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Product Details

  • Paperback: 269 pages
  • Publisher: Haymarket Books (July 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608460711
  • ASIN: B0076TOOZ0
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,577,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Engelhardt created and runs Tomdispatch.com, a project of The Nation Institute where he is a Fellow. He is the author The End of Victory Culture and of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing, as well as a collection of his Tomdispatch interviews, Mission Unaccomplished. Englehardt is also co-founder and co-editor of Metropolitan Books' The American Empire Project.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By George Goldberg on August 2, 2010
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Tom Engelhardt is a national treasure. To attempt to describe this book in a paragraph or two would be to do author and reader a disservice, for its leading virtues are context and nuance, both of which would be lost in a brief review (as they have been long lost from our mainstream media). If you want to know what our ongoing wars are really about - and to appreciate how much the US has always had wars going on - read this book. I thought I understood the subjects he writes about - I focused on international law at Harvard Law School, have lectured on diplomatic and legal history at universities in the US and abroad, and have had books published on these subjects by major trade and academic publishers - but I doubled my knowledge with this book. READ THIS BOOK.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Malvin VINE VOICE on August 29, 2010
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"The American Way of War" by Tom Engelhardt is a collection of 29 insightful posts from the author's blog that have been arranged, revised and edited for book format to also include an introduction, epilogue, notes and index. Written as a running commentary on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars between March 2004 and early 2010, the articles have lost little of their energy and have retained all of their relevance. Written with intelligence and passion, Mr. Engelhardt's book should be read by everyone concerned about the militarization of American life and believe we can do better.

Mr. Engelhardt intends to raise public consciousness about the realities of our latter day American empire. Mr. Engelhardt detects a kind of Orwellian detachment where most Americans are at peace with the immense economic and social costs and the extreme suffering inflicted on others by Washington's perpetual wars. Mr. Engelhardt's description of a planet garrisoned by hundreds of U.S. bases whose arsenals include land, sea, air and space-based weaponry is a frightening description of an imperial America that has practically shed any semblance of its democratic past.

Lest anyone miss the point, Mr. Engelhardt writes how the Obama administration's war policies are all but indistinguishable from his predecessor's. It seems the institutional roots run too deep for the president to do much about the Pentagon, even if he wanted to. Consequently, while one might think that America's current economic crisis might hasten a dismantling of empire, the truth is that an enlightened and engaged citizenry represents our only hope for change; to which end this book makes an important and timely contribution.

I highly recommend this persuasive, eye-opening book to everyone.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Donald A. Collins on September 5, 2010
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The American Way of War: How Bush's Wars Became Obama's (Paperback), by Tom Engelhardt, Haymarket Books, Chicago, 2010

This little heralded paperback masterpiece of only 216 pages should enlighten anyone who has not already come to the sad conclusion that the USA has turned into a dangerous empire. Be sure, after reading Tom Engelhardt's book, to read those books recently published with similar views such as Chalmer Johnson's "Dismantling The Empire: America's Last Best Hope" and Andrew Bacevich's "Washington Rules: America's Path To Permanent War".

Yes, we lost 3000 lives on 9/11, plus over 4,000 men and women in the current wars, but we killed 3 million in Vietnam, then hundreds of thousands in Cambodia and now hundreds of thousands in the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, including many women and children. Such civilian losses are commonly referred to as "Collateral Damage" by our military.

While our Cold War excuses (Remember the Domino Theory and the Missle Gap?)may have had validity at an earlier time, the claimed threats that prompted our continued military escalations and expansions clearly need reassessment now.

From its first line, author Tom Engelhardt sets the motif for his tragic recitation: ""War is Peace" was one of the memorable slogans on the facade of the Ministry of Truth or Minitrue in "Newspeak" the language invented by George Orwell in 1948 for his dystopian novel, "1984"". From there his readers are tutored in how our fear of attack was obsessively co-opted by our government and its willing industrial military suppliers into a level of Cold War "preparedness" which featured a supply of nuclear weapons which could have blown up the entire human race.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
The American Way of War: How Bush's Wars Became Obama's offers a fine survey of the art of making and marketing American military might around the world, and comes from an author who runs the TomDispatch.com website. His commentary on military procedures, politics and social issues draws important connections between all and makes this an invaluable recommendation for any military or social issues collection.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Theodore A. Rushton on February 3, 2011
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Show me an intelligent war, without undue brutality and fatal blunders, and if one such narrative exists it will be called a fantasy fiction too unreal to be believed by any halfway intelligent person.

All violence, terror and wars are mistakes. If men were perfect, disputes and differences would be solved by calm reasoned discussion. This is certainly proving true in Afghanistan, where a ragtag band of warriors has literally stalled the world's mightiest and most sophisticated military by using roadside bombs, the 1947-designed AK-47s and century-old British 303 Lee Enfields.

Engelhardt writes with the same spirit as Thucydides, who had a contempt and an anger at the conduct of the Peloponnesian War. He recognized war is the exercise of pure politics, power vs. power, rights and wrongs and the morality of power. As for the cause, he eventually concluded, "the growth of the power of Athens and the alarm which it inspired in Sparta made war inevitable."

Unfortunately, no such insight is contained in this book. During World War II, both Allied and Axis governments gave considerable effort to the issue, "Why We Fight". President Franklin Roosevelt, even before the attack on Pearl Harbour, brilliantly answered this question with 'The Four Freedoms'.

Since 1991, the answer to the "why?" has been "terrorism." It's as vague and ill defined as a 'War on Poverty' or a 'War on Crime' or even a 'War on Litter'. Thucydides never did grasp the complexity of the war he set out to explain, nor did he find a solution with which he was fully satisfied. Engelhardt is equally perplexed.

Thus, he concludes of the Pentagon. "...no institution is more deeply embedded in American life or less accountable for its acts.
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