House of War by James Carroll
The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power

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Synopsis

In House of War, the best-selling author James Carroll has created a history of the Pentagon that is both epic and personal. Through Carroll we see how the Pentagon, since its founding, has operated beyond the control of any force in government or society, undermining the very national security it is sworn to protect.From its "birth" on September 11, 1941, through the nuclear buildup of the Cold War and the eventual "shock and awe" of Iraq, Carroll recounts how "the Building" and its officials have achieved what President Eisenhower called "a disastrous rise of misplaced power."

This is not faded history. House of War offers a compelling account of the virtues and follies that led America to permanently, and tragically, define itself around war. Carroll shows how the consequences of the American response to September 11, 2001 -– including two wars and an ignited Middle East -– form one end of an arc that stretches from Donald Rumsfeld back to James Forrestal, the first man to occupy the office of secretary of defense in the Pentagon. House of War confronts this dark past so we may understand the current war and forestall the next.
 

About James Carroll

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James Carroll was raised in Washington, D.C., and ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1969. He served as a chaplain at Boston University from 1969 to 1974, then left the priesthood to become a writer. A distinguished scholar- in-residence at Suffolk University, he is a columnist for the Boston Globe and a regular contributor to the Daily Beast. His critically admired books include Practicing Catholic, the National Book Award-winning An American Requiem, House of War, which won the first PEN/Galbraith Award, and the New York Times bestseller Constantine's Sword, now an acclaimed documentary.
 
Published June 4, 2007 by Mariner Books. 688 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, War, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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by Carroll’s careful account, the place seems to have legitimated a culture born in WWII that dismissed as standard operating procedure the targeting of civilian populations for military ends, the active intervention in the affairs of sovereign nations in order to maintain American suzerainty.

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The New York Times

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For most of the postwar era, the United States and the Soviet Union stared unblinking across the nuclear divide, two superpowers separating the globe.

Jun 07 2006 | Read Full Review of House of War: The Pentagon an...

The New York Times

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Later in life, as a seminary student, he would attend the famous 1967 protest against the Vietnam War outside the Pentagon — the war would estrange author and father, but Carroll nevertheless felt conflicted during the protest as he looked up at his father's office window.

Jul 02 2006 | Read Full Review of House of War: The Pentagon an...

Publishers Weekly

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If there were nothing more to Carroll's book than its chronicling of the U.S. military's amassing of power and influence from WWII to the present, it would still be valuable history.

Apr 10 2006 | Read Full Review of House of War: The Pentagon an...

USA Today

Although Carroll brings himself to speak admiringly of Kennedy and to a lesser degree, Truman, Eisenhower and Reagan, he sees the world through the prism of pacifism.The reader finishes House of War knowing about Carroll's conflicted family and his personal loathing of nuclear weapons.

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Daily Kos

Always appreciate that : ).

May 27 2013 | Read Full Review of House of War: The Pentagon an...

OpEdNews

In "House of War" this is more relevant since Carroll's father was a 4-star Air Force general in the Pentagon and Carroll , as a young boy, sometimes used to play in the Pentagon on Sundays when his father was in the office.

Aug 16 2007 | Read Full Review of House of War: The Pentagon an...

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