Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by -usedbooks123-
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good used copy: Some light wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins. Text is clean and legible. Possible clean ex-library copy with their stickers and or stamps. We ship daily!
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

House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power Paperback – Bargain Price, June 4, 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
Paperback, Bargain Price, June 4, 2007
$3.74 $1.55

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Carroll would make a perfect NPR morning-show host, his sensitive, low, smooth voice the perfect background noise for sleepy yuppies getting ready for work. Reading his own book, a study of the Pentagon's outsize influence on postwar American life, Carroll is soothing and inoffensive. His reading is so uninflected that it veers on indistinctness or narcolepsy. Early-morning drivers should probably avoid listening to Carroll, for fear of being lulled into sleep. And yet, careful attention reveals a fine, subtle reading. Carroll lets his words speak for themselves, avoiding underlining or emphasizing specific words or phrases in his text. For some readers, that might be a recipe for being driven crazy; for others, it will allow for an uninfluenced reading of the text, whereby readers can listen as they might read—picking out their own points of emphasis. A little more emotion, though, probably wouldn't have hurt.
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.

From The New Yorker

Carroll was born the same week in January, 1943, that the Pentagon was dedicated, the Manhattan Project got under way, and Roosevelt declared that the goal of the war was the enemy's "unconditional surrender." In this "biography" of the Pentagon, he extends these moments into a fuguelike history of American military power from Hiroshima to Iraq. The dominant theme is personal: growing up, Carroll, whose father, a general, worked in the Pentagon, saw the building both as his "twin" and as "a kind of dark woods." On the practical side, he argues that "in the nuclear age, civilian oversight of American military policy had become largely mythical," that the Pentagon had "Congress in its thrall and presidents at its mercy." And yet his most fascinating stories involve moments—as in the Berlin crisis and the Vietnam War—when civilians successfully opposed the Pentagon's monolithic power.
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (June 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618872019
  • ASIN: B002HJ3FZE
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.6 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,565,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a huge book in many ways. The history of the Pentagon is dense and often mystifying, but Carroll manages to show how it is a very human institution with his now patent insight and precision. He manages this by telling its history as a scholar, a journalist of the highest order, and sometimes as a son. Carroll's father was an Air Force general during the Cold War, whose office was located in the Pentagon where the jet struck on 9/11. This book could not have been published at a better time. There is no better way to understand what is at work behind today's headlines than by reading this book. It is at times shocking and frightening, but always illuminating and extremely intriguing. I wouldn't say it reads like a spy novel, even if it is the stuff spy novels are made of, but Carroll's style flows and carries you along effortlessly. There are few politcal heroes here, Democratic or Republican. Carroll is careful to tell this story with unwavering truthfulness, but it would be a mistake to think of this as an attack on the Pentagon or the U.S. military. Carroll has an obvious affection for the place and for the military as an institution, perhaps in spite of himself. Carroll might be the only person in America who could tell this story of immense import with such integrity and thoroughness at this time when we seem so desperately need it.
Comment 140 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author is the son of General Carroll, the first Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, a former FBI special agent who entered the military with the rank of brigadier general with the mandate to create the Office of Special Investigations for the U.S. Air Force. The author is also a former Catholic priest, sympathetic to the Berrigans and those of the Catholic left who opposed the war in Viet-Nam. The book is in consequence not only an extraordinary reference work, but also a labor of love and a labor of conscience. I read it and appreciated it in that vein.

I was surprised to not see in the otherwise excellent bibliography any reference to Lewis Mumford's Pentagon Of Power: The Myth Of The Machine, Vol. II and this confirms my impression that each generation reinvents the wheel, and discovers persistent truths for itself. The author does quote Dwight Eisenhower to good effect--apart from the normal quote warning us of the military-industrial complex, General and President Eisenhower is quoted on page 206 "National Security over the long term requires fiscal restraint," and on page 387, "People want peace so much, that one of these days governments had better get out of their way and let them have it." I point to General Smedley Butler's book,
...Read more ›
Comment 68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
James Carroll has written a polemic to document the rise of the permanent warfare state in America over more than half a century. It is a scholarly work written at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, Mass. Pages 517 to 608 are footnotes of his source material. Pages 609 to 623 are a Bibliography followed by an extensive Index.

Readers may disagree with Carroll's conclusion, namely that the Department of Defense is now dominant over both the legislative and executive branches of government and leading us inevitably to unending war. But he must not be dismissed as a liberal crank.

There are conservatives in America who believe that the Founders established limited government, a tradition of non-involvement in foreign wars, and civilian control over the military. Carroll's arguments are dismissed at our peril.
Comment 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
James Carrol has given us three wonderful books: Constintin's Sword, An American Requiem, and his current flawed but exceedingly important work, HOUSE OF WAR. Why flawed? While this is an important book, there are several dozens of redundencies and reiterations of the same, admittedly important passages, again and again. I like Carrol's language and certainly respect his vast knowledge of events that I thought I was very familiar with, but actually had little knowledge concerning the currents and eddies roiling the tides of our common experiences. However, with better editing and an elemination of many of the reiterations, the book could have been shortened by perhaps a hundred pages. And at 512 pages of text and 142 pages of acknowledgements, notes, bibliography and index, it is a veerry long and heavy tome.

Carrol, because of his father's position as a centrally located Air Force general, and eventually first head of the Defense Intellegence Agency, has been afforded remarkable access to opinions of and inteviews with many of the players who were responsible for many of major decisions and events that were so important to the American experience from his birth in 1943 during the week the Pentagon, the House of War, was dedicated, to the current disasterous administration of the man who characterizes himself as The Decider, that very worst president of the United States, George W. Bush.

Carrol, a defrocked Catholic priest, and I am certain a major disappointment to his father and all the father's military comrades who knew him, has amazing insights in the happenings in every adminstration from FDR to GWB.
Read more ›
Comment 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews