Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government

Overview


Few topics are as timely as the growth of government. To understand why government has grown, Robert Higgs asserts, one must understand how it has grown. This book offers a coherent, multi-causal explanation, guided by a novel analytical framework firmly grounded in historical evidence.
More than a study of trends in governmental spending, taxation, and employment, Crisis and Leviathan is a thorough analysis of the actual occasions when and the specific means by which Big ...
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Overview


Few topics are as timely as the growth of government. To understand why government has grown, Robert Higgs asserts, one must understand how it has grown. This book offers a coherent, multi-causal explanation, guided by a novel analytical framework firmly grounded in historical evidence.
More than a study of trends in governmental spending, taxation, and employment, Crisis and Leviathan is a thorough analysis of the actual occasions when and the specific means by which Big Government developed in the United States. Naming names and highlighting the actions of significant individuals, Higgs examines how twentieth-century national emergencies--mainly wars, depressions, and labor disturbances--have prompted federal officials to take over previously private rights and activities. When the crises passed, a residue of new governmental powers remained. Even more significantly, each great crisis and the subsequent governmental measures have gone hand in hand with reinforcing shifts in public beliefs and attitudes toward the government's proper role in American life.
Integrating the contributions of scholars in diverse disciplines, including history, law, political philosophy, and the social sciences, Crisis and Leviathan makes compelling reading for all those who seek to understand the transformation of America's political economy over the past century.

This book challenges the benvolent view of government growth since the Progressive Era.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A very useful book for modern American history courses."--Frank Annunziata, Rochester Institute of Technology

"Insightful, compelling, and clear. Higgs breaks new ground in explicating the most important socio-political trend of our time--the growth of American government."--Brian Summers, Senior Editor, The Freeman.

"A superb history....Two hundred years after the establishment of the American Constitution, I can think of no more important reading that Mr. Higgs' book, aside from the Constitution itself."--R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., Editor-in-Chief, The American Spectator

"A thoughtful and challenging work."--Martin Morse Wooster, Washington Editor, Harper's Magazine

"A book of major importance, thoroughly researched, closely argued, and meticulously documented. It should be high on the reading list of every serious student of the American political system."--Political Science Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598131116
  • Publisher: Independent Institute, The
  • Publication date: 1/1/2013
  • Edition description: Anniversar
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 823,992
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Higgs is senior fellow in political economy for the Independent Institute and the editor of the Institute’s quarterly journal, the Independent Review. He is also the author of several books, including Against Leviathan, Competition and Coercion, Neither Liberty Nor Safety, Resurgence of the Warfare State, and The Transformation of the American Economy 1865–1914, and the recipient of numerous awards, such as the Gary Schlarbaum Award for Lifetime Defense of Liberty and the Lysander Spooner Award for Advancing the Literature of Liberty. He lives in Covington, Louisiana. Arthur A. Ekirch, Jr. was a professor emeritus of history at the State University of New York–Albany, a Guggenheim fellow, and the author of dozens of articles and 10 books, including The Civilian and the Military and The Decline of American Liberalism.

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