• American Arsenal

  • A Century of Waging War
  • By: Patrick Coffey
  • Narrated by: Dennis Holland
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 06-03-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4 out of 5 stars 3.9 (22 ratings)

Regular price: $24.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $24.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

When America declared war on Germany in 1917, the United States had only 200,000 men under arms, a 20th of the German army's strength, and its planes were no match for the German air force. Less than a century later, the United States today has by far the world's largest military budget and provides over 40% of the world's armaments.In American Arsenal Patrick Coffey examines America's military transformation from an isolationist state to a world superpower. Focusing on 15 specific developments, Coffey illustrates the unplanned, often haphazard nature of this transformation, which has been driven by political, military, technological, and commercial interests. Beginning with Thomas Edison's work on submarine technology, American Arsenal moves from World War I to the present conflicts in the Middle East, covering topics from chemical weapons, strategic bombing, and the nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union, to "smart" bombs, hand-held anti-aircraft missiles, and the Predator and other drone aircrafts. Coffey traces the story of each advance in weaponry from drawing board to battlefield, and includes fascinating portraits of the men who invented and deployed them:


Edward Teller, "the father of the hydrogen bomb"
Robert Oppenheimer, head of atomic bomb design at Los Alamos
Curtis LeMay, who led the fire-bombing of Japan
Herman Kahn, nuclear strategist and a model for Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove
Abraham Karem, inventor of the Predator
And many others
Coffey also examines the increasingly detached nature of modern American warfare - the ultimate goal is to remove soldiers from the battlefield entirely - which limits casualties (211,454 in Vietnam and only 1,231 in the Gulf War) but also lessens the political and psychological costs of going to war. Examining the backstories of every major American weapons development, American Arsenal is essential listening for anyone interested in the continuing evolution of the U.S. defense program.
©2014 Patrick Coffey (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Cetra777 on 02-09-18

unflinching look at warfare

The author tells the story of the deeply flawed men who doomed the 20th century and whose hubris haunts us even now. With the threat of large scale war on the rise this book is more relevant now than at publication.

Read More Hide me
See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2018 Audible, Inc