Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

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Review of In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition, 1918-1938 by Butler Shaffer

  • The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics
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Tags U.S. EconomyU.S. HistoryMonopoly and Competition

07/30/2014Robert Higgs

 

Volume 3, No. 4 (Winter 2000)

 

Butler Shaffer's well-written monograph, In Restraint of Trade, describes in extensive detail why and how most businessmen pleaded for the government to tame them between the end of World War I and the eve of World War II.  Other scholars have plowed this field before; most notably John T. Flynn (to whose memory and spirit Shaffer dedicates his book), writing from the 1920s to the 1950s; Gabriel Kolko, Robert H. Wiebe, and Murray N. Rothbard, writing in the 1960; and many others since.  Shaffer's contribution is simultaneously to ground his analysis in sound economic theory and to document his historical claims by citing an abundance of primary sources.  He goes into special detail in three chapters devoted to particular industries or sectors of the economy—steel, petroleum and coal, and retailing and textiles—but the entire book is scrupulously documented.

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Cite This Article

Higgs, Robert.  In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition, 1918-1938 by Butler Shaffer.  The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics  3, No. 4 (Winter 2000): 91–94.

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