Defense plant cutbacks and military base closures have affected hundreds of U.S. communities during the past twenty-five years. Tracing the recovery of four communities after large defense plant cutbacks and of one hundred communities after military base closures, the contributors analyze the transition from the production of military to civilian goods. The contributors examine the market potential of reusing defense industrial plants to produce civilian products within the one- to two-year period called for by economic conversion proponents, showing that the complex process needed to develop, test, and market an entirely new product requires a minimum of five years. They also review the wide range of economic development techniques available at the state and local level, conversion approaches in Western Europe, programs for displaced workers, and reasons why the economic conversion approach has failed to attract public support in the United States. The case studies are used to formulate an integrated, composite approach for coping with plant closures and major employment dislocations. Stressing the in portance of community-based economic adjustment activities, this book will be valuable to all concerned with mitigating the effects of military and civilian plant closures.