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America's Great Depression (1963)

by Murray Rothbard

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336376,163 (4.21)5
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 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 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.… (more)
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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 Rothbardprimary authorall editionscalculated
Johnson, PaulIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Machaj, MateuszForewordsecondary 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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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 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 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.

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