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Resurgence of the Warfare State: The Crisis Since 9/11 Paperback – October 28, 2005

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Editorial Reviews


"Robert Higgs is a prophet who deserves honor and more importantly, urgent attention."  —Daniel Ellsberg, author, The Pentagon Papers

"Strikes a telling blow for liberty and merits a thunderous welcome by Americans."  —Michael Scheuer, author, Imperial Hubris

"Higgs is at his best combining his knowledge of history and economics with a passion for liberty."  —Ron Paul, U.S. Congressman 

About the Author

Robert Higgs is senior fellow at the Independent Institute. He is the author of Competition and Coercion, Crisis and Leviathan, and The Transformation of the American Economy 1865–1914. He lives outside New Orleans.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Independent Institute; First Printing edition (October 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0945999569
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945999560
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,149,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Robert Higgs (born 1 February 1944) is an American economic historian and an economist of the Austrian school. His writings in economics and economic history have most often focused on the causes, means, and effects of government growth. Dr. Higgs has written extensively about the ratchet effect, the economic causes of the Great Depression, regime uncertainty, and the myth that World War II caused economic recovery in the late 1940s.

Currently Dr. Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy for The Independent Institute and Editor of the Institute's quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, and the University of Economics, Prague. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow for the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Higgs is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gary Schlarbaum Award for Lifetime Defense of Liberty, Thomas Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties, Lysander Spooner Award for Advancing the Literature of Liberty, Friedrich von Wieser Memorial Prize for Excellence in Economic Education, and Templeton Honor Rolls Award on Education in a Free Society.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Karen U. Kwiatkowski on December 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
Sweet Land of Militarism

by Karen Kwiatkowski

Resurgence of the Warfare State delivers a ferocious punch to those who prefer their states massive and their wars, as Mr. Bush might say, catastrophically successful.

The rest of us, preferring our state small, our leviathan caged, and our wars as a last resort rather than feel-good fixes, will savor Dr. Robert Higgs' latest contribution to modern history and politics. Resurgence is a carefully selected set of powerful essays, organized into eight parts, each focusing on a unique aspect of the modern, post 9-11 American warfare state.

The book begins with an important post-9/11 interview conducted by Michael Lynch of Reason. Dr. Higgs, an economic historian who is Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute and editor of their superb journal, The Independent Review, briefly explains the themes of his earlier books, Crisis and Leviathan (1987) and Against Leviathan (2004). What we know, thanks to Higgs' lucid presentation and analysis, is that national crises in American lead to bigger, more invasive, and more hubristic government, the kind that doesn't go away after the crisis fades.

In Resurgence, it becomes clear that some national crises are more equal than others in delivering the government goods of more centralization, more spending, more interference in and control over the private life of American citizens. 9/11 was invaluable and has shown itself to be an unsurpassed opportunity for government growth. Just as after the Japanese attack on the sleepy naval base at Pearl Harbor, America is again a super-animated warfare state.

Shortly after 9-11, Dr. Higgs predicted "an overwhelming public demand for government to act.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Doepke on August 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
Reading the collection of short essays in Higg's slender volume is a reminder that not all the opposition to America's growing war machine comes from the left. There remains a solid core of opposition from the right, anchored in Libertarian principles and voiced in Congress by representative Ron Paul of Texas. Though the material here is neither extensive nor deep, and is too often repetitive, it does serve as a useful reminder of the pre-Cold War Republican party. That was the party of Robert Taft, Main Street America, and small business. They opposed big government, big taxes, international meddling, large standing armies and unionized workers. Their historic defeat came in 1952 with the triumph of the Eisenhower wing and its Wall Street backers. Now, it appears, what's left of that point of view has migrated from the Republicans to the Libertarians, at least as an ideological force.

The articles here are uniformly brief, pungent, and incisive, occasionally rising to an eloquence, as in Chapter 20, on America's War Party. There's also an informative chapter on the hidden true size of the Defense budget, showing how deeply our economy is mired in imperial expenditures. The biggest drawback lies with the format which works against the kind of analytic depth some readers may prefer. The book really works best as a collection of op-ed pieces. So, if you're looking for an anti-empire perspective in short, sweet doses that doesn't mirror the Chomskyite left, then this may be your ticket.
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Format: Paperback
This small book from Robert Higgs is a collection of articles,blogs,interviews from the time of 9/11 and shortly after. We can look back and see through Higgs' concise easy to understand writing that he was pretty much dead on. Surveillance from NSA and other government agencies, Patriot Act and TSA abuses have pretty much come as he predicted. Meanwhile we continue on fighting our never ending fight as VP Cheney stated.
The war machine keeps turning leaving debt and death and loss of liberty in its wake.
This is a great book to update and show the truth that his masterpiece Crises in Leviathan truly has become. Easier to read and more contemporary, it is a quick study into Old Right / libertarian / classical liberal thought of non-intervention and individual liberty.
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