The Tragic Fallacy: a Study of America's War Policies

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The Tragic Fallacy: a Study of America's War Policies

By Mauritz A. Hallgren
Knopf, 1937
475 pp. $4.00
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Mr. Hallgren first sets out to demonstrate that the military and naval establishment of the United States is of such magnitude (and expense) that its only object can be offensive war. The country's isolated position, he tells us, means that its defense could be insured with a much smaller army and navy than our militarists demand. He assures us that, if we assent to these demands, we may see the American army wage a war of aggression abroad and impose a Fascist dictatorship at home. The chances of our staying out of another general war are slight. Embargoes and other legislative devices will not avail, for our capitalist economy will "inevitably" drag us into the world's major imperialistic conflicts. The only escape is Marxist socialism. Many readers will be able to accept parts of Mr. Hallgren's plausible if long-winded diagnosis but may strain at the medicine he prescribes.