In This Review

Does Conquest Pay? The Exploitation of Occupied Industrial Societies
Does Conquest Pay? The Exploitation of Occupied Industrial Societies
By Peter Liberman
Princeton University Press, 1996, 272 pp

The unfortunate answer to the title's question appears to be yes. This fascinating study of how conquerors can extract resources from industrial societies concludes that people power often counts for less than democrats would like. A conquered country, the study concludes, is worth more than half a fully committed ally. Drawing on the experiences not only of the world wars but the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe and the Japanese empire before World War II, Liberman demonstrates that a variety of tools, including the manipulation of various fears and the exploitation of internal divisions, can give occupying powers the leverage they need to extract resources from those they have conquered, even in advanced economies. An unsettling analysis of the political economy of force and, more subtly, the sociology of collaboration--and an outstanding piece of multilingual historical and economic research in the service of social science.