Original Proposal

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Original Proposal

Post by johnkarls »

From: ReadingLiberally-SaltLake@johnkarls.com
To: ReadingLiberallyEmailList@johnkarls.com
Bcc: The Approximately 150 Recipients of Our Weekly E-mail
Subject: How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything by Rosa Brooks – for June 7
Date: Sat, May 13, 2017

Dear Friends,

Our next meeting is Wednesday evening, June 7th, at the Salt Lake Public Library (210 East 400 South).

[The library could not accommodate us for our normal second-Wednseday-of-the-month.]


How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything by Rosa Brooks (Simon & Schuster 8/9/2016 -- 366 pages sans notes & index) was suggested by June Taylor, the U/Utah Radiology Research Professor.

Amazon.com -- $12.67 Hard Copy + shipping or $14.99 Kindle.
Salt Lake Public Library -- 1 of 3 copies currently available.
Salt Lake County Library -- 2 of 5 copies currently available.
[SLC’s The King’s English bookstore is sold out and waiting for the paperback.]


Prof. Rosa Brooks is a senior fellow at New America, a columnist for Foreign Policy Magazine, and a Law Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at Georgetown University.

She previously worked at the Pentagon as counselor to the Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy; in 2011 she was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.

Brooks has also served as a senior advisor at the U.S. Department of State, a consultant for Human Rights Watch, and a weekly opinion columnist for the Los Angeles Times.


The first serious book to examine what happens when the ancient boundary between war and peace is erased.

Once, war was a temporary state of affairs—a violent but brief interlude between times of peace. Today, America’s wars are everywhere and forever: our enemies change constantly and rarely wear uniforms, and virtually anything can become a weapon. As war expands, so does the role of the US military. Today, military personnel don’t just “kill people and break stuff.” Instead, they analyze computer code, train Afghan judges, build Ebola isolation wards, eavesdrop on electronic communications, develop soap operas, and patrol for pirates. You name it, the military does it.

Rosa Brooks traces this seismic shift in how America wages war from an unconventional perspective—that of a former top Pentagon official who is the daughter of two anti-war protesters and a human rights activist married to an Army Green Beret. Her experiences lead her to an urgent warning: When the boundaries around war disappear, we risk destroying America’s founding values and the laws and institutions we’ve built—and undermining the international rules and organizations that keep our world from sliding towards chaos. If Russia and China have recently grown bolder in their foreign adventures, it’s no accident; US precedents have paved the way for the increasingly unconstrained use of military power by states around the globe. Meanwhile, we continue to pile new tasks onto the military, making it increasingly ill-prepared for the threats America will face in the years to come.

By turns a memoir, a work of journalism, a scholarly exploration into history, anthropology and law, and a rallying cry, How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything transforms the familiar into the alien, showing us that the culture we inhabit is reshaping us in ways we may suspect, but don’t really understand. It’s the kind of book that will leave you moved, astonished, and profoundly disturbed, for the world around us is quietly changing beyond recognition—and time is running out to make things right.


“One of the most thought-provoking books I’ve ever read. It’s as if we have been sleep walking into this new world and Rosa has turned on a flashlight to show what we are doing and where we are going.”
- Secretary of Defense General James “Mad Dog” Mattis (USMC, Ret. and former CENTCOM Commander)

“An important and compelling examination of the American war machine, reported from inside the Pentagon, the great beast itself. Outstanding.”
- Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

“For anyone troubled by our murky and perpetual wars, Rosa Brooks offers a deeply challenging and delightfully provocative answer to the question: What the hell is going on here, and what can we do about it?”
- Phil Klay, National Book Award-winning author of Redeployment

“In a masterful argument, sometimes between her own contradictory feelings, Rosa Brooks shows how battle lines have been blurred. Soldiers work, and sometimes rule, in areas once the uncontested realm of civilians. It is another complex, potentially dangerous, challenge that we must work to understand. Start with this book.”
- General Stanley McChrystal (U.S. Army, Ret. and former Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan)

“A hugely significant, very thought-provoking examination of how and why America's armed forces have been pulled into myriad missions beyond the ‘strictly military’ tasks in which they traditionally engaged in past decades, written by a woman uniquely qualified for such an undertaking. How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything raises hugely important questions that should spark serious conversations in Washington and throughout the United States.”
- General David Petraeus (U.S. Army, Ret., former CENTCOM Commander and former Director of the CIA)

“The great strength of this book is that it manages to be thought-provoking and entertaining at the same time.... [Brooks] writes with knowledge and wit.”
- Foreign Affairs

“An important and insightful book.... Brooks is a clear and entertaining writer…. Her sense of humor is quite acute.”
- National Review

“Brooks has written a book that is both personal and provocative – a must-read for anyone interested in the inner workings of the Pentagon and how we got to the point where the military has become everyone’s favorite hammer.”
- Modern War Institute at West Point

"In a post-9/11 world of persistent warfare... [Brooks] expertly guides readers through this confusing new terrain.... Whether she's invoking Wittgenstein's duck-rabbit image to illustrate the ambiguity of language and the importance of context, dissecting an excruciatingly difficult Hague Tribunal case assigning guilt to an obscure Croatian soldier, or drawing comparisons between a Putin-ordered assassination and an Obama-ordered drone strike, she never fails to stimulate and enlighten. Legal theorists and policymakers will approve the scholarship and close analysis; general readers will appreciate the sensitive storytelling, the wit, and the uncommon good sense."
- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"This book forces you to think hard, but it is so much fun to read you almost do not realize it."
- Huffington Post

“Having read this engaging work, I find her wholly credible, delightfully readable and quite convincing. Confounded by the vexations of today’s unwon conflict, she asks more questions than she answers. But that kind of deadly ambiguity is cooked into the vile, ill-defined nature of the sprawling mess we call war these days.... If you, too, wonder what happened since 9/11 and why, you will get a lot from this fine book from Brooks.”
- Army Magazine


In accordance with our quorum-revision policy of 6/12/2013, instead of waiting until the last week before each monthly meeting to request RSVP’s and canceling if we do not have our minimum quorum of six, RSVP’s are requested in our first-of-the-monthly-cycle weekly e-mail.

Those who have RSVP’d will be informed immediately when we reach six so that they can proceed to read the materials with assurance that a discussion will take place.

If there are not six RSVP’s by 11:59 pm next Friday, then next week’s weekly e-mail will announce that the 6/7/2016 meeting is cancelled.


Non-SLCounty residents (and residents who are out of town) are invited to participate in our meeting via Skype.

If you would like to do so, please press your reply button and type “request participation via Skype” and we will contact you to make appropriate arrangements.

We hope to see all of you on June 7th.

Your friend,

John K.

PS -- To un-subscribe, please press "reply" and type "deletion requested."

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