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Publisher's Summary

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 led 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.

©1935 Smedley D. Butler (P)2018 Dauphin Publications

What listeners say about War Is a Racket: Original Edition

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REQUIRED READING FOR AMERICA BEFORE RECITING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Smedley Darlington Butler was a Major General in the United States Marine Corps. "Butler had received 16 medals, five for heroism. He is one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal (along with Wendell Neville and David Porter) and the Medal of Honor, and the only Marine to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions." He was no armchair general. This small tome is Butler's showing of the futility of continued American military meddling and going to war. The book written in 1935 shows how industrialists aka Defense Contractors do very well, profit wise, with every U.S. Military adventure. With facts and figures Butler shows how, since the McKinley Administration, Corporations with their Amen Corner U.S. Generals and Admirals instigate conflict for their own gain. It's detail is eye opening when it comes to war profiteering. The performance by William Dougan is excellent and the story is a lesson for all flag waving Americans.

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A must read for Military members and Veterans..

The General foresaw the future of the US Military, and Big Corporations.. Nothing has changed..

1 person found this helpful

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War is a Racket

I liked the History lesson and the views from a military background. I wanted more details of the general government big business conspiracy to rob The People using secrecy and propaganda so evident today. The beginnings of the Deep State and Shadow Government can be discerned
Listening to the narration. Really a useful book.

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Eye- Opening

I knew we were getting scammed, just didn't know how nor how badly. It's a sobering thing to understand that the people in power are, indeed, the thieves they claim to protect you from.

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Should be required high school reading

Should be required 12th grade high school reading. Really needs a modern update to accommodate for modern US military spending.

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Eye opening

This is a fantastic short story. Maj. Gen. Butler points out a lot of behind the curtain facts about war. I kind of wish it was read with more intensity, but great quick listen regardless.

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Must listen

This is a must listen. Butler hit the nail on the head, heed his words

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great book by the guy who stopped a fascist coupe

The book is every bit as relevant today as when it was written. The capitalists have taken over our country and are squeezing our country dry. Stop being concerned for other countries and start being concerned for your own before you lose it.

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A great listen

General Butler hit the nail on the head. War is indeed a racket that needs to be smashed.

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Relevant Then, Relevant Now

This is a very short but eloquent treatise on the nature, reasons, and politics of war, first published circa 1935.
Buttler’s historical references might seem obscure to us today, but they were quite well known in his day. But as the nature, reasons, and politics of war are the same now as they were then. This treatise remains as relevant now as it was in 1935.
Much has been written on this subject, all saying basically the same things as Butler said so well back then.
Very quick read, and even quicker to listen to! I highly recommend this book.

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  • Allan
  • 08-21-20

Mostly on point and worth 45 minutes of your time

This book takes the view point that the driving force behind war is profit. I would say I mostly agree with this statement.

One issue I had with some of his examples, such as how steel producers profits increase dramatically, is more down to market forces than anything else. You will use vastly more steel during a war and so a steel producer will make vastly more money. That doesn't mean a war was started because a steel tycoon wanted to increase his profits.

A really good point made was how military personnel pay a lot out of their own money for things that should be provided such as extra medical compensation. And 80 years on this is still the case!



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  • Ste F
  • 07-22-19

Brief

Interesting, depressingly to the point. It ended before I even realised it and I was a bit disappointed.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-08-22

Very relevant

With all the media mussinformation and propaganda this is a reminder to always look at motivations of governments and politicians.