Depression, War, and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy / Edition 1

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Overview

Other books exist that warn of the dangers of empire and war. However, few, if any, of these books do so from a scholarly, informed economic standpoint. In Depression, War, and Cold War , Robert Higgs, a highly regarded economic historian, makes pointed, fresh economic arguments against war, showing links between government policies and the economy in a clear, accessible way. He boldly questions, for instance, the widely accepted idea that World War II was the chief reason the Depression-era economy recovered. The book as a whole covers American economic history from the Great Depression through the Cold War. Part I centers on the Depression and World War II. It addresses the impact of government policies on the private sector, the effects of wartime procurement policies on the economy, and the economic consequences of the transition to a peacetime economy after the victorious end of the war. Part II focuses on the Cold War, particularly on the links between Congress and defense procurement, the level of profits made by defense contractors, and the role of public opinion andnt ideological rhetoric in the maintenance of defense expenditures over time. This new book extends and refines ideas of the earlier book with new interpretations, evidence, and statistical analysis. This book will reach a similar audience of students, researchers, and educated lay people in political economy and economic history in particular, and in the social sciences in general.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Depression, War, and Cold War...is one of those rare offerings that explicates the truth of things related to the inimical conflation of government, the military, and our congressional banditti these past seventy years or so.... It is a book that reveals a singular and important element of the derailment of our culture: where human nature has triumphed in an egophanic revolt against the old order."—Human Events.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195182927
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/29/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy for the Independent Institute and author of Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government.

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Table of Contents

1 Regime uncertainty : why the Great Depression lasted so long and why prosperity resumed after the war 3
2 Private profit, public risk : institutional antecedents of the modern military procurement system in the rearmament program of 1940-41 30
3 Wartime prosperity? : a reassessment of the U.S. economy in the 1940s 61
4 Wartime socialization of investment : a reassessment of U.S. capital formation in the 1940s 81
5 From central planning to the market : the American transition, 1945-47 101
6 The Cold War economy : opportunity costs, ideology, and the politics of crisis 124
7 Hard coals make bad law : congressional parochialism verus national defense 152
8 Airplanes the Pentagon didn't want, but Congress did 176
9 Profits of U.S. defense contractors 186
10 Public opinion : a powerful predictor of U.S. defense spending 195
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