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The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives (American Empire Project)
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The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives (American Empire Project)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  84 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews

"Fascinating, no matter where you place yourself on the ideological spectrum."—Wired

Now in paperback, a stunning breakdown of the modern military-industrial complex—an omnipresent, hidden-in-plain-sight system of systems that penetrates all our lives.

From iPods to Starbucks to Oakley sunglasses, historian Nick Turse explores the Pentagon’s little-noticed conta

Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 3rd 2009 by Metropolitan Books (first published March 18th 2008)
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Feb 05, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Parts of this book were good. The sections on recruiting and propaganda are particularly informative and disturbing.

The intro didn't work for me. Why should I (or a fictional character) care if I buy toothpaste from a company that the military also buys toothpaste from? If I shop at the same grocery store as some guy who beats his wife, am I supporting domestic violence?

If the military buys a lot of food, is that part of a vast military-food conspiracy? Or is it just inevitable that people in th
Jan 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an essential book to understand the workings of the military and its growing association with our society and culture. You learn many things, (if you are as ill-informed as I was) like the servitude of universities for research that is sometimes controversial including trying to make "guiltless soldiers" and creating a robotic force that does not discriminate between the combatant and child, the lavish lifestyle and gross custom of waste in the military and CIA (from a $1,800 pillow and ...more
Sep 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
This was an interesting book in that it did delineate many connections between corporations and the military, but it left me wanting a fuller description of the nature of the relationship. Does selling shampoo to the military because you are a shampoo company constitute the same level of immersion as a company that develops the next warfare simulation for a video game meant to pre-train the next generation of potential soldiers? I don't think it does, and Turse doesn't play that up very well.

Jul 03, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A book that has good intentions but goes off target more quickly than a North Korean missile. The author promises a discussion of how the military industrial complex has insinuated itself into the economy and the culture, and the book does a good job of that, but then the discussion turns toward the military's excesses, and I just don't really care how many golf courses the pentagon owns.
Miroku Nemeth
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a teacher and adjunct English professor for a decade and a half, I have taught on war and literature, and the military-industrial complex and war profiteering for years. I show Eugene Jarecki's excellent documentary "Why We Fight", assign readings from King's April 4, 1967, "Beyond Vietnam" speech, Howard Zinn on Thoreau, poets and writers from Aeschylus to Tim O'Brien, etc., and have students, many of whom are actually veterans, research and write on war and its consequences. This book was r ...more
A review of the questionable ways that the Pentagon spends money. Enter into the world of massive corporate contractors that enjoy defense funds to create products that they later sell to the public (when you see the sheer scope of companies that enjoy these contracts, the idea of a free market in any form is a joke because many, many, many of the largest ones earn large minorities of their profits from taxpayer money); the revolving door between the boards of multi-billion dollar military contr ...more
There is an ever increasing militarization of our society. Even if you are a relatively socially aware and concerned citizen its hard to avoid being drawn in. One problem, Turse never sufficiently proves that by purchasing products from any given company which also happens to have contracts with the military you are falling prey to the Complex. If I buy something from someplace and the seller turns around and uses that money to buy guns which are used to kill the innocent I am directly supportin ...more
Kevin McAllister
Seems like they decided to change the subtitle of this book to something a bit more attention grabbing. The sub title of the book I have is How The Military Invades Our Everyday Lives. Sounded like a very interesting topic to me so I picked up a copy. Unfortunately there wasn't anything very original between the covers, and very little I didn't already know. The one chapter I did find interesting was the chapter on recruiting. I wasn't really aware of just how low the military has sunk, not only ...more
Smiley McGrouchpants
Terrifying. You see farther, with this book, and stop lingering on ideology, right-or-wrong, left or right; this is the book that led me to conclude that "Lockheed-Martin's a planet" in a story of mine. Read it and be chilled! So many, many things are just not within a person's reach ... welcome to realism, American-style, where "scope" is the keyword, and "opinion" is dwarfed by scale. Probably not optional for anyone who consumes stuff in America, including oxygen.
May 31, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Can I give a book NEGATIVE stars?! Wow, did Turse feel anti-military. Or just that the military is to blame for so many wrong things in our world. I could barely flip through this. I thought it was just me, but my husband did the same--after 10 minutes of looking through the book, he asked me "what the heck is this? Why does this guy hate the military? Did you BUY this??" Unfortunately I did--and in a bookstore ON a military post.
Gregg A.
Mar 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am sorry I wasted my time reading this book. The book was filled with satirical over the top comments that I would expect from only a very very liberal view of the military. I expected more information on how the military is connected to our lives - I received that but only on a general level. I suppose I expected a text that would allow me to make my own conclusions.
sonny singh suchdev
this is a freaky book - very important for folks to read and begin to further understand how deeply entrenched the military is in ALL aspects of our society. it's super easy to read and accessible and packed full of information we should all know. (p.s. nick turse the author wrote the first review of Outernational in the village voice many years back!)
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and in some aspects rightly terrifying, this is undone by Turse's overdone righteous indignation. Copy editing isn't great and the collection of essays seems less focused than the work could have been.

I suspect that at some points the author has been on the verge of using the word "sheeple": it's that feeling of smugness through the work that ultimately stays with you.
Jan 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the amount of numbers turse puts forth in relation to Pentagon spending is a bit dizzying, but he does a good job of demonstrating how the military is connected to everything around us--even Silk Soymilk!
John Petersen
Excellent idea for a book, and important information for Americans to know, but I agree it was written rather flatly.
Ryan Koncar
Definately an eye-opener. A pretty quick read. There are a few levels to the book, so even if it's a little over-the-top for you, there's still value to be found.
Nov 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
Interesting insight but a bit preachy.
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The military totally invades our culture 1 7 May 19, 2009 06:49AM  
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