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America's Economic Way of War
War and the US Economy from the Spanish-American War to the Persian Gulf War

$32.99 (G)

Part of New Approaches to Economic and Social History

  • Date Published: May 2012
  • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from September 2019
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521676731

$ 32.99 (G)

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Reveals how America's current wars are financed and how the current financial system reflects the outcomes of past wars
    • Shows how the extremes of war can illuminate the basic principles of economics
    • As the first book to provide an economic and financial history of America's twentieth-century wars, it will help students, journalists, business people and academics place America's recent wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya into historical perspective
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “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 U.S. 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

    "In this volume he pulls together decades of research by economic historians, providing succinct, adeptly-written, even-handed, well-organized tour of war and the U.S. economy from the 1890s to the 1990s." -Robert Whaples, EH.Net

    " important survey of a mostly neglected subject, filled with valuable insights from a wide range of sources. Highly recommended." -Choice

    "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." -Journal of Economic History

    " excellent book that can be recommended to historians as well as economists." -Alexander J. Field, The Journal of American History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521676731
    • length: 370 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 28 b/w illus. 22 tables
    • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from September 2019
  • Table of Contents

    1. A century of war
    2. The economics of war
    3. The Spanish-American War
    4. The Philippine-American War
    5. World War I
    6. World War II
    7. The Korean War
    8. The Cold War
    9. The Vietnam War
    10. The Persian Gulf War
    11. The American way of war.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • American Economic Growth
  • Author

    Hugh Rockoff, Rutgers University, New Jersey
    Hugh Rockoff is a Professor of Economics at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. His publications include numerous papers in professional journals, The Free Banking Era: A Re-examination (1975), Drastic Measures: A History of Wage and Price Controls in the United States (1984) and a textbook History of the American Economy (with Gary Walton).

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