Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II
Arthur Herman. New York: Random House, 2012. Illus. Notes. Bibliog. Index. $28.
Reviewed by Lieutenant Eric Schuck, Supply Corps, U.S. Navy Reserve
In 1917, the nascent Tank Corps of the American Expeditionary Force relied largely on French-built Renault FT-17s. In 1944, when the French 2nd Armored Division rolled into Paris, it did so in American-built M4 Shermans. That difference speaks volumes about the change in U.S. economic mobilization between world wars. For while the United States could arm itself only by adopting European weapons in the first, during the second it was the U.S. industrial leviathan that armed the entire Allied world. In Freedom’s Forge, Arthur Herman recounts the story of American productivity between 1941 and 1945.