The war economy

I finished reading a terrific book (recommended to me by the terrific Tim Harford), 

edited by Ira Glass. One of the essays is Losing the War by Lee Sandlin (also available here). Although it’s not really about the economic aspects of World War II, it nevertheless underlines the extent to which total war required the economy of all combatants to be totally geared to war production. Sandlin also writes:

“Modern warfare has grown so complicated and requires such immense movements of men and materiel over so vast an expanse of territory that an ever increasing proportion of every army is give over to supply, tactical support, and logistics…. The war was essentially a self-contained economic system that swelled up out of nothing and covered the globe.” (p338)

[amazon_image id=”1594482675″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The New Kings of Nonfiction[/amazon_image]

I have in my in-pile David Edgerton’s

, which I’ve been meaning to read for a while. I’ll turn to it after my impending trip to the Trento Festival of Economics, where I’ll be talking about
, which is just out in Italian.

[amazon_image id=”B004TRQAOA” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Britain’s War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War[/amazon_image]



One thought on “The war economy

  1. dear Diane
    Many thanks for the positive review of my book. If you can make it , please come to the formal launch. ‘The New Industrial Revolution: Consumers,Globalization and the end of Mass Production’ (Yale University Press) is being released on June 14. There will be a reception that evening at the Royal Academy of Engineering, 3 Carlton House Terrace, London, from 6.30 to 8.30pm.

    If you can make it , please let the organisers know, at “Events” and tell them I sent you an invitation. (It’s not necessary to email me back.) regards Peter Marsh (

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