Unwarranted Influence
Political Science

Series Information
Icons of America

Unwarranted Influence

Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial Complex

  • James Ledbetter


"Excellent . . . a balanced, rigorous, and fascinating intellectual history of the speech."—David Greenberg, Slate

"Few commentators on the 34th president's mind and methods have more rigorously considered the evolution of Eisenhower's preoccupations than Ledbetter has."—Josiah Bunting III, Washington Post

“James Ledbetter’s smart, compact, eye-opening history is more than the anatomy of a speech. It’s the history of an idea, with roots dating to World War I and demonstrable relevance for today.”—David Greenberg, author of Nixon's Shadow: The History of an Image

"In this bitter war-torn moment, Eisenhower's warning about the misrule of the military-industrial complex is more urgent than ever. James Ledbetter's keen, incisive, vividly written essay is timely and important. "—Blanche Wiesen Cook, author, The Declassified Eisenhower and Eleanor Roosevelt, I, II and III (forthcoming)


"The 'Farewell Address' is arguably one of the great pieces of 20th century American rhetoric, and James Ledbetter explains its background, intent, and ramifications in a fascinating and convincing way. I thought I knew a lot about the speech, but I learned so much more from this book."—James Fallows, National Correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly

"James Ledbetter has given us an excellent study to make the 50th anniversary of Eisenhower's farewell."—Robert Westbrook, The Christian Century

"Ledbetter provides a readable and well-informed argument."—Christopher Preble, Washington Monthly

"[A] detailed showcase for an idea that continues to touch us, even after 50 years."—Lora Cohn, Presidential Studies Quarterly

"Unwarranted Influence is a well-researched, thought-provoking amd very well written account of the evolution of  the military-industrial complex, whose influence has extended beyond the Cold War." — Helen Bury, University of St. Andrews