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Warfare State: World War II Americans and the Age of Big Government Hardcover – August 4, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1St Edition edition (August 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199791015
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199791019
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,055,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

But what he [Professor Sparrow] has accomplished, and it is no small thing, is to show how the Roosevelt administration induced people to buy bonds, pay extremely high taxes, and otherwise support the war effort with a minimum of coercion and a maximum of coaxing. This is an interesting and important story and one that he tells well William I. O'Neill, War in History

About the Author


James T. Sparrow is Associate Professor of History at the University of Chicago.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ellis Hopkins on April 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
James T. Sparrow's Warfare State: World War II Americans and the Age of Big Government will challenge the reader on what they think they know about the premier global conflict of the 20th Century. Sparrow's thesis is that it was the war, not the New Deal programs of the 1930s, which introduced Americans to a pervasive federal government. This book is extremely detailed and is not suited for the casual reader interested in broad outlines. Students of World War II will find their assumptions challenged by data that reveals the rift between the "combat soldier" and the "soldier of production". Other interesting topics include home front race relations, anti-Semitism, and the rumors generated by social mobility as a result of war industry employment. Warfare State is not easy to read but it is an important look beyond the accepted mythology of "the last good war".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on April 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Author Sparrow contends that WWII brought big government to the U.S., not FDR's 'New Deal' welfare state. The number of people affected, as well as the breadth of government involvement dwarfed anything under the New Deal; besides, Sparrow contends the New Deal was winding down when WWII activities began.

Sparrow first notes that the sense of unity, bolstered by the draft, instilled a sense of equality and entitlement to full citizenship that government would have to respond to in future years. Another heritage was our historic break with more than a century of international aloofness, starting with Lend-Lease programs in 1941. Mass income taxation and vast structural deficits were both undertaken for the first time during WWII, and it also served to rebuild respect for business after the Great Depression. Basic goals of the government were widely accepted as valid and necessary, with the idealized figure of the combat soldier, and the millions he stood for, providing a unifying symbol through which diverse groups of civilians could be exhorted to meet their obligations to the nation. Big Government did not simply prevail, it became the prevailing common sense.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Publius on August 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Professor Sparrow has delivered an insightful account of how our twentieth-century national government -- for good or ill -- came to play such a pervasive role in the lives of its citizenry. With twenty-first-century American political discourse now dominated by talk of top-down initiatives (e.g., federal stimuli and out-of-whole-cloth job creation), "Warfare State" provides invaluable context for understanding our country's current trajectory.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Phil Wight on March 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While I'd highly recommend Sparrow's "Warfare State," I would encourage all academics to order this book in hard copy. The Kindle Edition lacks page numbers, citations, and a bibliography. For professional historians and serious students of history, this is simply unacceptable.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By educator on September 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent incite by an excellent scholar and writer.Awaiting more from this astute educator and author. His first of a trilogy!
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