The Pornography of Power

Why Defense Spending Must Be Cut


By Robert Scheer

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In the course of his forty-year-career as one of America’s most admired journalists, Robert Scheer’s work has been praised by Gore Vidal, Susan Sontag, and Joan Didion, who deems him “one of the best reporters of our time.” Now, Scheer brings a lifetime of wisdom and experience to one of the most overlooked and dangerous issues of our time – the destructive influence of America’s military-industrial complex.

Scheer examines the expansion of our military presence throughout the world, our insane nuclear strategy, the immorality of corporations profiting in Iraq, and the arrogance of our foreign policy. Although Scheer is a liberal, his view echoes that of former Republican president General Dwight Eisenhower, who, in his farewell speech to the American people, spoke prophetically about need to guard against the growing influence of the military-industrial complex. In George W. Bush’s America, politicians like Ike and Richard Nixon seem like prudent centrists.

The views of libertarians, liberals, and pacifists are often overlooked or ignored by America’s mainstream media. The Pornography of Power is the culmination of a respected journalist’s efforts to change the terms of debate. At a time when many are exploiting fears of terrorist attacks and only a few national leaders are willing to advocate cuts in defense spending, nuclear disarmament, and restrained use of American force, Robert Scheer has written a manifesto for enlightened reform.


  • "Robert Scheer is one of the best reporters of our time."—Joan Didion
  • "This indictment of the military-industrial complex explains why any president committed to preserving our Republic must end a policy of permanent war. It is also a reminder, as is Jonathan Schell's Seventh Decade: The New Shape of Nuclear Danger, of the insanity of our nuclear strategy and the arrogance of our hypermilitarized foreign policy."—The New York Times Review of Books
  • "A searing polemic."—Vanity Fair
  • "Pugnacious . . . rigorously researched . . . Scheer's prose is as clear as his evidence; readers will be galvanized by his incendiary account."

    Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

On Sale
Jun 18, 2009
Page Count
288 pages

Robert Scheer

About the Author

Robert Scheer is the editor-in-chief of the Webby Award-winning online magazine Truthdig, professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and co-host of Left, Right & Center, a weekly syndicated radio show broadcast from NPR’s west coast affiliate, KCRW. In the 1960s, he was editor of the groundbreaking Ramparts magazine and later was national correspondent and columnist for the Los Angeles Times. Scheer is the author of nine books, including The Great American Stickup. He lives in Los Angeles.

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