Military Waste by Joshua O. Reno is a book that will appeal to anyone interested in the material traces of militarization and militarism in the United States, as well as the political, economic, environmental, and social legacies of the Cold War. Reno is an anthropologist by trade, so the book is based on a diverse range of theoretical and ethnographic approaches to the topic. Each of the book's six chapters focuses on a type of military waste or a theoretical framework for understanding military waste as a byproduct of permanent war readiness.

The first three chapters are the book's strongest elements because each is grounded firmly in the materiality of waste. Chapter 1 explores the waste generated in the...

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