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Report from Iron Mountain on the Possibility & Desirability of Peace
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Report from Iron Mountain on the Possibility & Desirability of Peace

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  30 reviews
This satire from the 1960s makes a convincing claim to be a government document on the destructive effects of the post-Cold War peace on American society and economy and illustrates the fears of a society struggling with its own identity and purpose. New material explores the history of this book.
Hardcover, 152 pages
Published May 1st 1996 by Free Press (first published 1967)
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Robert Wechsler
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: satire
This is one of the best satires I’ve ever read. Forget the history of it — from a literary point of view, this is a classic. Posing as a secret government report, this parodic satire consistently uses the appropriate language and, despite a few winks and nods, Lewin tries to make the arguments as rational and believable as possible. After all, that is the point: that supposedly neutral, expert committees can draft outrageously immoral reports that hide their immorality behind bureaucratic langua ...more
Erik Graff
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: citizens of the USA
Recommended to Erik by: no one
I read this book towards the end of high school in one of the early editions which maintained it represented the conclusions of a federal government think tank posed with the question of how to maintain the power structure in the event that a stable peace was accomplished. Although the cold war with the Warsaw Pact was still going on and despite the war in Indochina, the USA and USSR had been improving relations and futurologists did often raise the issue, so the claim seemed plausible.

The conte
Mar 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A very cold and chilling companion book to “The Creature from Jekyll Island.” In fact, this book provides the basis for why the Central Bank and Federal Reserve were set up. War is a necessary human evil, and still today, a very profitable one at that. This book was written in 1967 as a ‘think tank’ study, and is just as chillingly relevant today as when it was written!

At the center of the problem of war is the conundrum that while all people desire peace, we also are never sure that if we di
Apr 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I picked up “Iron Mountain” while browsing around in the Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago. Still an impressionable youth (I’ve been a youth most of my life) I was wowed by this seemingly out-of-the-box, off-the wall satire of the prognostication of our possible doom. An excellent satire to read for those who wonder why big powers do the stupid things they do and what possible, if not probable, consequences might result.

It reminded me of an assignment given to us in my English clas
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tin-foil-hat
I'm not sure whether I would prefer Report from Iron Mountain to be a hoax or not. If it is a hoax it is one of the greatest pieces of stony-faced, bone-dry satire ever written. If it is not (on its leak apparently LBJ "hit the roof" and ordered its suppression for all time), it would indict a government that is willing to perpetuate war as a form of peace - bringing to mind Orwell's famous doublethink: "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." However, regardless of the report' ...more
Mike Cheng
Aug 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Despite what has been said or reported about this monograph since it was published (or leaked), it does not seem like a spoof, satire, or hoax. Instead it reads like (what I imagine) how a think-tank memorandum would look. The premise is that war, aside from its purported objectives, also serves other crucial economic, political, and sociological functions; in the absence of war a new surrogate / threat (such as an impending global environmental disaster) must be fabricated to take its place in ...more
Wayne Reske
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To the young, the naïve, and the morally upright it is a cold shock and the tone is entirely consistent with Machiavellian politics as taught in colleges all over the country. To say it is satire is to excuse it and deny the whole sweep of human history. The truth is often ugly.

The copy I'd read in 1970 had no cover because it had been withdrawn from public distribution - I've seen similarly supressed, coverless books as well. I used it as a pillow on my last night in Vietnam.

Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating and thought provoking.
Proven to be a hoax, but this doesn't detract from it.
Alicia Joy
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a riveting read that goes into great background as to why their will never be world peace.
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
Political satire or not, it reads like a Sears catalogue. It is boring and difficult to wrap one’s mind around. This is not Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.” RIP in Leonard C. Lewin.
Max Nova
Dec 11, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, government
"Report From Iron Mountain" is a book whose history is much more interesting than the book itself. Originally proclaimed as a "top secret" 1960's report that had been leaked to the public, Leonard Lewin ultimately claimed authorship and revealed the whole thing as a satirical hoax. Or did he...?

