Freedom’s forge: How American business produced victory in World War II
A Book Forum

Video

Event Summary
As most historians tell it, America won World War II because of massive government sponsorship and central economic direction. In his new book, "Freedom’s Forge," best-selling author Arthur Herman argues that narrative has the real story backward, an argument he reiterated in an event Monday evening at AEI.

When American factories converted during WWII from making washing machines to making war materials, they were not simply responding to top-down orders; instead, they were meeting the challenge before them. Herman traced the remarkable mobilization of American industry, technology and materiel production over the course of WWII, describing how William S. Knudsen and other American businessmen, engineers, production managers and workers provided the industrial muscle that pulled the United States out of the lingering Great Depression and pushed the Allies on to victory.

It was business innovation, not big government, Herman argued, that fueled America's rearmament and victory. By keeping New Deal Washington out of business's way, America experienced an explosion of creativity, innovation and productive capacity never before seen in history.
-- Emily Batman

Event Description
In "Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II," Pulitzer Prize finalist Arthur Herman describes how the U.S. won history’s greatest conflict by harnessing free market principles and private-sector creativity and innovation to increase war production. Dubbed "magnificent," "powerful" and "a fresh approach" by Kirkus Reviews and "compulsively readable" by Publisher’s Weekly, "Freedom’s Forge" is a stirring tribute to the power of American business and free enterprise — and to the Greatest Generation that created the weapons that made America a superpower. 

Click here to read the most recent review of Freedom's Forge, authored by Steve Forbes of Forbes magazine.

Herman — a visiting scholar at AEI— will speak on the themes of his book, and its lessons for America’s future. A book signing and reception will follow.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Henry
Olsen
  • Henry Olsen, a lawyer by training, is the director of AEI's National Research Initiative. In that capacity, he identifies leading academics and public intellectuals who work in an aspect of domestic public policy and recruits them to visit or write for AEI. Mr. Olsen studies and writes about the policy and political implications of long-term trends in social, economic, and political thought.

 

Arthur
Herman
  • Arthur Herman is a historian and author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age (Bantam, 2008), the Mountbatten Prize–nominated To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World (HarperCollins, 2005), the New York Times bestseller How the Scots Invented the Modern World (Three Rivers Press, 2001), and many articles on foreign and military policy. At AEI, Dr. Herman authored a new book that traces the mobilization of American industry, technology, and material production over the course of World War II.
  • Email: arthur.herman@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Neil McCray
    Phone: 2028625826
    Email: neil.mccray@aei.org

What's new on AEI

image Getting it right: US national security policy and al Qaeda since 2011
image Net neutrality rundown: What the NPRM means for you
image The Schuette decision
image Snatching failure from victory in Afghanistan
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Graduation day: How dads’ involvement impacts higher education success

Join a diverse group of panelists — including sociologists, education experts, and students — for a discussion of how public policy and culture can help families lay a firmer foundation for their children’s educational success, and of how the effects of paternal involvement vary by socioeconomic background.

Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

This event will coincide with the release of a new report by AEI’s Mary Habeck, which analyzes why current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates and what the US can do to develop a successful strategy to defeat this enemy.

Event Registration is Closed
Friday, April 25, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Obamacare’s rocky start and uncertain future

During this event, experts with many different views on the ACA will offer their predictions for the future.   

Event Registration is Closed
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.