The Senate Munitions Inquiry of the 1930s: Beyond the Merchants of Death

Hardcover | July 1, 1997

byMatthew Ware Coulter

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The Munitions Inquiry, often called the Nye Committee after its chairperson, Senator Gerald Nye, critically examined the pre-World War II military-industrial complex of government agencies, corporations, labor unions, and financial institutions. Cold War-era historians typically presented the inquiry as a naive isolationist search for evil arms dealers who caused wars. Going beyond the concept of the Merchants of Death theory and into the social, intellectual, political, and cultural currents of the 1930s, Coulter expands the dimensions of a topic formerly framed within the narrow confines of isolationism and internationalism. In addition, he shows how the committee's 19th-century values and progressive idealism were unsuited to an era dominated by Hitler and Mussolini. In divesting the Munitions Inquiry of its image as an historical oddity, this book recovers a piece of American history that had been a casualty of World War II and the Cold War.

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The Munitions Inquiry, often called the Nye Committee after its chairperson, Senator Gerald Nye, critically examined the pre-World War II military-industrial complex of government agencies, corporations, labor unions, and financial institutions. Cold War-era historians typically presented the inquiry as a naive isolationist search for ...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 9.54 × 6.16 × 0.81 inPublished:July 1, 1997Publisher:Chemical Publishing Company, I

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313303940

ISBN - 13:9780313303944

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?The author succeeds in demonstrating that the inquiry conducted by the Nye committee "did not belong to Senator Nye" and that the committee was, with occasional lapses, more sophisticated in its assessment of the economy than any simple "merchants-of-death" theory. He makes an arresting reevaluation in down playing the committee's connection to isolationist sentiment, which he regards as less fundamental than its "idealistic" sociocultural credo. Coulter's careful, chronological account of the group's deliberations - including its relationship to the politics of the Roosevelt years - and his thoughtful analysis of the hearings and report enhance our understanding.?-The Journal of American History