How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything

Tales from the Pentagon
Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (379 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The first serious book to examine what happens when the ancient boundary between war and peace is erased.

Once, war was a temporary state of affairs - a violent but brief interlude between times of peace. Today America's wars are everywhere and forever: Our enemies change constantly and rarely wear uniforms, and virtually anything can become a weapon. As war expands, so does the role of the US military. Today military personnel don't just "kill people and break stuff". Instead they analyze computer code, train Afghan judges, build Ebola isolation wards, eavesdrop on electronic communications, develop soap operas, and patrol for pirates. You name it, the military does it.

Rosa Brooks traces this seismic shift in how America wages war from an unconventional perspective - that of a former top Pentagon official who is the daughter of two antiwar protesters and a human rights activist married to an army Green Beret. Her experiences led her to an urgent warning: When the boundaries around war disappear, we risk destroying America's founding values and the laws and institutions we've built - and undermining the international rules and organizations that keep our world from sliding toward chaos. If Russia and China have recently grown bolder in their foreign adventures, it's no accident; US precedents have paved the way for the increasingly unconstrained use of military power by states around the globe. Meanwhile we continue to pile new tasks onto the military, making it increasingly ill prepared for the threats America will face in the years to come.

By turns a memoir; a work of journalism; a scholarly exploration into history, anthropology, and law; and a rallying cry, How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything transforms the familiar into the alien, showing us that the culture we inhabit is reshaping us in ways we may suspect but don't really understand. It's the kind of book that will leave you moved, astonished, and profoundly disturbed, for the world around us is quietly changing beyond recognition - and time is running out to make things right.

©2016 Rosa Brooks (P)2016 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything

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    5 out of 5 stars

A Must-Read for Military and other Govt Leaders

As a senior Army officer and graduate of the U.S. Army War College (the motto of which is "To preserve peace, not to promote war") I found this book very educational and, moreover, extremely relevant to the professional development of military leaders. It's a must-read book for those who are willing to view the current strategic and operational environments through a different lens; which is, in my view, the only way our Nation and the collective Global community will ever have any hope of breaking free of the current pervasive state of armed conflict. Masterfully conceived and written!

8 people found this helpful

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Should be on Pentagon's Mandatory Reading List

Any additional comments?

As a career Naval Officer, it is the type of book I would like to have read early in my career. As for now, all politicians, military leaders, and political scholars should explore our everything is war policy decisions and abandon them.

8 people found this helpful

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Absolutely stunning

an amazing account of the present with a thoughtful account of what the future can, and maybe should, hold. must read! narrator and author are both fantastic

3 people found this helpful

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  • jj
  • 10-08-16

All Americans need to know this.

Solid information. The United States is and must evolve to address new threats, but it can not do it all.

2 people found this helpful

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It's a marathon.. But be patient...

Very detailed analysis of the military industrial complex and how it is spreading. It's a marathon of a book, and often time loses the civilian reader in nuanced inner workings. Nevertheless it paints a shocking picture our current state of perpetual war.

1 person found this helpful

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must read book, fascinating and profound,

Profound insights into war and the military from insider who knows the truth. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book

a thoughtful and clear look at our past decade and a half's foreign policy and military failures from a true insider perspective. lays out the facts and effects with the intent of educating.

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Redefining warfare

Takes a thorough look at the nature and issues of modern warfare which is more like organized crime than traditional battlefield events. Introduces the quagmire of issues this raises (international law, foreign policy, ethics, rule of law, separation of powers, use and provisioning of the military, and accountability) and outlines the beginnings of a solution.

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Very well composed and narrated!

This book should be a text book in all Public Policy graduate programs. The author does a fine job keeping the reader/listener entertained while delivering hours of historical lectures and context surrounding our national defense and its evolution, as well as a way to strengthen our core military competencies/priorities and be more efficient, both home and abroad.

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Eye Opener.

This book was very informative. The author takes a mostly neutral political stance as she deliveries many factual events an offers intuitive insight into how these facts will impact American and world citizens.

1 person found this helpful