Monday, October 16, 2006

Real Price of War by Joshua S. Goldstein

Joshua S. Goldstein claims that both conservatives and liberals will dislike his book The Real Price of War. He argues in the book that the war on terror being waged by the current administration is costing much more than is being admitted. Some of the costs are secondary, as funds that support economic growth are lost. People are losing jobs and others are not getting training because of the war effort. Further, he believes tax cuts have undermined the strength of the federal government and made the war effort weak.

What liberals do not like is that the author then argues that too little is being spent on the war effort. He argues that our failure to spend more on the war effort now will cost us much more in the future.

Both political sides could be mining Goldstein's arguments. The book is now two years old and seems to have been forgotten. In our SWAN catalog, I see that nine libraries own the book, of which eight are on shelf and the other is in storage.

Why has The Real Price of War become so lost? Are there just too many political books in circulation? Are readers overwhelmed by war news? Is a book that offends both major political parties ignored? Will libraries soon be deleting this inactive book?

Maybe we should put this book on display to see if anyone will read it.

Goldstein, Joshua S. The Real Price of War. New York: New York University Press, 2004. ISBN 0814731619


laura said...

There's only one copy in Wyoming. I wonder if it's simply that the title makes the book sound quite partisan and anti-war, and therefore people think they already know what it's going to say and don't need to read it.

Nonanon said...

I would guess it's because no one really wants to think about the price of war, economically or physically. It's a lot easier to buy a ribbon magnet for your car than to do math, after all. (But, obviously, I've never been accused of being an optimist.)

None of the nonfiction I've ever read about the psychological costs of war (including Theodore Nadelson's excellent Trained to Kill) or the events leading up to and behind wars has ever had a waiting or hold list; whereas all the violently left and right books do have waiting lists.