Summary of Prophets of War

Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex

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Prophets of War book summary
How Lockheed Martin profited from cost overruns, bribery and mismanagement

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7 Overall

7 Importance

6 Innovation

7 Style

Recommendation

Muckraking author William Hartung delves into the military-industrial complex with a corporate profile of its largest, most successful beneficiary, Lockheed Martin. Lockheed has survived bankruptcy and lean financial times, and Hartung contends that it has thrived in part through questionable business practices, milking taxpayers of billions and abetting Pentagon malfeasance. Hartung weaves a tale of the interface of armaments and politics, and says alleged Pentagon incompetence benefited both Lockheed and individual states with pork-barrel military projects. This complex, well-told story states that Lockheed eventually garnered $25 billion annually in defense contracts and now plays an outsized role in affecting US foreign policy. getAbstract recommends this book as important background reading about the corporate-military complex, the shadowy processes that may affect policy and in the economic history of the US defense industry.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Lockheed Martin began and grew
  • How it became a partner with the Pentagon
  • How Lockheed Martin plays a role in US foreign policy
 

Summary

Soaring in California
In 1916, shortly after Wilbur and Orville Wright’s first flight, brothers Allan and Malcolm Loughead (pronounced “Lockheed”) of Burbank, California, started the Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company.

The brothers – who had minimal educations – first...
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About the Author

William Hartung, Director of Arms and Security Initiatives at the New America Freedom Foundation, has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.


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