Smedley D. Butler

Smedley D. Butler

in West Chester, Pennsylvania, The United States
July 30, 1881

June 21, 1940



Smedley Darlington Butler was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps, an outspoken critic of U.S. military adventurism, and, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, Central America, the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I.

After he retired he became a well-known and outspoken critic of the US military-industrial complex and, and a popular anti-war speaker. His most well known work is his 1935 book "War is a Racket", in which he described war as a money making enterprise.

Average rating: 4.28 · 1,700 ratings · 187 reviews · 4 distinct works · Similar authors
War is a Racket: The Antiwa...

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General Smedley Darlington ...

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War Is A Racket!: And Other...

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“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests 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 benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”
Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier

“WAR is a racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one
international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the
losses in lives.”
Smedley D. Butler, War Is a Racket

“I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”
Smedley D. Butler

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