Thursday, October 9, 2008

Book Review - The Forgotten Man, Amity Shlaes

Amity Shlaes, columnist for Bloomberg, has written an accessible and well paced book chronicling the myriad mistakes of Herbert Hoover, but more significantly, Franklin Roosevelt. While it didn't always dig into the deeper economic consequences with a more academic approach, there was still enough depth to weave a concise narrative of America's misteps during the 1930's. I would likely have torn through the pages of a libertarian polemic, but it was probably better for my blood pressure that she presents a more evenhanded presentation. However, do not fear that she wallows in any left wing apologetics. She does not coddle any of the actors in power.

If you are only vaguely familiar with the events before and during the Great Depression I would recommend picking up a copy. A paperback version is available here at Amazon.

My only warning is not to read this book right after reading Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism and Robert Higgs' Crisis and Leviathan. In his speeches, Barack Obama might as well be quoting some pretty notorious people from the 1930's. It will scare the crap out of you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the kind reference!
Just a note to say for a primer I recommend Gene Smiley's "Rethinking the Great Depression" as well as Higgs. A good study of the markets crash is in the National Bureau of Economic Research's "Defining Moment" -- a collection of essays, not to be confused with Jon Alter's book on the 100 Days of the same title.
May I also recommend the outstanding work of Randall Parker and Lee Ohanian (UCLA)? thank you, Amity Shlaes