Shelf Life

Unwarranted Influence

Christina Huh Jan 17, 2011

Title: Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial Complex

Author: James Ledbetter

Publisher: Yale University Press

Type: Non Fiction

Released: January 17, 2011

Length: 280 pages

On January 17, 1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower made his last speech as President. In his remarks, he warned America of the “military-industrial complex,” – the idea that the nation’s industrial base and its military were mutually dependent. The country’s armaments industry had grown up during World War II and although conflicts had come and gone since the war’s end in 1945, military spending had continued to accelerate through Eisenhower’s term in office. And his successor, John F. Kennedy, had pledged to increase it. Today, depending on how you count the numbers, the U.S. spends about one trillion dollars a year on defense, according to James Ledbetter, editor at Reuters.com. In his new book, Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial Complex, Ledbetter analyzes Eisenhower’s speech and looks at what it meant at the time, and today.

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