed because Carter had let the Pentagon's capabilities shrink so markedly in the past. Weinberger also shares with the reader what he tried to do during Iran/Contra and why he acted that way. All in all, a very good autobiography of a political figure who was at the head of an unrivaled change in American history.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John G. Hilliard on April 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book was basically the "Reagan's Defense Departments Greatest Hits". The author was the Secretary of Defense for 7 of the 8 Reagan years and this is his recollection of his time in the office. Let me start by explaining what this book is not. It is not a detailed account of the politics the author was involved in with the military build-up and expanding budgets, a blow by blow account of the military actions during the Reagan years, nor a kiss and tell scandal book. The are more then enough detailed books out there about each of these subjects, and to be fair, there would be no way you could detail all these items in one book.
What we do get is a nice overview of the military actions during the author's term as the Secretary of Defense, a good overview of some of the political issues and a recap of Iran - Contra from his point of view. The reviews of the military actions are at a high level and are very good at providing the reader with why the action was taken, the outcomes of the action, and the other factors that needed to be kept in mind politically. We get a good review of the Grenada invasion, the Lebanon peace keeping, the Libyan attacks and the Kuwait shipping protection from Iran. We also get his views on the nuclear arms deployment in Europe, the KAL 007 shoot down, SDI and Iran - Contra. The author even found time to pick on the Reagan administration's favorite whipping boy - Al Haig.
Overall the author does a good job. He provides a very readable and interesting book that is written with some warmth. He stays away from any criticism of his performance or the Reagan administration as a whole, but you expect that from a memoir. This book is a nice addition to your collection for anyone that is interested in the 80's or the Reagan administration. There are even a number of interesting facts and details about the Middle East that are still relevant today. You will enjoy each page of this book.
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