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In the Shadow of the Garrison State Paperback – March 27, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0691048901 ISBN-10: 0691048908

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Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Studies in International History and Politics
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (March 27, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691048908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691048901
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2000

"An engaging revisionist history of American society during the Cold War. . . Friedberg performs a real service: reminding us that democracies do a pretty good job of keeping peace as well."--Victor Davis Hanson, The Weekly Standard

"[A] lucid and meticulously documented study. . . . Though Friedberg's close analysis focuses on the period 1945-1960, it provides a framework that also illuminates subsequent events."--Patrick Glynn, Commentary

"Friedberg's account of the development of the American military-industrial complex is very convincing precisely because of the way in which he blends institutional and ideational analyses into a single coherent whole. The work is meticulously researched and is a must read for anyone interested in the diplomatic history of the United States."--Virginia Quarterly Review

"Essential . . . for anyone interested in the history of the American state as well as its future reform."--Andrew P.N. Erdmann, Orbis

From the Inside Flap

"This is one of the most exciting books I've read in years. Friedberg is putting forth a sweeping and fundamental reassessment of the American military-industrial complex during the Cold War. It is historical revisionism in its very best sense: clearly written, thoroughly documented, and overwhelmingly convincing. Aaron Friedberg will emerge, with this book, as one of those rare scholars whose work redefines an entire field."--John Lewis Gaddis, Yale University

"Friedberg offers an important corrective to our tendency to assume that events had to turn out as they did by analyzing why the United States did not turn into a 'garrison state,' as many feared at the start of the Cold War. The research is meticulous, the story fascinating, and Friedberg's explanation in terms of the power of anti-state actors and ideology is convincing."--Robert Jervis, Columbia University

"This book will be a major contribution to a number of different literatures: it speaks to the extensive literature on war and state formation by exploring how different state mobilization strategies produce different outcomes. It contributes to the growing history of the Cold War by focusing attention on the important issue of the comparative political economy of defense mobilization.... It engages a number of current debates about the impact of domestic ideas, institutions, and regime types upon state behavior."--Michael Desch, Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Steven S. Berizzi on July 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
In 1947, Hanson Baldwin, the military correspondent for The New York Times asked whether the United States could "prepare for the next, truly total war...without becoming a `garrison state.'" According to Princeton Professor Aaron Friedberg, by the middle of the 20th, "the imminent threat of war produced pressures for the permanent construction of a powerful central state." Friedberg argues, however, that the size and scope of the federal government was held in check during the Cold War by a tradition and ideology of anti-statism. Although this book merely synthesizes previously- published works, it effectively argues that the apparatus of the American state grew less during the Cold War than might have been have been expected.
Friedberg examines "five main mechanisms of power creation: those intended to extract money and manpower and those designed to direct national resources toward arms production, military research, and defense-supporting industries." Friedberg explains: "In the span of only two decades the United States was engulfed in three waves of crisis as depression, world war, and cold war followed each other in rapid succession. The onset of each emergency produced a powerful impetus toward state-building." The early-Cold War debate about defense spending demonstrates Friedberg's point. He writes that "the American people wanted a state that was strong enough to defend them against their foreign enemies but not strong enough to threaten their domestic liberties," defending the country was expensive. In 1949, when President Truman wanted to hold defense spending for the next fiscal year, to $14.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Greg Garcia on May 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
For those interested in the dynamics and interplay of domestic and national security issues, this book is fantastic. Friedberg frames and then details key power transforming institutions and elements such arms, technology, supporting industrial complex, money and manpower, and how they formed the basis of both a powerful deterrence and a relative stable, non-garrison state that excelled economically.
Not a book for all readers, but for those pundits and novices of national security or Cold War history, this is a must have book. Sure to become required reading for top notice public policy and political science departments in leading universities.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jason N. Palmer on March 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
Harold Lasswell developed the idea of the garrison state in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He proposed that "under conditions of continual crisis and perpetual preparedness for total war, every aspect of life would eventually come under state control." In 1947, Hanson Baldwin, the military correspondent for The New York Times asked whether the United States could "prepare for the next, truly total war...without becoming a garrison state." George Orwell popularized the notion with his 1949 release of 1984, a harrowing view of totalitarian control by the garrison state. To a large extent, these arguments fuel Aaron Friedberger's premise that "war and the threat of war required the creation of military power, and, over time, the creation of military power led to the construction of strong, modern states." (3)

From this premise Friedberg contends that the growth of the American state was held in check during the Cold War by a tradition and ideology of anti-statism. The Cold War produced pressures for the permanent construction of a powerful central state. "In the American case," Friedberg argues, "these pressures came comparatively late in the process of political development... they were met and, to a degree, counterbalanced, by the strong anti-statist influences that were deeply rooted in the circumstances of the nation's founding. (3-4) Friedberg identifies the mechanisms for state growth between 1945 and 1960 as "the product of a collision between these two sets of conflicting forces." (4) He effectively demonstrates that the apparatus of the American state grew less during the early years of the Cold War than might have been have been expected.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. D. Adesnik on May 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
Friedberg has written the best book on international relations since John Gaddis' "Strategies of Containment". Like Gaddis, Friedberg is one of a handful of authors who possess a sophisticated knowledge of both American diplomatic history and modern theories of international relations.
With the aid of his groundbreaking archival research, Friedberg shatters existing paradigms by showing that American culture played a leading, perhaps dominant role in the forging of the United States' Cold War grand strategy.
Friedberg's book is indispensable reading for every scholar and student of international relations. It is a classic that will be read and reread for generations.
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