It is the major thesis of this large and fully documented book about federal science policy and government contracting that over the past three decades the ""military-industrial complex"" has developed into a vast ""inner society"" with unparalled private economic and public decision-making power. We have reached a condition called by the author, The Contract State, in which ""the government contract...as a social management tool, has achieved a scope and magnitude that now rivals simple subsidies, tariffs, taxes, direct regulation and positive action programs in their impact upon the nature and quality of American life."" The federal contract for ""research and development"" doled out to companies with vested interests in the space-technology race has now become an instrument of special subsidy, political power and economic concentration. In the process, Nieburg claims, a new economic federalism has been created which transfers to ""private"" centers of power a quasi-public authority. On the strength of Senate hearings, criticisms by public-spirited scientists and the Bell Report (which was an attempt at reform during the Kennedy administration), Nieburg charges that the prevailing system is merely a ""pump-priming grab-bag"" which only defers real structural economic reforms. It's a kind of disguised planning which benefits the most vociferous critics of national planning per se. Nieburg's indictments are many, ranging from his reservations about the proposed lunar landing to the more basic criticism that self-defeating defense spending is robbing the civilian economy of funds and resources and people. This is an important and provocative book which should receive wide attention but it is not the kind of book designed to make any concessions to a supposed ""popular"" readership.