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Great Wars and Great Leaders: A Libertarian Rebuttal Paperback – April 2, 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Ludwig von Mises Institute; 1st edition (April 2, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610160967
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610160964
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,160,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In public school they always taught you that Wilson, FDR, Churchill, and Truman were great men. This book dispels those myths. We learn that Stalin killed more people than Hitler yet we never hear about it. We find out that FDR and Churchill loved "Uncle Joe" and ceded more innocents to the Communist regime through their negotiations. Truman could have sought peace with the Japanese but he needed to kill another 100,000 to make up for the 3,000 lost at Pearl Harbor. All three of these leaders are jackals.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
well foot-noted, this is a fast read that looks at Churchill, FDR, Wilson, etc, and the wars they (sometimes enthusiastically) waged. the author looks at the costs of these wars in lost lives and lost freedoms from government expansion. I would love to see this book become a part of jr high and high school history courses (along with Smedley Butler's War is a Racket and Mark Twain's Soldier's Prayer).
I particularly loved the way he skewered propaganda used to support the brutality of war. I bet anyone who reads this will have a more critical opinion of the current wars being waged and the propaganda being used to justify them.
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Format: Paperback
The subtitle of this book says it all. While 99% of historians label Wilson, Churchill and Truman as "Great" or "Near great," renowned Libertarian historian Ralph Raico comes to a decidedly different conclusion. He is refreshingly uncompromising in airing the dirty laundry of these and other leaders.

The book is thoroughly footnoted and set in an easy-to-read typeface. Get it direct from the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
raico provides us with plenty of reasons we should be re-examining our views of history. so much that is accepted as fact, is not.
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Format: Kindle Edition
"Great Leaders" is a powerful antidote to the poison that is fed to American children in their twelve most formative years.

Each chapter is a self-standing essay, and their quality varies a little; but the one about Churchill alone was, for me, well worth the price of the book. He was a "great leader" virtually beatified on both sides of the Atlantic, whom Ralph Raico systematically and persuasively exposes as just another sordid warmonger. I knew already that the fateful change in British public opinion during the summer of 1939, which propelled Chamberlain into a war he had spent years trying to avoid, was the culmination of a long propaganda campaign by Churchill and his friends in the media; I did not appreciate that, as Raico reveals, that "among his other claims to fame, Winston Churchill ranks as one of the founders of the welfare state." But the evidence he presents is powerful indeed.

The 20th Century was a disaster; its wars took more human lives than those in the ten preceding centuries combined and the headlong rush into socialism has left the "West" on the brink of bankruptcy. All of that tragic decline, from the bright promise of its first decade, can be laid at the door of the world's "Great Leaders" who are still, in school and media alike, lionized as saviors and wise guides. Raico's book should be required reading for all students of the period.
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The book covers a lot of topics without going into tons of detail, but the footnotes show where you can go digging for more detail if you're interested. Chapters 1 - 3 constitute the meat of the book (WWI, Churchill, and Truman). The last Chapters (4-12) are short and cover various topics lightly but in a very interesting way. I'm left feeling like I don't know enough about the topics to feel fully informed.

I am really glad to see that there are books about war that don't glorify it, and actually call into question the wisdom of people who got us into them.

This book is actually very shocking because it unveils the astounding hypocrisy of how historians in general talk about Hitler's evil without showing any concern for Churchill's war crimes such as starving civilians in WWI (against international law) and continuing to starve them after Germany surrendered. Or callously repatriating soviets to be murdered by Stalin after WWII.

For all we hear about how evil Osama Bin Laden was for targeting civilians, I as under the impression that it's the kind of thing that should be completely out of the question. Yet Churchill had 400,000 war refugees (civilians, women and children) killed from the air. You've got to be kidding me.

And somehow I always assumed that bombing Japanese civilians must have been a harrowing decision for poor Truman. But his rational was that Japanese soldiers killed civilians so we shouldn't feel bad doing it?!?! Seriously?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Tremendously well written collection of essays. Raico is a master and pulls no punches. He is consistent in his indictment of both the modern left and right, and shines light on the vacuum in American politics once occupied by the non-interventionist Old Right. There is not much to say that has not already been well covered in the other Amazon reviews. Highly educational, extremely interesting, and capable of shattering world views.Read more ›
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