War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by Americas Most Decorated Soldier by Smedley D. ButlerMajor General Smedley D. Butler was a military hero of the first rank, the winner of two Medals of Honour, a true fighting marine whose courage and patriotism could not be doubted. Yet he came to believe that the wars in which he and his men had fought and bled and died were all pre-planned conflicts, designed not so much to defend America as to bloat the balance sheets of US banks and corporations.
War Is a Racket is the title of two works, a speech and a booklet, by retired United States Marine Corps Major General and two time Medal of Honor recipient Smedley D. Butler. In them, Butler frankly discusses from his experience as a career military officer how business interests commercially benefit from warfare.
After his retirement from the Marine Corps, Gen. Butler made a nationwide tour in the early 1930s giving his speech War is a Racket. The speech was so well received that he wrote a longer version as a small book with the same title that was published in 1935 by Round Table Press, Inc., of New York. The booklet was also condensed in Readers Digest as a book supplement which helped popularize his message. In an introduction to the Readers Digest version, Lowell Thomas, the as told to author of Butlers oral autobiographical adventures, praised Butlers moral as well as physical courage.
War is a Racket by Maj. General, Smedley Darlington Butler
Major General Smedley Butler
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He had also become an unrelenting voice against the business of war. Raised by prominent Quaker parents, Smedley Butler defied his pacifist lineage by joining the Marines just before his 17th birthday. Butler was known for his leadership and commitment to the welfare of the men under his command. He rose quickly through the ranks to become, at age 48, one of the youngest major generals. He was punished for telling an unfavorable story about Mussolini, avoided court-martial by accepting a reprimand.