Start reading War is a Racket on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 

War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier [Kindle Edition]

Smedley D. Butler , Adam Parfrey
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $9.95 What's this?
Print List Price: $9.95
Kindle Price: $7.69
You Save: $2.26 (23%)

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $7.69  
Paperback $8.96  
100 M&T
100 Mysteries & Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime
Looking for something good to read? Browse our picks for 100 Mysteries & Thrillers to Read in a Lifetime, brought to you by the Amazon Book Editors.

Book Description

General Smedley Butler’s frank book shows how American war efforts were animated by big-business interests. This extraordinary argument against war by an unexpected proponent is relevant now more than ever.

Originally printed in 1935, War Is a Racket is General Smedley Butler’s frank speech describing his role as a soldier as nothing more than serving as a puppet for big-business interests. In addition to photos from the notorious 1932 anti-war book The Horror of It by Frederick A. Barber, this book includes two never-before-published anti-interventionist essays by General Butler. The introduction discusses why General Butler went against the corporate war machine and how he exposed a fascist coup d’etat plot against President Franklin Roosevelt. Widely appreciated and referenced by left- and right-wingers alike, this is an extraordinary argument against war - more relevant now than ever.



Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Smedley Darlington Butler (1881-1940), nicknamed "The Fighting Quaker" and "Old Gimlet Eye," was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. By the end of his career he had received 16 medals, five of which were for heroism. He is one of 19 people to be twice awarded the Medal of Honor, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal and the Medal of Honor, and the only person to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1348 KB
  • Print Length: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Feral House; Reprint edition (August 1, 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003XRDBJY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,957 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
261 of 271 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Decorated Marine General Cannot Be Ignored August 17, 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
EDITED from 17 Aug 03 to add book links.

This book is a real gem, a classic, that should be in any library desiring to focus on national security. It is a very readable collection of short essays, ending with a concise collection of photographs that show the horror of war--on one page in particular, a pile of artillery shells labeled "Cause" and below is a photo of a massive pile of bodies, labeled "Effect."

Of particular interest to anyone concerned about the current national security situation, both its expensive mis-adventures abroad and its intrusive violation of many Constitutional rights at home, is the author's history, not only as a the most decorated Marine at the time, with campaign experience all over the world, but as a spokesperson, in retirement, for placing constitutional American principles over imperialist American practice.

The following quotations from the book are intended to summarize it:

"I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil intersts in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested." [p. 10]

"War is a racket. ...It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives." [p. 23]

"The general public shoulders the bill [for war]. This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
158 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Straight from the mouth of a General... September 3, 2003
Format:Paperback
Dear readers, I first heard of Major General Smedley Butler when I joined the Marines twelve years ago. Hearing of his exploits while in Boot Camp, us recruits all wished we had as much guts as this Demi-God.

Imagine my suprise now, after having learned that our brave and tough idol had confessed to being the best "enforcer" for big business there ever was! He then became a whistle blower of the highest order. Brave and honest men and women who attain some kind of fame on the world stage do not get to live too long in this world. Their outspokeness is extinguished as soon as people start listening. In General Butler's case there was a glitch in the system. He rose to the heights in rank because of his courage, heart, and tenacity during times of WAR. They had no choice but to elevate him. He earned his unobstructed view of how the world works with blood, sweat, and tears. When he realized that he was just being used... All hell broke loose. His passionate essay in this book should be read by everyone living in this great country. He tells it the way it was and the way it still is.

It's going to be a while before someone else from so high-up steps "out of line" and talks. Can you imagine this happening nowadays? Not gonna happen. It seems that Generals are now chosen for political reasons.

