The Violence of Peace: America's Wars in the Age of Obama

"The man who many considered the peace candidate in the last election was transformed into a war president," writes bestselling author and leading academic Stephen l. Carter in The Violence of Peace, his new book decoding what President Barack Obama's views on war mean for America and its role in military conflict, now and going forward. As America winds down a war in Iraq, ratchets up another in Afghanistan, and continues a global war on terrorism, Carter delves into the implications of the military philosophy Obama has adopted through his first two years in office. Responding to the invitation that Obama himself issued in his Nobel address, Carter uses the tools of the Western tradition of just and unjust war to evaluate Obama's actions and words about military conflict, offering insight into how the president will handle existing and future wars, and into how his judgment will shape America's fate. Carter also explores war as a way to defend others from tyrannical regimes, which Obama has endorsed but not yet tested, and reveals the surprising ways in which some of the tactics Obama has used or authorized are more extreme than those of his predecessor, George W. Bush. "Keeping the nation at peace," Carter writes, "often requires battle," and this book lays bare exactly how America's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are shaping the way Obama views the country's role in conflict and peace, ultimately determining the fate of the nation.

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By Tripp (Portland, OR) · ★★★★★ · October 11, 2011
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I was expecting another rehash of our nation's wars, but instead got a philosophical examination of the role of the President and the justness and unjustness of our national war policies.

Carter does a fine job in cutting aside the politics. He notes where Bush and... ...more
By Mike (Houston, TX) · ★★★★☆ · October 02, 2013
This is a good book about as the title says: America's Wars in the Age of Obama. Stephen L. Carter is a Yale law professor known for his books about religion and the public square and his suspense novels about old money black folk (Ocean's Park is his best). In this book he uses Obama's Nobel Pea... ...more
By Willa (The United States) · ★★☆☆☆ · May 17, 2011
Carter's book raised interesting questions about war and Obama's conduct of it, but I found it mostly dry and repetitive, also somewhat contradictory. He points out the uncontrollability of war in spite of treaties and Conventions and other attempts to provide rules for initiating and waging it.... ...more
By Jean (New York, NY) · ★★★★★ · February 21, 2011
A thoughtful and important book about President Obama's view of war as gleaned from his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech and other documents. Mr. Carter speaks in depth about the Just War Tradition. It is a meditation about the morality of war. He compellingly tells that the country has voted... ...more
By Shalyce (The United States) · September 19, 2011
Stanford 2012 Freshman book list.Theme for all three books is War Ethics. The class of 2015 will read:

'March' by Geraldine Brooks, fiction. About the father of the March women from Little Women

'The Violence of Peace: America's Wars in the Age of Obama' by Stephen L. Carter, non-fiction.

'One Bulle... ...more
By Nick (Bellingham, WA) · ★★★★☆ · August 24, 2011
Carter examines the conduct of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and of the War against Terror, in light of the Catholic just war tradition. His analysis and comments are objective, insightful and most importantly, honest. This is one of the best discussions of just war theory I have seen, and it... ...more
By Kate (Denton, TX) · ★★★☆☆ · October 05, 2012
I wasn't a fan of the conversational tone of this book. However, the subject matter was really great. The comparisons between Bush and Obama were different from what I've read and heard before reading this. I also enjoyed delving into the history of just war theory and the moral justification Ame... ...more
By Pete (Chicago, IL) · ★★★☆☆ · May 23, 2011
Very academic, which I'm not used to. Clear, concise and constructive criticism throughout the book that wasn't very bumper-slogany. The book tested my beliefs about the morality (not legality) of taking life. I think it's solidified my desire to work as a reporter to report on different aspects... ...more
By Holly (Denton, TX) · ★★★★★ · October 01, 2012
A truly important book. Carter talks us through the ethics of war as they relate to the Obama Administration. He even impressively refrains from being completely one-sided. It's under $2 for the e-book on Amazon and less than 300 pages. There's really no reason NOT to read this. ...more
By Robert T. (Salinas, CA) · ★★★★★ · September 17, 2011
Very insightful. Very well written book that Mr. Carter lays out very well.
Great information for those people like myself who like to be highly informed about what is going in our government.