The Pornography of Power

The Pornography of Power

Why Defense Spending Must Be Cut

By Robert Scheer

Twelve, Paperback, 9780446505260, 288pp.

Publication Date: June 2009


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.

About the Author

Robert Scheer is currently Editor-in-Chief of, 2007 Webby Award winner for best political blog.

Between 1964 and 1969 he was Vietnam correspondent, managing editor and editor in chief of Ramparts magazine. From 1976 to 1993 he served as a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, writing on diverse topics such as the Soviet Union, arms control, national politics and the military. In 1993 he launched a nationally syndicated column based at the Los Angeles Times, where he was named a contributing editor. That column ran weekly for the next 12 years and is now based at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Scheer can be heard on the political radio program "Left, Right and Center" on KCRW, the National Public Radio affiliate in Santa Monica, Calif. He has written seven books, including "With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush and Nuclear War."
He is a contributing editor for The Nation as well as a Nation Fellow. He has also been a Poynter fellow at Yale, and was a fellow in arms control at Stanford.

Praise For The Pornography of Power

"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