Action Speaks: 1961: President Eisenhower's Military Industrial Complex Speech

Image by: Viera Levitt  A scene from our first panel of our 2011 season!
Image by: Viera Levitt A scene from our first panel of our 2011 season!

President Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II warned us, in his 1961 Farewell Speech, of the potential perils for the United States if the military dictates policy and government investment.

In this episode, we look at how prescient our former General/President was and whether or not we are in a permanent state of military engagement and, if so, is that a bad thing, given all the money it pumps into our economy?

In this, the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th bombings, the role of the military in our nation is on the front burner and this lively discussion of Eishenhower’s Farewell Address will examine just how influential our military is in our society.

This Program’s Featured Panelists:

Francis J. "Bing" West is an author and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs during the Reagan Administration. His book The Strongest Tribe, is a history of the Iraq War that was a New York Times Bestseller and was ranked by Foreign Affairs Magazine as #7 among the top foreign policy books of 2009. His 2004 book The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the First Marine Division, written with United States Marine Corps General Ray L. Smith, was awarded the Marine Corps Heritage Prize for non-fiction, as well as the Colby Award.

Neta Crawford is Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Boston University where her teaching focuses on international ethics and normative change. Crawford is currently on the board of the Academic Council of the United Nations System. She is the author of Argument and Change in World Politics: Ethics, Decolonization, Humanitarian Intervention which was a co-winner of the 2003 American Political Science Association Jervis and Schroeder Award for best book in International History and Politics.

Roger Stahl is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Georgia, with interests in rhetoric, media, and culture. His 2010 book Militainment, Inc.: War, Media, and Popular Culture (as well as his 2007 documentary by the same name) traces this relationship in recent years.


Francis J. "Bing" West
Neta Crawford
Roger Stahl

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