The Savage Wars Of Peace: Small Wars And The Rise Of American Power

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Basic Books, Mar 22, 2007 - History - 464 pages
4 Reviews
America's "small wars," "imperial wars," or, as the Pentagon now terms them, "low-intensity conflicts," have played an essential but little-appreciated role in its growth as a world power. Beginning with Jefferson's expedition against the Barbary Pirates, Max Boot tells the exciting stories of our sometimes minor but often bloody landings in Samoa, the Philippines, China, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Mexico, Russia, and elsewhere. Along the way he sketches colorful portraits of little-known military heroes such as Stephen Decatur, "Fighting Fred" Funston, and Smedley Butler. From 1800 to the present day, such undeclared wars have made up the vast majority of our military engagements. Yet the military has often resisted preparing itself for small wars, preferring instead to train for big conflicts that seldom come. Boot re-examines the tragedy of Vietnam through a "small war" prism. He concludes with a devastating critique of the Powell Doctrine and a convincing argument that the armed forces must reorient themselves to better handle small-war missions, because such clashes are an inevitable result of America's far-flung imperial responsibilities.

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User Review  - gtsurber - LibraryThing

Fantastic overview of the 180+ times the US Marines have landed on Foreign Shores, from the shores of Tripoli til about 1940. Many important historical and diplomatic incidents in history receive a ... Read full review

THE SAVAGE WARS OF PEACE: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A thoughtful history cum policy paper on the role of guerrilla warfare in the building of the American empire.No stranger to polemic as editorial features editor for the Wall Street Journal, Boot (Out ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Max Bootis a senior fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. His writing has appeared in many publications, and he has twice been a finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award. His previous book,Out of Order: Arrogance, Corruption, and Incompetence on the Bench, was published by Basic Books in 1998. He lives with his wife and three children in Westchester County, New York.

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