Smedley Butler (1881-1940) was Zelig. He was on the battlefield during the Opium Wars, the Spanish American War, and World War I. He led military missions in Panama Canal, Guantanamo Bay, and Haiti. He was one of the most decorated Marines in American history. His story could make for a rich military history, but instead Katz delivers a fascinating analysis of the fairly open secret objective of America's foreign policy during the time, which was to establish a long-lasting economic empire across the globe. Recounted through the eyes of the guy who did it all, this is a must-read for anyone with even a passing interest in American culture, history, and/or politics.