Throughout its history, the U.S. military has worked in close connection to market-based institutions and structures. It has run systems of free and unfree labor, taken over private sector firms, and both spurred and snuffed out economic development. It has created new markets—for consumer products, for sex work, and for new technologies. It has operated as a regulator of industries and firms and an arbitrator of labor practices. And in recent decades it has gone so far as to refashion itself from the inside, so as to become more similar to a for-profit corporation.
The Military and the Market covers two centuries of history of the U.S. military’s vast and varied economic operations, including its often tense relationships with capitalist markets. Collecting new scholarship at the intersection of the fields of military history, business history, policy history, and the history of capitalism, the nine chapters feature important new research on subjects ranging from Civil War soldier-entrepreneurs, to the business of the construction of housing and overseas bases for the Cold War, to the U.S. military’s troubled relationships with markets for sex. The volume enriches scholars’ understandings of the depth and complexity of military-market relations in U.S. history and offers today’s military policymakers novel insights about the origins of current arrangements and how they might be reimagined.
Contributors: Jessica L. Adler, Timothy Barker, Patrick Chung, Gretchen Heefner, Jennifer Mittelstadt, A. Junn Murphy, Kara Dixon Vuic, Sarah Jones Weicksel, Mark R. Wilson, Daniel Wirls.
Jennifer Mittelstadt is Professor of History at Rutgers University and author of The Rise of the Military Welfare State.
Mark R. Wilson is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and author of Destructive Creation: American Business and the Winning of World War II, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.
"The Military and the Market is an excellent analysis of how the United Stated defense establishment shapes, and is shaped by, external economic trends and business marketplaces. The raison d’etre of this anthologized, multi-author volume rests on an expansive definition of the word 'marketplace,' moving beyond the defense industry hardware which often assumes analytical primacy in studies of defense markets. Through offering this wide intellectual umbrella, the editors bring into the work a varied and often surprising array of case studies – ranging from topics such as Cold War housing construction to modern national security contracting – and along the way shed light on some lesser-known episodes of American military history."—The Strategy Bridge
"The Military and the Market is well suited for policymakers and practitioners alike, principally at the local level between military installation garrison and community leaders facing the day-to-day externalities of this public-private interrelationship and at the national level between military and congressional leaders to evolve Title 10 requirements to man, train, and equip the respective branches. These leaders could benefit from the unique lens of changing public-private provision to the American defense sector over time, and its resulting coevolution with the larger contemporary military-market-society interrelationship, to inform future advantage during today’s era of great-power competition."—Parameters
"Whether studying fresh recruits or aging veterans, scrutinizing the Civil War or recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, these formidable scholars do thorough research and smart thinking. Putting the relationship between market capitalism and U.S. national security into a deep historical perspective, The Military and the Market asks big questions and offers big answers. For both military history and the history of capitalism, this will be an exciting, enduring, go-to book."—Christopher Capozzola, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"A compelling series of essays on the commodification and business of war. Mittelstadt and Wilson have assembled an impressive ensemble cast of scholars to investigate the deep-rooted connections between the United States' military, economic, and social policies. A must read for anyone interested in the ever-widening reach of the US national security establishment."—Gregory Daddis, San Diego State University