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War is a Racket: The Profit Motive Behind Warfare Paperback – April 13, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 28 pages
  • Publisher: World Library Classics (April 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434407004
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434407009
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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Customer Reviews

Very short book only 28 pages.
Jeffrey Flynn
Hopefully more and more people will read books like this (takes less than 1 hour to read) and see that things have not changed one bit since 1935 when Butler wrote it.
Charles Augustin
Marine Corp General Smedley Butler is generally recognized (especially by Marines) as one of the greatest military men in U.S. history.
tony from Philly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Sing T. Loc on November 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I gave this 1 star NOT because this book is horrible. In fact, it deserves 5 stars! This version with the Evil Uncle Sam on the cover is such a short version (hence the price) that you loose virtually all the famous quotes. This version states 28 pages yet the first words start on page 7. The Green Olive Leaf paperback has 80 of the original writtings. I got what I paid for :.(
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Jeremiah J. Timmins on April 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In this short book, retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley D. Butler, winner of two Congressional Medals of Honor, describes his understanding of the motivations and causes of America's turn-of-the-century international wars (AKA: The Banana Wars) in the Carribean, South America, and China.

Here, General Butler explains the actual motivations for 'fighting for the USA' beyond the USA's borders and shores. The reader will learn how big business, hand-in-hand with government, is often the reason we get into wars outside our own country.

An extremely interesting book, complex yet clearly written, "War is a Racket" is relevant to today's situation and will help you understand how we choose our overseas fights and why we fight them.

-- JJ Timmins
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Douglas P. Humes on December 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't buy the paperback with the Uncle Sam figure on the over. At 28 pages, it's either a pamphlet reprint or it is edited down. It is a very superficial treatment of the subject - a disappointment. I was visiting Butler's house last week, spoke with relatives, and I went looking for his book, prepared to be impressed. I am hoping that he has more substance than what is in this 28 page pamphlet. It is a screed against capitalism, but the Army that bought the millions of dollars worth of equipment that he points out as unnecessary, or leftover, or out of date, gets a free pass. He blames the sellers, but does not inquire about the buyers. The famous quote about being the "gangster for capitalism" is not in the book. It is from a speech he gave on the same subject. Perhaps this is his whole book - if so, it is freely available online. Don't waste the shipping charge for these 28 pages.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert Clark on August 5, 2010
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I recommend reading this book. It only takes about 20 minutes and can be found online for free. It was written in 1935 and much of what he predicted came true and much of what he observed is still true. The analysis of profit and warfare versus who is making the real sacrifice is good. Many of his objections, while philosophically correct (in my opinion), have been taken out of the equation for the time being. He had a lot of heartburn over the draft and who got sent and how much they got paid. Now we are pretty much all volunteer and get paid relatively well. Of course I think this just makes it easier to send troops to war and he would probably have been against that result. He finishes with a 3 step method to limit wars and a great closing line, "TO HELL WITH WAR."
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Rothauser on May 31, 2010
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U.S. Marine Brigadier General Smedley Butler, the most decorated military man in history, saw first-hand the lies and deceits that characterize modern warfare. He blew the whistle on the corruption and waste of lives of World War I, traveling nationally to spread the word. He warned American citizens time and again that they were being duped by the power brokers that run the American economy and that America's sons were being sacrificed for the profit motive. He offered a solution in the form of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would prevent the U.S. from making war outside our national borders.This is a powerful book all the more so in that it's power rings as true today as it did when published in 1935.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Louthain on June 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a really difficult read by someone who has slowly come to realize the true evils of war and who profits from it. The author is not some pacifist coward but a warrior who has realized that he and the ones he served with in battle have been had by some very evil men. We are a military family but right now the VA IS BEING EXPOSED FOR THE UNCARING GROUP THAT IT IS CONCERNING OUR VETERANS. You either have to ignore the evidence and personal experience or begin to free yourself from the war manipulators.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KRANZO on November 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Smedley Butler is a true American hero and he was warning about the military industrial complex decades before Ike. His ideas about government wouldn't fly these days but man oh man are they interesting. It's a really short book and definitely a great one to have on your kindle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By the1911patriot on February 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had read this book online awhile back but just recently picked up a paper copy. This book is a very worth reading. Maj. Gen S. D. Butler, unlike most anti-war activists, was a highly decorated professional soldier who renounced the political and financial "game" of almost all modern wars. I agree with Butler in having a strong national defense and absolutely no foreign intervention (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.). This is a definite read for a libertarian patriot.
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