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Arms trade

These items deal with the arms trade; military industry and conversion; the economics of militarism and the military; and the military-industrial complex.

Please remember that many of the older titles included in this list are likely to be second-hand.



Trading in Death - the Modern Arms Race

James Adams

(Pan Books, London, 1991)

pbk £2.00


The Naval Arms Trade

Ian Anthony

(SIPRI/OUP, 1990)

hbk £12.50


Arms Export Regulations

(Ed) Ian Anthony

(SIPRI/OUP, 1991)

Detailed coverage of national and multilateral arms transfer controls, covering 24 of the major arms exporting countries of the decade to 1990.

hbk £20.00


Whose Priorities? - A guide for campaigners on military and social spending

Colin Archer

(International Peace Bureau, Geneva, 2007)

An excellent manual covering both the arguments and how to campaign about them, with plenty of examples from campaigns in different countries.

pbk £7.50


Ending Wars, Consolidating Peace: Economic Perspectives

(Eds) Mats Berdal and Aichim Wennmann

(Routledge, Oxford, 2010)

Articulates the positive aspects of the economic value of peace; looks at new aspects of post-conflict reconstruction.

pbk £11.99


Subsidising a Deadly Trade

Samuel Brittan

(Campaign Against Arms Trade, 2001)

This text is the transcript of the 2001 CAAT Lecture, given at the LSE in April that year, together with the transcript of the question and comment session which followed.

pmphlt £3.00


Death Pays a Dividend

Fenner Brockway and Frederic Mullally

(Victor Gollanz, London, 1944)

hbk £2.00


War is a Racket: How a Military Hero Blew the Whistle on Corporate Malfeasance

Smedley D Butler

(Feral House, Port Townsend, Washington, USA, 2003)

Written during the Great Depression, this book pulls no punches in its indictment of a corrupt military-industrial complex.

pbk £6.95


The Price of War

Alec Cairncross

(Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1986)

hbk £7.50


The Cost of Britain's Defence

Malcolm Chalmers

(Bradford University School of Peace Studies / Housmans, 1983)

No 10 in the Peace Studies Papers series.

pmphlt £3.00


Peace, Profit or Plunder? - The Privatisation of Security in War-Torn African Societies

(Eds) Jakkie Cilliers and Peggy Mason

(Institute for Security Studies, South Africa, 1999)

A collection of expanded and refined versions of papers originally given at a conference of the same name in Pretoria the previous year.

pbk £7.00


Bombs for Breakfast: How the arms trade causes a vicious cycle of impoverishment, repression, and militarisation in the Third World

(Committee on Poverty and the Arms Trade, London, 1978)

The gist of this classic pamphlet is still all too relevant.

pmphlt £4.00


Death on Delivery: The Impact of the Arms Trade on the Third World

Helen Collinson

(Campaign Against Arms Trade, London, 1989)

pbk £3.50


Controlling the Arms Trade - The West versus the Rest

Paul Cornish

(Bowerdean, 1996)

No 10 in the Peace Studies Papers series.

pbk £9.99


Fiscal Planning for Total War

WL Crum, JF Fennelly and LH Seltzer

(National Bureau of Economic Research, New York, 1942)

hbk £5.00


Economics of Peace and War

John Eaton

(Lawrence & Wishart, 1952)

No 10 in the Peace Studies Papers series.

pbk £4.00


The Economic Effects of Disarmament

(The Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by the United World Trust, 1963)

A definitive look at the question "What will happen if Britain disarms?"; the figures might be out of date, but much of the logic and analysis could be a model for answering the same question today.

pbk £7.50


The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade

Andrew Feinstein

(Penguin Books, London, 2012)

In this authoritative guide to the business of war, the author - formerly an ANC MP in South Africa - pulls back the curtain on the secretive world of the arms trade, and the dirty dealing which is inherent in it. Includes new Afterword.
pbk £9.99


£60 a Second on Defence

Raymond Fletcher

(McGibbon & Kee, 1963)



The No-Nonsense Guide to the Arms Trade

Nicholas Gilbey

(New Internationalist Publications, Oxford, 2009)

This new version of this author's original No-Nonsense Guide published in 2002 is a hard-to-better up-to-date introduction to this issue by someone who's had a leading role in anti-arms trade campaigning in Britain.
pbk £7.99


Indefensible: Seven Myths that Sustain the Global Arms Trade

Paul Holden

(Zed Press, London, 2017)

Although the work of arms trade campaigners in Britain has - over several decades - largely won the debate in progressive circles, there are still many people who believe the common justifications for the arms trade. This book - without taking a fully pacifist poistion - demolishes the myths about the value of the arms trade for the economy, trade, "securuity" and so on. A useful handbook for those wanting to argue the anti-arms trade case.
pbk £9.99


