Discussing how government has continually grown in size and scope during the past century, this account demonstrates that the main reason lies in government's responses to national "crises" (real or imagined), including economic upheavals and, especially, war. The result, this book argues, is the ever-increasing government power, which endures long after each crisis has passed, impinging on both civil and economic liberties and fostering extensive corporate welfare. Offering ideological explanations for the ascension of the role of government out of a capitalist, free-market economy, it will appeal to those with interests in political economy, American history, and libertarian politics.
Robert Higgs is senior fellow in political economy for the Independent Institute and the editor of the Institute's quarterly journal, the Independent Review . He is also the author of several books, including Against Leviathan, Competition and Coercion, Neither Liberty Nor Safety, Resurgence of the Warfare State , and The Transformation of the American Economy 1865-1914 , and the recipient of numerous awards, such as the Gary Schlarbaum Award for Lifetime Defense of Liberty and the Lysander Spooner Award for Advancing the Literature of Liberty. He lives in Covington, Louisiana. Arthur A. Ekirch, Jr. was a professor emeritus of history at the State University of New York-Albany, a Guggenheim fellow, and the author of dozens of articles and 10 books, including The Civilian and the Military and The Decline of American Liberalism.