The U.S. Economy in World War II

The U.S. Economy in World War II

The U.S. Economy in World War II

The U.S. Economy in World War II

Excerpt

The present brief survey of the U.S. economy and economic policy in the World War II period should help to fill the gap in the existing economic literature on the great upheavals that spanned the years from 1939 to the first postwar recession of 1947-48. There are less than a handful of works that even approach generality. Examples of ones that do so are John R. Craf 1947 narrative, A Survey of the American Economy, 1940-1946, the U.S. Budget Bureau's 1946 United States at War, and Eliot Janeway 1951 Struggle for Survival.

There are, of course, numerous excellent special histories of the economic aspects of the wartime American experience, studies usually confined to the war years proper. For example, we are fortunate that the Roosevelt administration instigated a continuous record of wartime developments. As a result, the Historical Reports on War Administration provide us with a luxuriant store of detailed information contained in studies whose typical theoretical presumption is, as is the case with the discussion of administration in this volume, that the appropriate treatment of administration should encompass the treatment of economic developments.

There is no general work of which I am aware that (1) provides an interpretive presentation of overall economic change, government policy, and the administration of controls; (2) connects the major social concomitants with those changes; and (3) integrates the war years with the ongoing process of economic history--particularly the connections between the war experience and the great, immediate postwar reshaping process in the economy and the economy's relation to the federal . . .

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