Reading Matters

Mark Wilson’s ‘Destructive Creation’could help in war on global warming

UNCC history professor Mark Wilson's new book, "Destructive Creation: American Business and the Winning of World War II," gets a shout out in the September issue of the New Republic in an article called “World at War,” about how we are under attack from climate change. Author Bill McKibben says our only hope in winning the war is to "mobilize like we did in WWII."

McKibben says Wilson’s book could show us the way, by detailing “how the federal government birthed a welter of new agencies with names like the War Production Board and the Defense Plant Corporation; the latter, between 1940 and 1945, spent $9 billion on 2,300 projects in 46 states, building factories it then leased to private industry.”

By war’s end, the government dominated everything from aircraft manufacturing to synthetic rubber production. It was public capital that built most of the stuff, says Wilson. Not Wall Street.

“Destructive Creation” – revisionist history at its best.

Dannye: dpowell@charlotteobserver.com

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