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America's Economic Way of War
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Book description

How did economic and financial factors determine how America waged war in the twentieth century? This important new book exposes the influence of economics and finance on the questions of whether the nation should go to war, how wars would be fought, how resources would be mobilized, and the long-term consequences for the American economy. Ranging from the Spanish-American War to the Gulf War, Hugh Rockoff explores the ways in which war can provide unique opportunities for understanding the basic principles of economics as wars produce immense changes in monetary and fiscal policy and so provide a wealth of information about how these policies actually work. He shows that wars have been more costly to the United States than most Americans realize as a substantial reliance on borrowing from the public, money creation and other strategies to finance America's war efforts have hidden the true cost of war.

Reviews

‘Based on extensive research, Rockoff provides an excellent analysis of the economic, financial, and human costs of America's wars between 1898 and 1991. This is a major contribution to the study of twentieth-century US life and thought.’

Stanley L. Engerman - University of Rochester

‘Economic historians often tiptoe around wars as if they were accidental or incidental. In reality, warfare has generally been economically formative as well as destructive. America’s Economic Way of War is packed with important new insights into how America fought and paid for the wars of the twentieth century in blood and treasure, and how these wars changed America.’

Mark Harrison - University of Warwick

‘Hugh Rockoff calmly demonstrates that America's wars have been far costlier in economic terms than we have been led to believe. He carefully compiles the true costs and exposes the methods our leaders have used to disguise those costs and hide them from us. This is an informative and thought-provoking book.’

Richard Sylla - New York University

'America's Economic Way of War is essential reading for those interested in the history of the United States, the functioning of wartime economies, and how wars (even when they are over) continue to shape our lives.'

Source: Journal of Economic History

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Contents

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