Today when you factor in the interest on the national debt from past wars and total defense expenditures the United States spends almost 40% of its federal budget on the military. It accounts for over 46% of total world arms spending.
Before World War II it spent almost nothing on defense and hardly anyone paid any income taxes. You can't have big wars without big government. Such big expenditures are now threatening to harm the national economy. How did this situation come to be?
In this book you'll learn how in the critical 20 years after World War II the United States changed from being a continental democratic republic to a global imperial superpower. Since then nothing has ever been the same again. In this book you will discover this secret history of the United States that formed the basis of the world we live in today.
By buying this book you will discover:
In this audiobook you will discover this secret history of the United States that formed the basis of the world we live in today.
©2013 Michael Swanson (P)2014 Listen and Think Audio
I only heard the audio version and had not read the print so I don't have an opinion.
There are no characters in this book. This book is more of an historical narrative and expose so no characters.
The performance was okay, not great.
An old mentor once told me that 'to the naive, things appear to be simple; and to the fool so complex'. The author poses a hypothesis that the federal defense budget is supported by the military-industrial complex. He supports his hypothesis with strong historical facts, written and recorded history and through a complex history of the cold war. His subject is highly complex but he weaves his story very well and with compelling force.
I for one can't wait for his next book.
If you're like me, you have a vague sense of how the Military Industrial Complex came into being and how it continues to grow. After reading this book however, things will no longer be vague.
The author lays it all out in a step by step fashion, and it seems to be fact, after fact, after well documented and researched fact. That being said, the whole thing reads like a Clancy novel, complete with heroes and villains and an alarming plot line.
I wish I could say the book had a happy and optimistic ending, but the ending will be left to ourselves an our posterity to be written. I really hope more people will read this.
Book was well written and researched by the author. Audio was a solid performance. My respect of John Kennedy grew immensely from knowledge learned here.
I warmly recomend this book to anyone that would like to understand the call war and US politics better. This was an eye opener for me, a must read.
Mind blowing information. I used to think this was just mindless propaganda but once you listen to the information and connect the dots everything makes so much sense ! Don't delay listening or reading this book.
Great, in-depth explanation of the origins of the Cold War. I really appreciated all the time devoted to The Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis, as they were events I was aware of, but didn't really know what happened.
If you want to understand America today, you must read The War State. Swanson provides an insightful historical perspective that explains America's perennial obsession with world dominance. He answers questions such as why we maintain military bases in almost every corner of the planet, why we are more interested in maintaining a state of constant military readiness than educating our children, why we spend more on armaments than the rest of the world's nations combined, and why we are the world's predominant arms dealer.
Origin and influence of Military - Industrial complex which is still very active and powerful...Fascinating book. A must read...Clear, to the point and informative...
It's a political retelling of basic history with an interesting angle. Impressive for a non historian (no, a PhD dropout doesn't count as a professional).
If you want a good high-school-level summary of the Cuban Missile Crisis with Kennedy as anti-establishment hero, by all means buy this work. As a bonus you will receive three final Chapters 9 to 12, which pad the audiobook out by repeating everything in the previous chapters, then telling you how to sign up for the next book on this important subject by the same author--who apparently, from the five-star reviews here, enjoys his own clique of eager followers.
Presumably, this next book will contain some new revelations, economic analysis, and original scholarship, though I wouldn't bet on it. The greatest failure of the book, apart from its numerous repetitions, superficial polemic, and slipshod writing (Is there an editor in the house?), is the lack of any economic context. I am actually sympathetic to the author's basic concept of the "war state," but he fails to detail the "industrial side" of the "military-industrial complex," the profits, credits, bond financing, and lobbying that continue to provide the economic inertia behind our immense weaponized Keynsianism.
Nor does the author take military Keynsianism seriously as a necessary logic of modern capitalism. His approach seems to be more libertarian than left, with the idea that by reducing the executive branch, the military bureaucracies, and large military industries we can reduce oppressive taxes and deficits and return to our roots as an isolationist Jeffersonian democracy of peaceful farmers, small-town banks, and small business entrepreneurs. This ignores not only economic reality, but our own national history since the Indian Clearances, the Mexican War, and the Spanish American War as an outward-rolling commercial-military empire, from Polk to Cheney.
That said, I thank the author for identifying NSC 68 as an interesting point of departure. There are a few good story details, a hopeful anti-militarism, and the reading is okay. If you really know nothing about this period of U.S. history, the book is worth the time.
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