Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Milit... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$23.40
Qty:1
  • List Price: $26.00
  • Save: $2.60 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Unwarranted Influence: Dw... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial Complex (Icons of America) Hardcover – January 17, 2011


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$23.40
$5.55 $0.32


Frequently Bought Together

Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial Complex (Icons of America) + National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism (Open Media)
Price for both: $35.18

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: Icons of America
  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (January 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300153058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300153057
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,158,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fifty years after the 34th president delivered his best known address, Ledbetter (Starving to Death on Million) deconstructs the origins of the term "military-industrial complex" and weighs its contemporary meanings and misinterpretations. Eisenhower, a WWII legend, feared that deepening the relationships between government officials, lawmakers, and weapons producers would ultimately undermine democracy. The president's fears were not new, but Ledbetter makes a convincing case that the 1957 launch of Sputnik by the Soviets cemented the unholy alliance—long before the phrase became popular in the Vietnam era. Ledbetter deftly connects the dots between these two sectors, documenting how military appropriations were linked to job creation projects in congressional districts; how the "revolving door" for employment between the military and the firms providing weapons to the Defense Department endures; and how government-funded university research activities undermined traditional notions about academic freedom. Ledbetter makes a disturbingly persuasive case that Ike was right. (Jan.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review

"Excellent . . . a balanced, rigorous, and fascinating intellectual history of the speech."—David Greenberg, Slate
(David Greenberg Slate 2011-01-14)

"Few commentators on the 34th president's mind and methods have more rigorously considered the evolution of Eisenhower's preoccupations than Ledbetter has."—Josiah Bunting III, Washington Post (Josiah Bundting III Washington Post)

"James Ledbetter has given us an excellent study to make the 50th anniversary of Eisenhower's farewell."—Robert Westbrook, The Christian Century
(Robert Westbrook The Christian Century)

"Ledbetter provides a readable and well-informed argument."—Christopher Preble, Washington Monthly
(Christopher Preble Washington Monthly)

"[A] detailed showcase for an idea that continues to touch us, even after 50 years."—Lora Cohn, Presidential Studies Quarterly
(Lora Cohn Presidential Studies Quarterly)

"Unwarranted Influence is a well-researched, thought-provoking amd very well written account of the evolution of  the military-industrial complex, whose influence has extended beyond the Cold War." — Helen Bury, University of St. Andrews
(Helen Bury Journal of American Studies 2012-01-01)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
5
4 star
3
3 star
1
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 10 customer reviews
Ultimately, that is what I like about the book.
Bruce Larson
I think this book is a must read for people thinking about defense industry and about defense expenditure.
Kemal Burak Codur
Summary: I enjoyed this book and found easy to read and follow.
Wearefamily

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Larson on December 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
January 17, 2011 will be the 50th anniversary of Dwight David Eisenhower's best known speech, the one in which he warned of the development of a military-industrial complex in the United States. James Ledbetter digs deeply into the origins of Eisenhower's speech and systematically examines some of its consequences. The book is well-written, clearly referenced, and blessedly concise. For those who would like to know a bit more about "Ike" and where he was coming from, this book will be very welcome.

To me the most telling thing about the book is that its interpretations and judgments don't seem to need revision even though 21 new drafts of the speech were discovered (in the boat house of speech writer Malcolm Moos) in Minnesota. For more information on the drafts, see The New Yorker, Dec. 20 & 27, pp. 42 and 44. Of course, those new drafts have yet to be thoroughly studied, and so "the last word" is yet to be written.

Ultimately, that is what I like about the book. It provides great context and content, and doesn't overreach, while opening new doors for further exploration. My further exploration will be along the lines of learning more about the actual military-industrial complex, rather than the term itself. But that is only one door out of Ledbetter's book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paul Gelman on March 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The American sociologist C.Wright Mills has published his most famous book in 1956, called "The Power Elite". In the book, Mills has written about the centers of power concentration which was to be found in a fwe sectors of society: business, the military, and national government. Mills was worried about a schism between an elite with ever-increasing power and control and a mass society with little or no identification with that elite. It was this development which posed a threat to any democracy.
Five years later, in his farewell speech, President Eisenhower echoed Mills' concern, when he warned that "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex". What this phrase meant-and still means today-is the subject of Lebetter's fascinating and important book.
Some historians locate the history of the military-industrial complex(MIC) somewhere in the middle of the nineteenth century when the munitions industry has supplied the U.S military with weapons and supplies especially during the Civil War and after it. Ever since then, charges of profiteering have surfaced in the area of military procurement and these charges increased in number around the time that World War One broke out. The claim was that arms manufacturers cheated the government "in order to preserve their profits". They deliberately encouraged countries to start wars, join wars, or prolong wars in order to create demand for their products.
Some books published during the 1930 had even dubbed those arms manufacturers "merchants of death", and Mr. Ledbetter gives some examples and main themes regarding these books.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Harold Goldberg on February 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
James Ledbetter's compelling "Unwarranted Influence" tells the tale of the military-industrial complex, a theory that had gestated long before Eisenhower's landmark speech on the subject.

While the subject may at first blush seem difficult for the average reader to grasp, Ledbetter's great facility with words and ideas makes it just the opposite. In "Unwarranted Influence" the author makes the use of completely engaging anecdotes and little known facts to embellish the story of the military's influence upon the economy of U.S. For instance, did you realize there once was a potent liberal group within Congress that wanted the United States to become a neutral nation? With these tidbits, along with thoughtful theorizing, Ledbetter crafts a tome that is a fascinating, frightening and insightful book which will be talked about for years to come.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By JOHN DUROSE on February 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A fast easy read but well worth it. The book goes from Eisenhower's famous speech through to this era and shows that Ike's concerns were well justified. The most interesting point I got from it was that the US spends more on it's military today than all other nations combined - including our allies. I wanted the book to go into more detail on why the Republicans went from small 'C' conservatives who believed in balanced budgets to todays nightmare of a bankrupted country created by Bush and Chaney.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Loyola on July 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a boomer born in the late 40s, I've grown up with conflicts and wars of both the cold and hot varieties. But I never truly thought of them as products of a growth indrustry. Perhaps as by products of an at times incompetent elected government, but never as investments. To quote Pogo "...I've seen the enemy and he is us."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again