History

"Devil Dog": The war hero history forgot

A new book series by Salon's founder introduces unsung heroes, like the general who saved FDR from a coup

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    In 1900, Smedley Butler was an 18-year-old Marine lieutenant

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    Butler and his fellow soldiers marched into battle

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    Butler was a major, battling rebels in Nicaragua

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    President Wilson sent Butler and the Marines storming ashore in Haiti

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    America’s imperial exploits inevitably resulted in the brutalization of native populations

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    It was the senseless industrial slaughter of World War I that at last turned Butler against the “war racket.”

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    In 1924, as Prohibition Era gangsterism ran wild in America’s cities, Butler took a leave from the Marines

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    Despite Butler’s growing opposition to senseless wars

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    In summer 1932, during the depths of the Depression, Butler electrified a ragtag army of World War I veterans

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    President Franklin Roosevelt’s efforts to pull the country out of the Depression