Besides mobilization efforts to make high explosives and war gases, federal policies included protective tariffs, gathering and publishing market information, and, most dramatically, confiscation of German-owned chemical subsidiaries and patents. Meanwhile, firms and universities worked hard to develop scientific and manufacturing expertise. Against a backdrop of hostilities and intrigue, Steen shows how chemicals were deeply entwined with national and international politics and policy during the war and subsequent isolationism of the turbulent early twentieth century.
|Publisher:||The University of North Carolina Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||3 MB|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Prior to 1914, Germany dominated the worldwide production of synthetic organic dyes and pharmaceuticals like aspirin. When World War I disrupted the supply of German chemicals to the United States, American entrepreneurs responded to the shortages and high prices by trying to manufacture chemicals domestically. Learning the complex science and industry, however, posed a serious challenge. This book explains how the United States built a synthetic organic chemicals industry in World War I and the 1920s. Kathryn Steen argues that Americans' intense anti-German sentiment in World War I helped to forge a concentrated effort among firms, the federal government, and universities to make the United States independent of "foreign chemicals."
What People are Saying About This
The importance of this story lies in the conflict between private property rights (German assets in the United States) and economic development (the establishment of an American organic chemicals industry). Steen does a great job of sorting through and explaining a very complicated story.John K. Smith, Lehigh University
Steen's book will become essential reading for scholars interested in the impact of World War I on American political economy and for anyone looking to understand the emergence of the modern American chemical industry. The book also contributes to diplomatic history in illustrating the turn away from internationalism in the inter-war period and demonstrating its effects on industrial policy.Steven W. Usselman, Georgia Institute of Technology