A Political Odyssey: The Rise of American Militarism and One Man's Fight to Stop It [NOOK Book]

Overview

In this candid portrait, former two-term senator from Alaska and 2008 presidential candidate Gravel expounds on his views of the military-industrial complex, the imperial presidency, postwar US foreign policy, and corporate America; critically assesses figures he worked with, such as Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy; and reveals the private life behind the public persona. When he isn’t being actively silenced, Senator Gravel’s voice is generally acknowledged to be the most refreshing and honest of all the 2008 ...
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A Political Odyssey: The Rise of American Militarism and One Man's Fight to Stop It

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Overview

In this candid portrait, former two-term senator from Alaska and 2008 presidential candidate Gravel expounds on his views of the military-industrial complex, the imperial presidency, postwar US foreign policy, and corporate America; critically assesses figures he worked with, such as Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy; and reveals the private life behind the public persona. When he isn’t being actively silenced, Senator Gravel’s voice is generally acknowledged to be the most refreshing and honest of all the 2008 presidential candidates.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781609800321
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press
  • Publication date: 1/4/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

MIKE GRAVEL is most prominently known for releasing the Pentagon Papers—the secret official study revealing the manipulations of successive US administrations that misled the country into the Vietnam War. In 1971, he waged a successful one-man filibuster for five months that forced the Nixon administration to cut a deal, effectively ending the draft in the United States. His publications include The Senator Gravel Edition: The Pentagon Papers, Jobs and More Jobs, and Citizen Power.
JOE LAURIA is a New York–based journalist. He has covered foreign policy at the United Nations for nearly two decades for numerous newspapers, including the Boston Globe, the Montreal Gazette, and the Johannesburg Star. His articles have also appeared in the Sunday Times of London as part of its investigative unit, the New York Times, the Washington Post, New York Magazine, and the Huffington Post, among other publications.
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Table of Contents


Foreword   Daniel Ellsberg     9
Preface     13
False Threats     15
Top Secret     27
From Capitol Hill to Beacon Hill     43
To the Supreme Court     57
Immigrant     69
The Armory     85
Over There     97
Student, Soldier, Spy     109
Journey to Alaska     133
The Senate Revolts     155
Without End     173
Militarists Briefly in Retreat     189
Militarists Resurgent     205
America's Unfinished Revolution     243
Afterword & Acknowledgments     263
Notes     267
Bibliography     275
Index     281
About the Authors     287
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2008

    A Microcosmic view on the Military-Industrial-Macrocosm

    This book masterfully weaves together the life of Senator Mike Gravel and numerous key moments in the evolution and growth of the Military-Industrial-Complex. From his formative adolescent years in Springfield, Mass to years as a spy in Cold War Europe to staring down Vietnam as a US Senator, Gravel has been in the thick of it for much of his life. Without citing specific examples 'many great moments, no need to spoil them', the book is a swift, pleasurable read. Joe Lauria really channels Gravel's no-nonsense attitude and unabashed criticism, often sarcastic and hard-hitting, towards our culture's obsession with war. Ever since WWII, American military has maintained a positive image and been able to push war after war onto the American people. Gravel cuts right through to who really amped up the Arms Race 'USA, as we're doing again today' and the shortcomings of our leadership when they had the opportunities to steer our society away from war. Reading about Gravel's battles fought and his personal experiences really gives a sharp insight into how the Congress can buckle on such fundamental moral issues as life & death. Sufficed to say, most politicians and nothing like Gravel, and that's a very sad thing. The book is rife with personal reflections and candid stories from a man whose life path has been so dramatically involved with the core force in American society. Sadly, it is a heart beating to the pulse military-industrial-complex and its warmongering desires. Read about Mike going toe-to-toe with Scoop Jackson, an unabashed warhawk 'and a fellow Democrat'. Candid encounters with Ted Kennedy and Frank Sinatra--the book has some real gems. Gravel's life really represents the French 'bon vivant' spirit. That, combined with his ferocious moral courage, show how a real leader of the American people can be. Gravel's life story and the history of American militarism really flow together seamlessly thanks to Joe Lauria's masterful writing. I am also currently reading James Carroll's 'House of War,' nearly 600 pages on the rise of the military-industrial-complex post-WWII. In 250 satisfying pages, this book gives a good run-through of how arms manufacturers have crept their influence deeper and deeper into our society 'starting soon after the country's founding, often intertwining with executive power being stretched 'starting even with Washington' to its rampant abuses today. Read this book as a primer and THEN read House of War if you want to read up on US militarism. I'd recommend A Political Odyssey to not just followers of Gravel's recent presidential campaign, but anyone looking for some insight into how the military-industrial-complex controls American society, and how one citizen can work within that system and achieve massive successes. Gravel's story is as American as anyone's. First-generation-immigrant, scrapping different jobs together, enlisting in the Army, moving to the frontier of Alaska and becoming a self-made-man, it illustrates a fascinating life guided by the same human strengths and vulnerabilities that we all possess. Senator Gravel is a great patriot and hopefully this book cements that for perpetuity. Overall a very satisfying read exclusive of the subject matter, so I sincerely recommend to anyone looking for a good historical-political read. If you're in the slight bit suspicious about why America is so war-hungry, read this book. It won't knock you over the head about why it's wrong or not--but it will show how Gravel came to realize how it has affected us and why he has fought so fiercely against it. You make your own decision, and the read will be worth it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2008

    A treasure chest of pertinent information

    This book was very uplifting, and it was like a treasure chest of pertinent information. It showed the depth of the influence of the military industrial complex in the history of the United States in the sense that more primitive forms of the MIC existed even before 1947, but the MIC became complete in 1947. This book helped me connect some ideas I had in junior high school, and it ultimately made me realize that I wasn't alone in the sense that I discovered that I wasn't the only person who gets upset in the face of insanity 'when I read about Gravel crying while he was reading the Pentagon Papers in the 70s'. I was amazed at the number of jobs Gravel did in his lifetime and the challenges he faced in the corrupt representative government. The book also made me realize that defeats aren't final, a person can evolve, and one can still achieve victories later on in life. We must enact the ni4d because the oligarchic theocratic representative government is not a democracy and will not break the back of the military industrial complex. I highly recommend this book because it paves the path for any pacifist who seeks to put an end to militarism and for any patriot who seeks to improve one's country. Gravel is a leader and an educator.

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