In the Public Interest: An Account of the Arms-to-Iraq Affair

Gerald James
(Warner Books, London 1996)

An account of the Thatcher government's involvement in the covert arms trade - by the man who turned Astra Fireworks into a £100 million arms manufacturer. This updated edition includes the Scott Report findings.
pbk £6.50


The Economics of Killing

Vijay Mehta
(Pluto Press, London, 2012)

How the power of global elites, entrenched under globalisation, has created a deadly cycle of violence.
pbk £14.99


How Europe Armed for War (1871-1914)

JT Walton Newbold

(Blackfriars Press, London, 1916)

A famous look at the early years of what became known as the military-industrial complex.
hbk £12.00


Arms or Aid

Hugh Reay

(Housmans, for War on Want, London, 1967)

The text of Lord Reay's address to the War on Want Convention held in London in the autumn of 1966.

pmphlt £1.00


Parallel Markets: Corruption in the International Arms Trade

Joe Roeber

(Campaign Against Arms Trade, 2005)

pmphlt £3.00


Thus Spake Zaharoff: How the "merchants of death" see themselves and their trade, with quotations and comments

Donald Rodger

(Campaign Against Arms Trade, London, 1980)

pmphlt £1.50


Wildcat: Anarchists Against the Bomb

Donald Rooum

(Freedom Press, 2003)

Anti-arms trade comic strips.

pbk £3.00


Making Arms, Wasting Skills: Alternatives to militarism and arms production

Steve Schofield

(Campaign Against Arms Trade, London, 2008)

The latest useful background report from CAAT - which is a good example of a peace organisation which gains credibility for its ideas by having well-researched information to support its arguments.
pbk £3.00


Military Inc - Inside Pakistan's Military Economy

Ayesha Siddiqa

(Pluto Press, London, 2007)

The author shows how the power of the military has transformed Pakistani society. Does democracy have a future after the merging of the military and corporate sectors?
pbk £16.99


Private Warriors

Ken Silverstein

(Verso, London, 2000)

A survey of the generals, gun-runners and national security staffers who now operate in the private sector: today's private warriors who have a direct financial interest in war.
pbk £6.50


The International Trade in Arms

John Stanley and Maurice Pearton

(Chatto & Windus for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, 1972)

pbk £4.00

Taking Aim at the Arms Trade - NGOs, Global Civil Society and the World Military Order

Anna Stavrianakis

(Zed Books, London, 2010)

A well-researched and incisive study, exposing the tensions inherent in some NGOs' engagement with the arms trade.
pbk £14.99 (reduced from £19.99)


The Facade of Arms Control - How the UK's export licensing system facilitates the arms trade

Anna Stavrianakis

(Campaign Against Arms Trade, 2008)

pmphlt £3.00


The Arms Trade with the Third World

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

(Penguin, 1975)

The 1970s classic of the field.
pbk £1.50


The Small Arms Trade - a beginner's guide

Rachel Stohl, Matt Schroeder and Dan Smith

(Oneworld Publications, Oxford, 2007)

A useful introduction to the issue from three US researchers.
pbk £9.99


The War Business - the International trade in Armaments

George Thayer

(Paladin, London, 1970)

pbk £2.90


As Used on the Famous Nelson Mandela - Underground Adventures in the Arms & Torture Trade

Mark Thomas

(Ebury Press, 2007)

pbk £7.99


Arming the Occupation - Israel and the Arms Trade

Mandy Turner

(Campaign Against Arms Trade, London, 2002)

A brief, but well-researched, round-up of the situation - dealing with the international trade, not just that involving the UK - and including a succinct guide to the political background.
pbk £2.00


The Fruits of War: How Military Conflict Accelerates Technology

Michael White

(Pocket Books, London, 2007)

An interesting factual survey of some of the links between technology and war, though overstating the degree of cause and effect in an effort to persuade us that when it comes to the alleged inevitability of war, we should look on the bright side...
pbk £8.99


The Arms Fiixers - Controlling the Brokers and Shipping Agents

Brian Wood and Johan Peleman

(International Peace Research Institute, Oslo, 1999)

A report which illuminates this shadowy corner of what is in any case a murky industry.
pbk £4.00

Back to top of page.

ORGANISATIONS you can contact which are concerned with some of the issues here include:

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), 11 Goodwin St, London N4, Britain (+44-20-7281 0297) (fax 7281 4369) (e-mail (web

For further useful contacts see the Directory published in the latest Housmans Peace Diary, or online at