During a period of international tension like the present, the average person is constantly confronted with public statements and discussions on matters relating to economic warfare. Some of these may appear to offer rather promising approaches to meeting the external threats of a "cold war." But if he is not already well-informed about economic warfare, he may be easily confused. He may have difficulty finding a ready reference that treats the subject matter systematically, in the contemporary setting, and in the language neither of political demagoguery nor of intellectual pretentiousness. As a rule, works dealing with war economics are primarily concerned with domestic issues; studies in international trade do not usually take into serious consideration the conditions of war or military preparedness. Thus, both in and outside the college classroom, there appears to be a definite need for such a book, and it is precisely to meet this need that the present work has been written.
The author owes a deep intellectual debt to his wartime teachers at the London School of Economics and, in particular, to Professor F. A. Hayek and Mr. N. Kaldor, who first initiated him into the discipline of economics. From Professor Alfred R. Oxenfeldt of the City College of New York he received encouragement and advice at a time when the idea of this book was barely germinating and the generous assistance was needed most. Dr.E. A. J. Johnson, editor of this series, and Professor J. B. Condliffe of the University of California have both read the manuscript and through their criticisms and suggestions contributed substantially to its improvement. A few other scholars . . .