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Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country Audiobook, by Andrew J. Bacevich Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Andrew J. Bacevich Narrator: Sean Runnette Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2013 ISBN: 9781427235299
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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" in Iraq and Afghanistan for more than a decade. Yet as war has become normalized, a yawning gap has opened between America's soldiers and veterans 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 J. 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • 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

  • “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
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • Among longlisted titles for Massachussetts Book Award - Honor Book, 2014

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About the Author

Andrew J. Bacevich is professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University. A graduate of both the US Military Academy and Princeton University, he served in the US Army for twenty-three years. His acclaimed books include The Age of Illusions, The Limits of Power, America’s War for the Greater Middle East, and Twilight of the American Century. His writings have appeared in the New York Times, the London Review of Books, and the American Conservative, among other publications.

About the Narrator

Sean Runnette, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, has also directed and produced more than two hundred audiobooks, including several Audie Award winners. He is a member of the American Repertory Theater company and has toured the United States and internationally with ART and Mabou Mines. His television and film appearances include Two If by Sea, Cop Land, Sex and the City, Law & Order, the award-winning film Easter, and numerous commercials.