So read this book about the brave General who showed even more courage as a Civilian.
Was this review helpful to you?
228 of 248 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars War: Who Profits from it and who Pays for it March 4, 2004
By C. Colt
Format:Paperback
"War is a Racket" is marine general, Smedley Butler's classic treatise on why wars are conducted, who profits from them, and who pays the price. Few people are as qualified as General Butler to advance the argument encapsulated in his book's sensational title. When "War is a Racket" was first published in 1935, Butler was the most decorated American soldier of his time. He had lead several successful military operations in the Caribbean and in Central America, as well as in Europe during the First World War. Despite his success and his heroic status, however, Butler came away from these experiences with a deeply troubled view of both the purpose and the results of warfare.
Butler's central thesis is that regardless of the popular rhetoric that often accompanies warfare, it is waged almost exclusively for profit. He advances this argument in three decisive examples.
EXAMPLE 1: CORPORATE MILITARY PROFITS RESULTING FORM WAR
In an early version of "follow the money", Butler provides pre- and post-World War I data on some of America's leading corporations to demonstrate the surge in profits that they experienced from the war, often totaling several hundred percent. While some companies, such as Dupont, arguably produced goods that contributed directly to America's military victory in 1918, others such as saddle manufacturers did not. Even when these companies failed to contribute directly to the war effort, they still managed to lobby the government to retrain or expand their contracts. Its as though powerful, well connected oil services company today were to contract with the government to supply oil to the military during a foreign campaign and then deliberately overcharge it.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As applicable today as when it was first written September 19, 2004
Format:Paperback
Brigadier General Smedley Darlington Butler is not a very familiar name when it comes to military lore in America. Butler was a two-time winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor. As a solider he oversaw American campaigns in China, Nicaragua, Cuba and Haiti. After his retirement from military service he brought down a planned corporate coup that threatened to seize control of the White House. He supported World War I Bonus Marchers who rallied in DC looking for their promised "War Bonus." He treated all his men fairly and honestly and was respected for it. Most importantly, he realized that in his role as a military leader he was a "high-class muscle man for big business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short...a racketeer for Capitalism." This book was his effort to expose everything that he knew about the inner workings of the American War Machine.

The first sentences of Butler's book, written in 1935 and mainly referring to World War I remain true today, "War is a racket. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious." Butler then rips into war profiteers who never shouldered a rifle yet made millions in blood money. Throughout his writing Butler posits that the single focus of war is to make money for the few by trading in the blood of the many. To know that in 2004 these words accurately and eerily describe the majority of the men and women now in control of the United States of America is shameful and disgraceful.

In Chapter Two "Who Makes the Profits" Butler analyzes who made money during the Wars he was involved with. He analyzes how they made their money and how much they made.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality Check
Quite refreshing to think that even as early as WWI, we had servicemen of high rank that understood this. Everything from 1990-on is blatant in-your-face obvious. Read more
Published 12 days ago by ToonRboy
5.0 out of 5 stars Sadly as relevant today as when originally written
War is a Racket by Smedley D. Butler is as relevant today as it was when it was originally written. It should be required reading for everyone. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Avid Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
Interesting perspective and ideas. The General paints both convincingly with his own propaganda-esc imagery while simultaneously demonizing the propaganda of the state.
Published 1 month ago by John Kessler
5.0 out of 5 stars Attempted Assasination of FDR
Not taught in school or in textbooks this work includes information that is timely and relevant to the 21st century reader.
Published 2 months ago by George R Walker
3.0 out of 5 stars War never changes...
Great concise book that reveals the hidden truths behind war and it's ugly companion...greed. This book could be re-written today on all the war's America has been involved in and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Who profits, who fights, who pays, who suffers.
Brutal honesty. Short, with the dollar figures to show his point. Nothing we all didn't know; just proof that we were right.
Published 3 months ago by James Michael Stephenson
5.0 out of 5 stars Valid Today
Straight to the heart of the mater. No fluff, no fill or b.s. Living proof that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Essential reading in my humble opinion.
Published 3 months ago by R. Tyler
3.0 out of 5 stars Wish it was longer
It was only a short collection of letters and speeches, I assumed it was a real book, it was rather slim
Published 3 months ago by Hoghungry1
5.0 out of 5 stars Old Truths Repeated
I've done my share of military service, and this book was an eerie echo from the past. And for those wishing to contest the criticisms, they are coming from a Marine awarded the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Z
5.0 out of 5 stars War is still a racket.
Well written and gets to the point. Figures are from the First World War but any competent student of history will clearly see that such reasoning applies to this day and age as... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Baggins
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?



Forums

Topic From this Discussion
Quote from Peter Ustinov Be the first to reply
Have something you'd like to share about this product?
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions


Look for Similar Items by Category


ARRAY(0xa44cf42c)