Maverick Marine: General Smedley D. Butler and the Contradictions of American Military History

Overview

Smedley Butler's life and career epitomize the contradictory nature of American military policy through the first part of this century. Butler won renown as a Marine battlefield hero, campaigning in most of America's foreign military expeditions from 1898 to the late 1920s. He became the leading national advocate for paramilitary police reform. Upon his retirement, however, he renounced war and imperialism and devoted his energy and prestige to various dissident and leftist ...

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Maverick Marine: General Smedley D. Butler and the Contradictions of American Military History

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Overview

Smedley Butler's life and career epitomize the contradictory nature of American military policy through the first part of this century. Butler won renown as a Marine battlefield hero, campaigning in most of America's foreign military expeditions from 1898 to the late 1920s. He became the leading national advocate for paramilitary police reform. Upon his retirement, however, he renounced war and imperialism and devoted his energy and prestige to various dissident and leftist political causes.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Butler joined the Marines in 1898 and saw action all over the world, winning two Medals of Honor, but he is remembered not so much for his military exploits as for his apostasy during his latter years. A statement he made in 1935 sums up the drastic turnabout: ``I spent 33 years in the Corps, and spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business.'' He also said he had been a racketeer for capitalism who ``helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.'' Schmidt, a lecturer in history at the University of Hong Kong, traces Butler's stormy career: his various expeditionary campaigns, his central role in internal Marine Corps politics during the 1920s and his bizarre but effective war on crime and vice in Philadelphia. As pure biography, Marine Maverick is a colorful story about a swashbuckling establishment-shaker. Schmidt's book is particularly valuable, however, for the insights it provides into Yankee imperialism and its racist undertones. Photos. (July)
From the Publisher

"A sympathetic portrait of a Victorian officer-warrior who lost his way as he advanced in rank and his America and his Marine Corps changed after World War I." -- Journal of American History

"This long-awaited biography is as crisp as a David Brinkley commentary. Fact-packed and exquisitely documented." -- Naval Institute Proceedings

"As pure biography, Maverick Marine is a colorful story about a swashbuckling establishment-shaker. Schmidt's book is particularly valuable, however, for the insights it provides into Yankee imperialism and its racist undertones." -- Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813109572
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 7/28/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 625,135
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2007

    The Plot to Seize the White House

    If you're interested in Smedley Butler, check out the shocking story of how he uncovered the radical plot to overthrow FDR. It's an almost forgotten historical even but you can read about it in Jules Archer's The Plot to Seize the Whitehouse.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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