Free E-Book: War Is A Racket, by Major General Smedley Butler

Posted on July 17, 2011


Title:  War Is A Racket
Author:  Major General Smedley Butler
Date:  early 1930s


NOTE:  Being only 14 pages in length, this is not the book, but rather an address given by Maj. Gen. Butler prior to the publishing of the book by the same name. The address (as reported below) can be considered a condensed version of the book.

From The Evening Independent, May 24, 1934 (St. Petersburg, Florida)


Famous Marine Leader Flays War and War Profiteers During Park Address

Gen. Smedley D. Butler, champion of the soldier’s rights, defended the fighting man and flayed war profiteers in an address before a large crowd last night in Williams park.

His address in the park was sponsored by L. M. Tate post No. 39, Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Gen. Butler, a strong and forceful speaker told the crowd what he thought of the Economy league and urged soldiers to put men in congress at Washington who had their cause at heart.

Declaring that “war profiteers made $15,000,000,000 and 6,000 new millionaires sprang into existence” during the war, Gen. Butler said, “yet when the soldiers ask for a bonus, in exchange for what they did for their country, these rich men refuse them even a dollar a day.”

He said that soldiers are the best friends the government has and declared that war is a racket controlled by international bankers.

In conclusion Gen. Butler urged his audience to forget petty differences at home and concentrate on Washington.

The first part of last night’s program was in charge of Capt. H. W. Railey, commander of the local V.F.W. post, and consisted of a solo by Dr. H.V. Sbordy, accompanied by Martha Jahn Railey, and a program by the Theatrical Arts studio.

John W. Davis, department commander of the V.F.W., introduced Gen. Butler. 

Further reading: 

May 24, 1934:  Butler Urges Soldier Bonus in Park Speech  – St. Petersburg Times (Florida) 
June 4, 1934:  We Have Finally Realized That War Is a Racket – The Pittsburgh Press (Florida) 
August 28, 1934:  War Is A Racket – St. Petersburg Times  (Florida)   
September 1, 1934:  Gen. Butler Scores War As A “Racket” – Lewiston Evening Journal (Maine) 
September 4, 1934:  War Racketeers – Saskatoon Star-Phoenix (Saskatchewan)
February 19, 1935:  ‘War Is A Racket’ Says Gen. Butler Here’ – Rochester Evening Journal  (New York – See Page 43 of 84, 6th & 7th columns; and Page 45 of 84.)
November 21, 1935:  General Butler Decries War in Norwich Address – The Day (New London, Connecticut)
January 4, 1936:  Gen. Butler Says War Is a Racket – Lewiston Morning Tribune (Idaho) 
January 4, 1936:  “War’s A Racket” Roars Butler – The Spokesman Review  (Spokane, Washington) 
January 17, 1936:  War’s A Racket  –  San Jose news  (California) 
April 13, 1936:  Warring on War – Spokane Daily Chronicle (Washington)
April 15, 1936:  War Racketeers Bane of Butler – The Spokesman Review (Spokane, Washington) 
December 7, 1937:  Butler Bombards Newest War Talk – Ellensburg Daily Record (Washington)