Christopher's Reviews > War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier

War is a Racket by Smedley D. Butler
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

liked it
bookshelves: philosophy-social, self-defense-military

I have to admit, all of the hype I'd encountered before finally getting to this book led me to believe that this would be an articulate and impassioned voice of "right" over "might" from the pen of one the USMC's mightiest warriors. However, Smedley seems to reduce the "cost" of war primarily to its economic terms and goes into the $$$ figures of how much companies make during war-time and preparation for war-time. Smedley died before WWII and all of the statistics and numbers he gives in this "op/ed" piece are really chump change compared to what transpired after the military industrial complex truly exploded. Still, his sentiment is sincere and at the time it was written, there weren't too many men with his credentials able to speak out this way, calling out Wall Street and their bought-and-paid-for politicians; but the value I think of Smedley Butler lies more in what he did for his fellow military men than what he wrote: Smedley Butler and the Bonus Army.
5 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read War is a Racket.
Sign In »

Quotes Christopher Liked

Smedley D. Butler
“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

Reading Progress

September 9, 2012 – Shelved
May 23, 2013 – Started Reading
May 23, 2013 – Shelved as: self-defense-military
May 23, 2013 – Shelved as: philosophy-social
May 23, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by booklady (new)

booklady Thanks for this interesting review Christopher. I will be sure to recommend it to my husband ... its just the type of book he would like!

Christopher Glad it helped, booklady! :)

Christopher PS The entire text is available free online in numerous places, just google it up!

message 4: by Mike (last edited May 06, 2015 11:12AM) (new)

Mike well, if you want to see how he was right before ww2 about ww1 and what would become in the future.

see this youtube with discerning mind.

"JFK to 911 Everything Is A Rich Man's Trick"
goes from ww1 to now.

back to top