Challenging conventional history, Amity Shlaes offers a striking reinterpretation of the Great Depression that devastated America in the early part of the twentieth century. She shows how both Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt failed to understand the prosperity of the 1920s and heaped massive burdens on the country that more than offset the benefit ...
Challenging conventional history, Amity Shlaes offers a striking reinterpretation of the Great Depression that devastated America in the early part of the twentieth century. She shows how both Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt failed to understand the prosperity of the 1920s and heaped massive burdens on the country that more than offset the benefit of New Deal programs. From 1929 to 1940, federal intervention helped to make the Depression great by forgetting the men and women who sought to help themselves. In this illuminating work of history, Shlaes follows the struggles of those now forgotten people, from a family of butchers in Brooklyn who dealt a stunning blow to the New Deal, to Bill W., who founded Alcoholics Anonymous, and Father Divine, a black cult leader. She takes a fresh look at the great scapegoats of the period, from Andrew Mellon to Sam Insull of Chicago. Finally, she traces the mounting agony of the New Dealers themselves. Authoritative, original, and utterly engrossing, The Forgotten Man reveals how those dark years shaped both current political challenges and the strong national character that helps Americans to confront them.
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I'd been thinking, as I neared the end of the book, how/where/to whom...what I could do or say, as tongue-tied as I am, to adequately express my enthusiasm that steadily increased as I approached the end of the book...how could I adequately/properly express the gratitude/ respect, etc, etc, etc that I have for the author and her product...
I give up. XLNT reading!/s/zpc
Jan 27, 2011
The Great Depression: A Second Look
An excellently written, comprehensively documented history of the period opening up new vistas for thought and reflection. The author has succeeded beyond expectation to both hold the reader's interest and supply vital information often lacing in other studies of the period.
Apr 1, 2010
This is an EXCELLENT BOOK for anyone loving history or wanting to learn more about it. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it!!! I'm a history buff and I learned a LOt.
Jul 28, 2008
An Amity-ville lore
I am reading this book and I don't think it totally debunks FDR. Afterall his CCC made work out of nothing at all and producing 3 billion trees. Ms. Shlaes word for it was make-work which she saw as no real work at all. I disagree with that thought. For instance I go into a Starbucks during a lull in customers and watch a woman make work out of nothing at all. She is busy looking for work even when there is no customer to serve. I have always admired fellow workers that were actually looking for work to be done, work that was not requested but still made the work place a work place. On the other hand I have always thought that President Hoover got a bad rapt. When you consider his humanatarian work before he became President it is surprising that he happened to be in the office at the wrong time. I am really enjoying this book because Ms. Shlaes makes a hard job look easy. That's another quality that I liked in my fellow workers. They made hard jobs look easy. I am looking forward to finishing the book and getting a better analysis of the great Depression.
Sep 13, 2007
As a child of the depression, many painful and not so painful memories were refreshed. Many of the insights expessed so well by the aurthor and their documentation were things I knew from childhood but could not debate due to the lack of documented facts at my disposal. Unfortunately, many of today's politicians still engage in class warfare and ignore the people who pay the bills and furnish the initiative to help keep a robust economy. This history should be considered a classic in years to come if the self proclaimed "I now what's better for you than you do but the laws I want to pass do not pertain to me" politicians do not prevail and put an end to the great demoratic capitalism experience.
Publishers Weekly, 2014-06-09 Shlaes's histories are beloved among Congressional budget hawks for suggesting that Calvin Coolidge was the last great thrifty president and that F.D.R. prolonged the Great Depression by ramping up federal spending. This adaptation of Schlaes's history of the Depression by Dixon (Batman) and Rivoche (Mister X) represents her political views faithfully. Its hero and narrator is the practically forgotten Wendell Willkie, Roosevelt's opponent in the critical election of 1940, but all the major social and political players of the time, from Andrew Mellon, Ayn Rand, and Father Divine to the Schechter brothers (kosher poultry kings who won a Supreme Court case against the constraining practices of F.D.R.'s National Recovery Administration), make appearances. The research-heavy narrative sometimes reads like an economics master class: competing government policies and business practices are discussed at length. The real hero is Rivoche, who manages to dramatize this polemic with stunningly realized b&w art and intuitive storytelling, which does not hesitate to open the tale into two-page spreads when necessary. The Keynes vs. Hayek debate may still be unresolved, but no one will argue that this is a beautiful use of comics to boil down a complex, abstract narrative. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-04-02 This breezy narrative comes from the pen of a veteran journalist and economics reporter. Rather than telling a new story, she tells an old one (scarcely lacking for historians) in a fresh way. Shlaes brings to the tale an emphasis on economic realities and consequences, especially when seen from the perspective of monetarist theory, and a focus on particular individuals and events, both celebrated and forgotten (at least relatively so). Thus the spotlight plays not only on Andrew Mellon, Wendell Wilkie and Rexford Tugwell but also on Father Divine and the Schechter brothers--kosher butcher wholesalers prosecuted by the federal National Recovery Administration for selling "sick chickens." As befits a former writer for the Wall Street Journal, Shlaes is sensitive to the dangers of government intervention in the economy--but also to the danger of the government's not intervening. In her telling, policymakers of the 1920s weren't so incompetent as they're often made out to be--everyone in the 1930s was floundering and all made errors--and WWII, not the New Deal, ended the Depression. This is plausible history, if not authoritative, novel or deeply analytical. It's also a thoughtful, even-tempered corrective to too often unbalanced celebrations of FDR and his administration's pathbreaking policies. 16 pages of b&w photos. (June 12) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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