Sometimes inchoate and formless, but nevertheless quite fascinating, this book by a professional banker and well known economist analyzes the economic and fiscal policies that were evolved to meet war-related political crises throughout American history. While he directs token attention to the crisis phases of the Washington and Lincoln administrations, the book's major area of operation is from World War I to the present. He is particularly interested in the ""forms, responses and institutions"" that wars create. In the Vietnam struggle, he indicates that a more vigorous economic rationale is needed to direct and contain the extensive expenses of sustaining such an involvement. Rather than the sometimes haphazard, sometimes hapless, history of muddling through war-born economic emergencies, he calls for a more systematic treatment. Some of Mr. Janeway's irreverent remarks aimed at some of the household gods of our past and present economic history occasion some very interesting by-play.