The Pornography of Power: Why Defense Spending Must Be Cut

Overview

In the course of his forty-year-career as one of America's most admired journalists, Robert Scheer's work has been praised by Gore Vidal, Susan Sontag, and Joan Didion, who deems him "one of the best reporters of our time." Now, Scheer brings a lifetime of wisdom and experience to one of the most overlooked and dangerous issues of our time - the destructive influence of America's military-industrial complex.

Scheer examines the expansion of our military presence throughout the ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$15.50
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$17.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $13.50   
  • Used (10) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

In the course of his forty-year-career as one of America's most admired journalists, Robert Scheer's work has been praised by Gore Vidal, Susan Sontag, and Joan Didion, who deems him "one of the best reporters of our time." Now, Scheer brings a lifetime of wisdom and experience to one of the most overlooked and dangerous issues of our time - the destructive influence of America's military-industrial complex.

Scheer examines the expansion of our military presence throughout the world, our insane nuclear strategy, the immorality of corporations profiting in Iraq, and the arrogance of our foreign policy. Although Scheer is a liberal, his view echoes that of former Republican president General Dwight Eisenhower, who, in his farewell speech to the American people, spoke prophetically about need to guard against the growing influence of the military-industrial complex. In George W. Bush's America, politicians like Ike and Richard Nixon seem like prudent centrists.

The views of libertarians, liberals, and pacifists are often overlooked or ignored by America's mainstream media. The Pornography of Power is the culmination of a respected journalist's efforts to change the terms of debate. At a time when many are exploiting fears of terrorist attacks and only a few national leaders are willing to advocate cuts in defense spending, nuclear disarmament, and restrained use of American force, Robert Scheer has written a manifesto for enlightened reform.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Joan Didion
"Robert Scheer is one of the best reporters of our time."
The New York Times Review of Books
"This indictment of the military-industrial complex explains why any president committed to preserving our Republic must end a policy of permanent war. It is also a reminder, as is Jonathan Schell's Seventh Decade: The New Shape of Nuclear Danger, of the insanity of our nuclear strategy and the arrogance of our hypermilitarized foreign policy."
Vanity Fair
"A searing polemic."
From the Publisher
"Robert Scheer is one of the best reporters of our time."—Joan Didion

"This indictment of the military-industrial complex explains why any president committed to preserving our Republic must end a policy of permanent war. It is also a reminder, as is Jonathan Schell's Seventh Decade: The New Shape of Nuclear Danger, of the insanity of our nuclear strategy and the arrogance of our hypermilitarized foreign policy."—The New York Times Review of Books

"A searing polemic."—Vanity Fair

"Pugnacious . . .
rigorously researched . . . Scheer's prose is as clear as his evidence; readers will be galvanized by his incendiary account."

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Publishers Weekly

Veteran journalist Scheer (With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush, and Nuclear War) takes aim at America's defense policy and bloated military budget in this pugnacious and rigorously researched polemic. "Tragedy can be opportunity," Scheer writes, and 9/11 provided the defense industry with the opportunity it had long been seeking. Unable to persuade the first Bush and Clinton administrations to invest in expensive, state-of-the-art weapons, the defense industry found fresh life as the current President Bush launched his "war on terror" and military expenditures swelled to the highest level in history. Scheer argues that war cannot defeat terrorism. What's required is simple police work-dogged, boring and not terribly expensive-not trillion-dollar bombers, submarines and nuclear arsenal-expenditures he contends are unrelated to defeating terrorists and of little use in Iraq. He soberly reminds readers that Americans have never objected to wasteful defense budgets, and antiwar elected officials fight as viciously as neoconservatives to bring money to their district's defense industries. Scheer's prose is as clear as his evidence; readers will be galvanized by his incendiary account. (June 9)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
It's all Nixon's fault: If he hadn't gone to China, we wouldn't have Dubya. Longtime political journalist Scheer (Playing President: My Close Encounters with Nixon, Carter, Bush I, Reagan, and Clinton-and How They Did Not Prepare Me for George W. Bush, 2006, etc.)-former editor of the long-defunct but much missed Ramparts magazine and proud owner of a thick FBI file-doesn't quite formulate the problem that way. Yet, as he notes, having discussed the matter with Nixon himself, the Nixonian policy of detente in the waning days of the Cold War gave the neocons of today their raison d'etre, a policy to revile and undermine. Those neocons, gathered around Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, "the hawkish Democrat in thrall to the Boeing Company," took their Cold War very seriously and, by Scheer's account, were at a loss to know what to do with themselves once the Berlin Wall fell. Many, such as Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, wrapped themselves in the flag of the so-called Project for a New American Century, one of whose fundamental tenets was overthrowing the regime of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Before 9/11, writes Scheer, they labored quietly in various Bush administration sinecures, while Donald Rumsfeld talked about streamlining the Pentagon and reducing the military budget. Afterward, they had the run of things, led and unleashed by the president and vice president, and they went on an "uncontrollable" spending spree. Scheer allows for nonpecuniary motives, but he also observes that the foreign-policy machine was run by those, "like Dick Cheney, who made a huge bundle while claiming to be primarily interested in the security of their country." Scheer mostly argues along Michael Moorishlines, stopping here and there to cite sources but generally running with an anti-administration jeremiad that seems about right-but also seems very much like preaching to the choir. For those who have donned those robes, Scheer's book will be an affirmation. Those who have not may prefer more evenhanded approaches that offer the same conclusion, such as Derek Chollet and James Goldgeier's America Between the Wars (2008). Agent: Steve Wasserman/Kneerim & Williams
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446505260
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/18/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 830,555
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Scheer

Robert Scheer is currently Editor-in-Chief of Truthdig.com, 2007 Webby Award winner for best political blog.

Between 1964 and 1969 he was Vietnam correspondent, managing editor and editor in chief of Ramparts magazine. From 1976 to 1993 he served as a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, writing on diverse topics such as the Soviet Union, arms control, national politics and the military. In 1993 he launched a nationally syndicated column based at the Los Angeles Times, where he was named a contributing editor. That column ran weekly for the next 12 years and is now based at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Scheer can be heard on the political radio program "Left, Right and Center" on KCRW, the National Public Radio affiliate in Santa Monica, Calif. He has written seven books, including "With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush and Nuclear War."
He is a contributing editor for The Nation as well as a Nation Fellow. He has also been a Poynter fellow at Yale, and was a fellow in arms control at Stanford.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The Gift of 9/11 1

Ch. 2 Rummy, We Hardly Knew Ye 21

Ch. 3 The Falcons Come Home to Roost 33

Ch. 4 "Do You Know There's a Fee?" 53

Ch. 5 Lighting a Candle for War 79

Ch. 6 Please Pass the Pork 91

Ch. 7 $75 Billion Under the Sea 107

Ch. 8 Yes, Virginia, There Are Liberal Hawks 125

Ch. 9 The Pornography of Power 145

Ch. 10 Budget Blues 163

Ch. 11 The Chinese Are Coming 177

Ch. 12 The Humbling of Pax Americana 189

Ch. 13 But Is It Good for the Jews? 205

Ch. 14 Empire Vs. Republic - You Decide 227

Acknowledgments 239

Index 243

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)