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The War at Home: The Domestic Costs of Bush's Militarism Paperback – July 11, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1595580924 ISBN-10: 1595580921 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 165 pages
  • Publisher: New Press, The; 1 edition (July 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595580921
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595580924
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.8 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #895,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The emotional fervor generated by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has helped a domestic neoconservative agenda, as well as altered a historical pattern in which governments waging war wind up expanding civil rights and social programs, or so argues sociologist Piven (Why Americans Don’t Vote). The turn to preemptive war and the disregarding of international linkages, she claims, is part of a domestic strategy, just as the Cold War justified the domestic Red Scare. Piven doesn’t add original research; rather she synthesizes a wide range of reportage and commentators (Chalmers Johnson, Kevin Phillips, Naomi Klein, Garry Wills, Jonathan Schell, etc.) in sometimes bloglike fashion. She finds Bush backers in Congress invoked the need to avoid partisan bickering in wartime—thus hastening passage of corporate-friendly tax-cut legislation and deregulation. Meanwhile, cuts in federal spending increased pressure on the states to cut back their own social spending. Piven doesn’t pause much to analyze why the opposition Democrats and others let this happen, but she does argue that the fallout from the wars make the administration vulnerable in the upcoming election. "War itself cannot be an effective cover for this ruse for long," she concludes, predicting (while at the same time working to foster) an atmosphere conducive to regime change.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A brilliant and provocative theory of what's driving the new imperialism—and no, it's not the oil, stupid! -- Barbara Ehrenreich

After all that has been written on the Iraq war, Frances Fox Piven supplies the missing piece of the puzzle. -- Fred Block, author of The Vampire State

Frances Fox Piven has hit the nail on the head as usual. -- Theodore J. Lowi, author of The End of Liberalism

Good fuel for arguments with the Republican next door. -- Kirkus Reviews

Superb and provocative. -- The Capital Times

Synthesizes a wide range of reportage and commentators. -- Publishers Weekly

The most thoroughgoing, detailed indictment of George W. Bush and his cronies that has appeared between two covers. -- Peter Edelman, author of Searching for America's Heart

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Malvin VINE VOICE on September 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The War at Home" by Frances Fox Piven is a sharp indictment of the Bush administration's neoconservative agenda. Cloaked in the righteousness of war, Ms. Piven argues that extremist elements within the Republican Party skilfully exploited the public's fears in order to further a radical domestic agenda. By demonstrating that this behavior flies in the face of history -- where war has often been a catalyst for increasing democratic rights at home -- Ms. Pivens believes the political Right has opened an opportunity for the Left to successfully challenge the status quo.

The heart of Ms. Pivens' thesis is that the apparent irrationality of the Bush administration's foreign policy and the Iraq War in particular can be partly explained by the political advantage it has gained for Republicans at home. From exorbitant no-bid contracts for reconstruction in Iraq to huge outlays for defense and homeland security to a panoply of corporate tax cuts and deregulation, the war has proven to be a boon for corporate America. On the other hand, Ms. Pivens details how a host of social programs such welfare, meal assitance, unemployment insurance, health insurance and after school programs have been quietly cut or underfunded, thereby making the lives of many ordinary Americans more difficult than before.

Interestingly, Ms. Pivens discusses differences within the Republican Party constituency to highlight some of the contradictions created by the Bush administration's policies. For example, deregulation is a key issue for the tobacco and gun industries, but increased spending on homeland security has significantly increased the regulatory function of government.
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0 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Guild TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is nothing more than a re-hash of all the Leftist Socialist thinking that has been expounded since the early 1900's .The reason the book deserves 5*'s is not because I agree with what is presented;but because it covers all the worn out theories in such a concise manner.
All one has to do ,is to look at what the results of having America and what she has accomplished in every way,from manyfacturing,maintaining world peace,advances in science,medicine,freedoms,agriculture and spreading prosperity around the world (particularly to those countries who are willing to accept these things) ;that by any measure that can imaginally applied,then it is readily seen tha America and her accomplishments have outstripped all others.
The thinking that is expounded in this book, that America is evil and the solution is Socialism, has proved to be a catastrophic failure in most places where it got entrenched ,and continues to be put forth by the Left. Why this is the case can only be assumed to be that the left believe ,that the success of free enterprise,championed by America ,must be eliminated for Socialism to succeed.That thinking would mean that for failure to succeed,first success must be eliminated.
All one has to do is look at the results of Sovialism,where it has been tried,and all that results ,is failure at its worst,or mediocracy at its best.In other words ,no "shining city on a hill" but instead a "gloomy valley of delusion".
God Bless America and her concepts of Life,Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness ;all which are just the opposite of Left Wing Socialism.
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More About the Author

Frances Fox Piven is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology
at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and the author of the bestselling Poor People's Movements, Regulating the Poor, and Why Americans Don't Vote (with the late
Richard A. Cloward), as well as The War At Home, Keeping Down the Black Vote, and many other books. She lives in New York City.

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The War at Home: The Domestic Costs of Bush's Militarism
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