War Is a Racket

The life and times of Smedley Butler.

General Smedley Butler, while commander of US forces in China, standing at the edge of the Tianjin foreign concession. Writing later on, Butler recalled that “In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.” (George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images)

Smedley Butler was already the most famous soldier in America when, in 1931, he accused Benito Mussolini of willfully killing a child with his car. Butler, a decorated Marine Corps general, made the allegation during a speech about “mad-dog states” at a luncheon in his native Philadelphia. The story, which had the ring of a […]

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