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The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Powerby Max Boot
Synopses & Reviews
"Serious students of foreign policy, no matter what their leanings, will want to entertain his arguments." Kirkus Reviews
"Anyone who wants to understand why America has permanently entered a new era in international relations must read [this book]." Los Angeles Times
"Not only truly engaging reading but also enlightening history which incisively illuminates America's current strategic challenges " Zbigniew Brzezinski Former National Security Adviser
"This deft and colorful examination of U.S. military expeditions abroad rightly explodes the canard that America was once "isolationist" and shifts the current debate from a question of whether to a question of how America can best employ force overseas to manage its informal empire. Brilliant and cheeky as always, Boot throws down his gantlet to critics on the left and right alike." Walter A. McDougall author of Promised Land, Crusader State
"A brilliant, highly original analysis of the American Way of waging battle in a sinful world. Brimming with sharp anecdotes, pragmatic reasoning and a deep grasp of military history, The Savage Wars of Peace is truly a landmark study." Douglas Brinkley author of The Unfinished Presidency
"An illuminating survey of America's readiness in the past to fight short, sharp wars against international nuisances. This is a vivid and timely book which holds memorable lessons for the West." Paul Johnson, author of Modern Times and A History of the American People
"You probably know about the great American assault at Inchon, Korea. But did you know the first one was in 1871? This book is a revelation and taught me how little I knew about American military history. Read The Savage Wars of Peace and learn what really happened in those Halls of Montezuma and on the Shores of Tripoli." James Bradley, author of Flags of Our Fathers
"The Savage Wars of Peace is a groundbreaking book that separates fact from myth on the use of American military power throughout our nation's history. Max Boot's journey through America's small wars mines fascinating and important yet virtually ignored territory. The stories he tells are compelling and could change your views on one of the most important issues facing our nation: the use of military force as a policy instrument." Richard Holbrooke, Former Ambassador to the United Nations
Book News Annotation:
Boot (editorial features editor, The Wall Street Journal) celebrates American interventionism and imperialism, arguing that the military strategies involved in small wars of imperialism have been constant in American history and have demonstrated substantial success in dominating less-developed countries. His narrative history documents wars with the Barbary nations shortly after the American Revolution, numerous invasions of Central American nations, and the expansion of empire into the Pacific and notes that many of these efforts consisted of "low-intensity" conflicts that dragged on for years. He argues that if the U.S. had maintained the same strategy for Vietnam, the nationalist insurgency might have been successfully suppressed.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Boot recalls a thrilling account of the forgotten wars of American history, and presents an eye-opening argument about the military's future role. 30 photos. Maps.
A thrilling account of the forgotten wars of American history, and an eye-opening argument about the military's future role.
Max Boot's new book is a history of those smaller, undeclared wars that, he argues, have always played a key role in American international affairs. This story, he shows, has special relevance to the current "war on terrorism" and the future of American conflicts around the world. Written with a rare eye for both political nuance and real humor, this book introduces us to heroes and exploits from the forgotten side of America's military history. We meet Stephen Decatur, who destroyed a captured American warship under the Pasha of Tripoli's nose, Army Lieutenant George S. Patton, who shot it out, ivory-handled pistol in hand, with Mexican banditos at an isolated hacienda in 1916, and many other fascinating characters. Boot locates America's failure to win the Vietnam War in the American military's failure to heed the lessons of "small wars" of the past, and warns against repeating this mistake in the future. Reminding us that the small wars of the Clinton presidency--Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo --fit squarely in an established military tradition, The Savage Wars of Peace is a compelling read that also delivers an important new argument about the future of American intervention abroad.
Among the Marines, it was said that Smedley [Butler] was dispatched to the National Palace to obtain [Haitian President] Dartiguenave's signature. The president tried to hide in his bathroom. The Marine waited outside the door for an hour.?Growing impatient, Butler walked outside, grabbed a ladder, propped it against the palace wall, and climbed up to the window of the bathroom to discover Dartiguenave sitting on a porcelain commode, fully dressed in pinstriped trousers, morning coat and top hat, smoking a cigar and reading a copy of Petit Parisien. Wasting no time, Butler supposedly leaped through the window to present the treaty and a fountain pen to the startled president. 'Sign here,' he commanded, and the president did. There is no sense inquiring whether this 'gorgeous legend' is literally true;?it gives an accurate flavor of how the U.S.-Haiti Treaty of 1915 came into being.
About the Author
Max Boot is the editorial features editor of the Wall Street Journal. His writing has appeared in Talk, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, The Weekly Standard, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Westchester County, New York.
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