House of War

  • by James Carroll
  • Narrated by Robertson Dean
  • 26 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This landmark, myth-shattering work chronicles the most powerful institution in America, the people who created it, and the pathologies it has spawned. Carroll proves a controversial thesis: The Pentagon has, since its founding, operated beyond the control of any force in government or society. It is the biggest, loosest cannon in American history, and no institution has changed this country more.To argue his case, he marshals a trove of often chilling evidence. He recounts how "the Building" and its denizens achieved what Eisenhower called "a disastrous rise of misplaced power" from the unprecedented aerial bombing of Germany and Japan during World War II to the "shock and awe" of Iraq. He charts the colossal U.S. nuclear buildup, which far outpaced that of the USSR and has outlived it. He reveals how consistently the Building has found new enemies just as old threats and funding evaporate. He demonstrates how Pentagon policy brought about U.S. indifference to an epidemic of genocide during the 1990s. And he shows how the forces that attacked the Pentagon on 9/11 were set in motion exactly 60 years earlier, on September 11, 1941, when ground was broken for the house of war.Carroll draws on rich personal experience (his father was a top Pentagon official for more than 20 years) as well as exhaustive research and extensive interviews with Washington insiders, from Robert McNamara to John McCain to William Cohen to John Kerry. The result is a grand yet intimate work of history, unashamedly polemical and personal but unerringly factual.

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What the Critics Say

"An aggressively compelling history." (Publishers Weekly)
"Certain to be one of the most-talked-about nonfiction books of the season." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An authentic voice, a treasured companion

This book begins with a son's view of a father, a General seconded from the FBI, responsible for keeping the peace in a fascinating internecine conflict between airforce and navy to control the bomb. Carroll discusses the history and implication of mechanised mass destruction. He talks to those who saw it emerge, those present at its beginning, and they are candid about its psychological impact. We are introduced to its inheritors, we are warned. Carroll's authority compels us to grasp its meaning. This sits beside Catch 22 as treasured companion. It's a warm and resonant reading by Robertson Dean. I've listened to it three times already and I anticipate listening again.

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- Ben

Fact twisting

Detailed and passionate story??? I do not know. History of American military complex seen trough prism of catholic/Christian and Hippy philosophy (with lot of personal guilt) could be still quite informative. Unfortunately misleading interpretations of some facts and processes, omitting some facts and processes to nicely wrap up the whole story, make me doubt the factual basis for the book. What we are left with is: ?bad, bad America and god, kind-hearted USSR/Russia?. What a crap!!!!
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- Andrzej

Book Details

  • Release Date: 31-05-2006
  • Publisher: Books on Tape