Turns out that famous economist/diplomat John Kenneth Galbraith ( claimed he was on the committee that compiled the top secret report. Writing under his pseudonym
Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Fascinating book. It came out, professing to be a top secret, suppressed government report, during a new presidency. It was so controversial, it even gained the attention of that presidency, who admitted no knowledge of it's genuineness. It is still unknown. This edition confesses it to be a fake. However, when it was released, for many years it had a single publisher (the same publisher as the current edition). But as an unclaimed government report, they were unable to gain any kind of copyrigh ...more
Yifan (Evan) Xu (Hsu)
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
War is a necessary part of human society.
  In human history, wars tended to be healthy to human species and society. Operation of our society such as economic, social and governmental activities and sustainability of human community resort to the requirements and preparation of war without substitutes.
  The reason is that war provides many essential functions to our society. It justifies governmental regime; It becomes an essential component of modern economy stabilizing and controlling
Scot León Pfuntner
Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Apparently the god of war, Mars, is still worshiped in modern times by our government. Blood sacrifices are made to appease him and obtain economic, ecological, sociological, cultural, and political gains. These blood sacrifices must be offered to him as resource waste on the scale of 10% of the national GDP or the stability of our nation is at risk of stoking his wrath. Oh, and by the way, we are considered part of those resources to be wasted as a means of population control. The elephant in t ...more
Apr 15, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: budding satirists
If you're looking for good -- but dry (partially what makes it so good, in this case) -- satire, this book may be for you. Basically, it's a fake government report put out in the height of Hippie-dom that questions whether peace (here defined as the absence of active warfare) is a valid state for the world and furthermore argues that world peace would bring a host of other problems much more dangerous and destructive than war itself. It caused quite a ruckus when it was first published, but has ...more
Mar 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was a leaked document from a secret government funded think tank study group that many say is a hoax. Personally I think its probably for real. Various foundation/government think tanks have been caught saying and doing things just as bad, if not worse, than whats in The Report From Iron Mountain so I don't see why this would be unbelievable to anyone with half a clue as to how the world really operates. As far as reading it, well its horribly boring. You can get overviews in various "consp ...more
Dec 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: new-world-order
I read The Report from Iron Mountain (RFIM) after reading The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin (I highly recommend!) since he referenced RFIM on numerous occasions in the last few chapters.

Whether RFIM is an authentic government study or a hoax I don't think even matters. RFIM goes a long way towards explaining the reality that surrounds us.

As G. Edward Griffin says of the report, it "is an accurate summary of the plan that has already created our present. It is now creating our
Aug 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants peace
Recommended to Dreepa by: my 8th grade teacher
This is not the biggest page turner in the world but the book is very interesting.
It is under 100% so well worth the read.
Does the US want Peace?
Does being at war serve a purpose beyond the actual fighting?
This book takes a detailed look at what war (and the 'war machine') is for.

If 'peace' were declared we might need something to take war's place? How about 'Terrorists'? How about 'Global Warming'? This book came out in the 1960s and is very interesting.
Sep 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ironic people
Recommended to Brian by: John Wilson
This work captures the kind of "mad world" irony typical of Dr. Strangelove. The presumption is that war is not only man's natural state, but that the abolition of war would cause incalculable damage and social disequilibrium. The book war apparently written very much as a "spoof," and received as a serious commentary at the time by at least some members of the chattering classes.

It has its place, and the sustained tone of irony is itself no small feat.
Robert Martin
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
When this first came out it was 'believable' was presented as a leaked document. Quite a political comment of the times.....which is strangely relevant, once again....! Someone should re-leak it. ...more
Carol Schultz
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a chiller right up there with 1984. When I first read the book there was no indication that it was anything but truth but later was told to contain fiction. Still amazing and chilling possibilities to consider.
Michael Walters
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Such a fun book. My conclusion is that this book is exactly what it says it is. A product of a secret government panel. Answering the big "what ifs" that powerful minds with access to unlimited resources asked back in the 60's. ...more
Scribble Orca
Jan 21, 2011 is currently reading it
Recommended to Scribble by: Brian
At this stage, blame Brian the aka Bird Brian
Raymond Nazon
Aug 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
must read. Everything in this book is coming through and some has already came true.
Jason Cummins
All I can say is if you want to really understand the current world we live in just read this book.
Satire, that does not work after 45 years of time passing.
Mike I.
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A would be hilarious satire of governmental think tank documents from the 60s, would be if it wouldn't have hit so close to home when the Pentagon Papers were leaked ...more
charles hudson
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Iron man.

Seems like a current logical end result of govt. expansion. I do think that this was a real report. Thanks.
Jul 31, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Vile, sick, twisted. Is peace really necessary, I mean we need war. What would we replace war with?
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Leonard C. Lewin was an American writer, best known as the author of the bestseller The Report from Iron Mountain (1967). He also wrote Triage (1972), a novel about a covert group dedicated to killing people it considers to be not worth having around.

Lewin graduated from Harvard University. Before becoming a writer, he worked as a labor organizer in New England and in his father's sugar refinery i

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