In This Review

War, Economy and Society, 1939-1945
War, Economy and Society, 1939-1945
By Alan S. Milward
University of California Press, 1977, 409 pp

This remarkable book should be the standard work for a long time. A true comparative study, it relates the experience of all the main countries (and sometimes others) to a series of key issues that are deftly analyzed and not just described. In addition to the basics - production, consumption, food, finance and organization - the book deals with such famous themes as war as the bringer-of-growth and stimulus-to-technology, and such special questions as the exploitation of occupied areas and economic warfare. Throughout, Professor Milward of Manchester relates economics to strategy in an illuminating way. The final chapter on reconstruction strikes an odd note by treating the crises that preceded the Marshall Plan as the death of wartime ideals and hopes.