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.
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. 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 this 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.
Since the book’s first edition, it has been the definitive treatment of the causes of the depression. It remains canonical today because the debate is still very alive.
Customer ReviewsSee All
What a great book!
Awesome book! You will completely understand what our FEDERAL GOVERNMENT did wrong during the depression and then you will completely understand how the legislation they pass during this economic mess with be COMPLETELY wrong again.
Maybe we could get Congress to read/listen to this book.
Why do pundits claim there is anything to debate?
My whole life I was told that the Great Depression had so many causes and problems, that we could never possibly understand what happened or whom to blame.
That is crap. This book came out in the 70’s. It’s all here. It is very, very clear what happened, what the multiple mistakes were and their share of the blame, and how things were made worse by government interference, first by Hoover and then FDR. There is no mystery. You can have the answer in a day. Just listen.