World War II Roundtable Presents Dr. Price Fishback

Larry Linderman

The first presentation of the SaddleBrooke World War II Roundtable this season will be on Wednesday, Oct. 18, in the DesertView Theater at 1 p.m.

In the years our Roundtable has been active, I don’t recall a talk on the economics of the United States during World War II. Just think about it for a moment: How do you fight and win two wars against formidable foes and at the same time keep a homefront population of 235 million housed, fed, employed, warm, and healthy?

Well, we lucked out. One of our members told me about a professor of economics at the University of Arizona named Price Fishback, Ph.D., who has a specialty in that very area. I contacted Professor Fishback, and he enthusiastically agreed to address our Roundtable.

Below is his bio and a summary of his talk. By the way, I saw that he is a “regents professor.” Here’s what that title means at the U of A: “The purpose of the Regents Professorship Award is to provide recognition for faculty at the rank of professor who have performed outstanding teaching, research, and service to the profession, and who have achieved a high level of national and international recognition.”

Price Fishback Regents Professor, APS Professor of Economics, Eller College of Management

Price Fishback is an economic historian who performs research on the political economy of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s, labor markets and regulation in the Progressive Era, and the American economy during World War II. His work is known for its data-intensive approach, has been financed by numerous National Science Foundation grants, and has appeared in many peer-reviewed articles, literature surveys, and books.

A short description of the talk by the speaker: “It is commonly thought that World War II was a benefit to the American Economy; ‘America never had it so good.’ The U.S. produced enormous amounts of munitions during the war, which was truly impressive and necessary to win the war. I will discuss the direct and indirect costs of the War and show how the American people (and their allies) sacrificed heavily to win the war.”

Some of you reading this article may not be familiar with the Roundtable.  We typically meet once a month, October through April. Our meetings feature a speaker who has researched a particular topic germane to the war. We have no dues, and all are welcome.

So, again, the October talk will be presented by Professor Price Fishback of the University of Arizona Economics Department. We will meet in the DesertView Theater at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

We are not asking for a donation of $1, as we have a small surplus.