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America's Great Depression by Murray N.…
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America's Great Depression (1963)

by Murray N. Rothbard

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I read this book in the late 1970s (I'm guessing about 1977), along with competing analyses by Milton Friedman and John Kenneth Galbraith, among others. In my view, Rothbard's principal contribution is his demonstration that it was the deliberate governmental inflation of the money supply during the 1920s that led to the 1929 stock market crash. As President Calvin Coolidge famously said, "The business of America is business," and the Republican administrations of the 1920s did everything they could to stimulate business by using inflationary policies to create an artificial boom. The chickens came home to roost in 1929. Whether or not the Austrian School's disagreement with Keynesianism (increasing government spending and money supply during recessions and decreasing same during booms) is correct I leave to the economists. The Keynesian approach makes sense to me, but I am not an economic expert. ( )
1 vote AlanEJohnson | Aug 27, 2014 |
Simply the best economic history of the 1929 depression. Rothbard's Austrian analysis is superb and counters the economic analyses of Galbraith and others. ( )
1 vote jwhenderson | Mar 3, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Murray N. Rothbardprimary authorall editionscalculated
Johnson, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weiner, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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TO JOEY,
the indispensable framework
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The Wall Street collapse of September–October 1929 and the Great Depression which followed it were among the most important events of the twentieth century.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0945466056, Hardcover)

Applied Austrian economics doesn't get better than this. Murray N. Rothbard's America's Great Depression is a staple of modern economic literature and crucial for understanding a pivotal event in American and world history.

The Mises Institute edition features, along with a new introduction by historian Paul Johnson, top-quality paper and bindings, in line with the standard set by The Scholars Edition of Human Action.

Since it first appeared in 1963, it has been the definitive treatment of the causes of the depression. The book remains canonical today because the debate is still very alive.

Rothbard opens with a theoretical treatment of business cycle theory, showing how an expansive monetary policy generates imbalances between investment and consumption. He proceeds to examine the Fed's policies of the 1920s, demonstrating that it was quite inflationary even if the effects did not show up in the price of goods and services. He showed that the stock market correction was merely one symptom of the investment boom that led inevitably to a bust.

The Great Depression was not a crisis for capitalism but merely an example of the downturn part of the business cycle, which in turn was generated by government intervention in the economy. Had the book appeared in the 1940s, it might have spared the world much grief. Even so, its appearance in 1963 meant that free-market advocates had their first full-scale treatment of this crucial subject. The damage to the intellectual world inflicted by Keynesian- and socialist-style treatments would be limited from that day forward.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:25 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The great depression was not a crisis for capitalism but merely an example of the downturn part of the business cycle, which was generated by government intervetion in the economy. Had the book appeared in the 1940's, it might have spared the world much grief. Even so, it's appearence in 1963 meant that free-market advocates had their first full-scale treatment of this crucial subject. The damage to the intellectual world inflicted by Keynesian- and socialist-style treatments would be limited from that day forward.… (more)

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