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The Price of Liberty

The Price of Liberty

Paying for America's Wars

Robert D. Hormats

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"Admirably comprehensive . . . The Price of Liberty shows that [Hormats] knows his history."—Niall Ferguson, The Wall Street Journal

America's first secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, identified the Revolutionary War debt as a threat to the nation's very existence. Ever since, Hamilton's principles for securing the country through sound finances have guided leaders from Madison and Lincoln to FDR and George H. W. Bush as they have fought to protect the United States—with the invention of the greenback, a progressive income tax, Victory Bond campaigns, and cost-sharing with allies.

In this bracing work of history, Robert D. Hormats, one of America's leading experts on international finance, argues that the United States must realign its policies on taxes, defense spending, Social Security, Medicare, and oil dependency to safeguard the nation in the coming decades.

EXCERPT

Introduction

American history offers many political and economic lessons. But looking back over this nation's more than two hundred years, one central, constant theme emerges: sound national finances have proved to be indispensable to the...

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Praise for The Price of Liberty

“Bob Hormats has taken on the impossible: making lively history of the fiscal side of America's wars. Taxes and spending, economics and politics, all mixed up together in times of national crisis, from the Revolution and Alexander Hamilton to Iraq and both George Bushes. There are lessons to be learned and too often forgotten, even for the financing of the new 'War on Terror.'” —Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve

The Price of Liberty is both a superb history and an urgent call for appropriate fiscal policy in the current campaign against terrorism. Hormats shows that, time and again, how wars were paid for determined how wars were fought--and won or lost. An important and timely book.” —David M. Kennedy, author of Freedom from Fear

“Robert Hormats mounts a compelling argument that America faces large-scale economic catastrophe due to lack of a long-term, fiscally sound strategy for meeting military and security needs as well as domestic obligations. The Price of Liberty is a fascinating book and its messsage is hard to ignore.” —Henry Kissinger

“Hormats links economics with history and politics in a must-read for anyone who would understand the fundamentals of America's national security. Lucid and engrossing, The Price of Liberty provides a new and vital perspective for students of national security.” —General Wesley K. Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe

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About the author

Robert D. Hormats

Robert D. Hormats is the vice chairman of Goldman Sachs (International) and a managing director of Goldman, Sachs & Co. He has served in numerous presidential administrations and is a former member of the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations. His articles appear in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The New York Times, and Foreign Affairs. He lives in New York City.

Robert D. Hormats

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