Breach of Trust

How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country

American Empire Project

Andrew J. Bacevich

Metropolitan Books

Download Image Andrew J. Bacevich Breach of Trust

Available Formats

BookAudio BookeBook

A blistering critique of the gulf between America’s soldiers and the society that sends them off to war, from the bestselling author of The Limits of Power and Washington Rules

The United States has been “at war” for more than a decade. Yet as war has become normalized, a yawning gap has opened between America’s soldiers and the society in whose name they fight. For ordinary citizens, as former secretary of defense Robert Gates has acknowledged, armed conflict has become an “abstraction” and military service “something for other people to do.”

In Breach of Trust, bestselling author Andrew Bacevich takes stock of the separation between Americans and their military, tracing its origins to the Vietnam era and exploring its pernicious implications: a nation with an abiding appetite for war waged at enormous expense by a standing army demonstrably unable to achieve victory. Among the collateral casualties are values once considered central to democratic practice, including the principle that responsibility for defending the country should rest with its citizens.

Citing figures as diverse as the martyr-theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the marine-turned-anti-warrior Smedley Butler, Breach of Trust summons Americans to restore that principle. Rather than something for “other people” to do, national defense should become the business of “we the people.” Should Americans refuse to shoulder this responsibility, Bacevich warns, the prospect of endless war, waged by a “foreign legion” of professionals and contractor-mercenaries, beckons. So too does bankruptcy—moral as well as fiscal.

Connect with the Author

Andrew J. Bacevich

Official Sites


Related Links


Sign Up for
Author Updates

Macmillan Newsletter


Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now

Book Excerpts

Read an Excerpt

1
People’s War

War is an unvarnished evil. Yet as with other evils—fires that clear out forest undergrowth, floods that replenish soil nutrients—war’s legacy can include elements that may partially compensate (or at least appear to compensate) for the havoc inflicted and incurred.

For the United States, the Civil War offered one such occasion. To preserve the Union and destroy slavery, Americans served and sacrificed without stint. The citizen-soldiers who responded to the charge contained in the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”—“As

Read the full excerpt

Download excerpt

Back

Media

Watch and Listen

Andrew Bacevich interviewed on The Tavis Smiley Show.

Andrew Bacevich discusses his book 'Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country' on The Tavis Smiley Show.

Share This

Andrew Bacevich on CSPAN's Q&A

Andrew Bacevich discusses 'Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country' on CSPAN's Q&A.

Share This

Andrew Bacevich interviewed on The Colbert Report

Andrew Bacevich discusses 'Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country' on The Colbert Report.

Share This

Andrew Bacevich interviewed on Democracy Now!

Andrew Bacevich discusses 'Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country' on Democracy Now!

Share This

Andrew Bacevich interviewed on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Andrew Bacevich discusses 'Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country' on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Share This
Back

Reviews

Praise for Breach of Trust

"Scorching… heartbreaking… Bacevich dismantles the warrior myth we civilians and politicians so enjoy worshiping from afar, and replaces that idol with flesh and blood, vulnerable humans, who deserve better than the profligate, wasteful way in which we treat them."
Rachel Maddow, the New York Times Book Review

"Bacevich offers a brilliant critique of an American military system sharply at variance with our democratic republican ideals. Most disturbing is his compelling argument that the fault lies with We the People. A thought-provoking ride."
Karl W. Eikenberry, Lieutenant General, U. S. Army (Retired) and former U. S. Ambassador to Afghanistan

"With American warmongers and militarists demanding the bombing of North Korea and intervention in the Syrian civil war, Andrew Bacevich’s powerfully written Breach of Trust comes at a critical time. For Bacevich, the problem is perpetual war, a condition fostered by our citizens’ detachment from the conflicts America fights. President Obama, Congress, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff should read this book, but the American people must read it because they, to Bacevich, represent the solution."
—Colonel Gian P. Gentile, Associate Professor of History, West Point

"Breach of Trust is grimly eloquent, with prose as effortless as its truths are hard.  In this superb history, Andrew Bacevich reveals the civil-military dysfunction that made this a nation of endless conflicts, waged by a professional warrior class, for a public that has traded civic virtue for mindless flag-waving. This is an original, provocative, and invaluable book for anyone who hasn’t given up on America."
Nick Turse, author of Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam

"Like the soldier that he was, Andrew Bacevich is courageous. As the scholar that he is, he is learned. As a citizen, he is impassioned. All this has combined to produce a unique voice of great value in American political life. In Breach of Trust he anatomizes what he knows best, the acute danger our current military institutions and policies pose to American democracy. Anyone who cherishes that democracy should read and heed this book."
Jonathan Schell, author of The Unconquerable World and The Real War


In the Press

‘Breach of Trust,’ by Andrew J. Bacevich - NYTimes.com
Andrew J. Bacevich examines American militarism and the gulf between citizens and the all-volunteer Army.
- The New York Times


Reviews from Goodreads

Back

About the Author

Andrew J. Bacevich

Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University, served for twenty-three years as an officer in the U.S. Army. He is the author of Washington Rules, The Limits of Power, and The New American Militarism, among other books. His writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

Andrew J. Bacevich

Andrew J. Bacevich

Official Sites

Back

Buy the Book

Available Formats and Book Details

Breach of Trust
How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country
Andrew J. Bacevich

Award

Massachussetts Book Award - Honor Book

Hardcover

Hardcover
Henry Holt and Co.
Metropolitan Books
September 2013
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780805082968
ISBN10: 0805082964
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 256 pages
$26.00

Unabridged Digital Audio

Unabridged  Digital Audio
Macmillan Audio
September 2013
Unabridged Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781427235299
ISBN10: 1427235295
Audio Run Time: 7:00
$23.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
Metropolitan Books
September 2013
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9780805096033
ISBN10: 0805096035
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 352 pages
$12.99
Back

From The Publisher

Metropolitan Books

Latest on Facebook

Latest on Twitter

Back