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America's Great Depression Hardcover – June 15, 2000

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About the Author

Murray N. Rothbard, the author of 25 books and thousands of articles, was a historian, philosopher, and dean of the Austrian School of economics. The S.J. Hall Distinguished Professor of Economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he was also Academic Vice President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Ala.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ludwig Von Mises Institute; 5th edition (June 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0945466056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945466055
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

195 of 214 people found the following review helpful By Lord Chimp on March 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Economist Alan Reynolds wrote: "The terror of the Great Crash has been the failure to explain it." I wonder if he ever read this great book, which is now in its fifth edition. Murray Rothbard's exploration of this devastating economic calamity is both fascinating and pertinent.
Rothbard refutes key misconceptions about the market economy and the Hoover administration's interventionist policies. Was the Great Crash due to capitalism gone wild? Was President Hoover the proponent of laissez-faire that some continue to insist? Did his interventionist actions assuage the depression? _America's Great Depression_ will always be important because of the Great Depression's legacy. Many continue to believe that the free market economy is inevitably inclined to collapse. Also, the interventionist policies of Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt accelerated the growth of the welfare state.
Economists have always observed the relationship between money supplies and business cycles. Rothbard goes a few steps farther, applying the Austrian school's theory of the business cycle to the Federal Reserve's monetary policies during the 1920s. Rothbard spends the first part of the book detailing the credibility of the Austrian theory and dismantling other theories. He shows how artificial increases in the money supply creates harmful imbalances in the economy. With this premise, Rothbard explains that the Federal Reserve's inflationary abuse of the money supply in the "Roaring Twenties" set the economy up for an unsustainable growth spurt that ended in disaster in 1929. (The scary thing is that prices remained fairly stable and hid the effects of inflation with ruinous results.
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91 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Susanna Hutcheson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
As a student of the boom and bust and subsequent Depression following the crash of 1929, I have read numerous books on this important subject. It is in knowing the past that we can control the future.
Most books cover the human aspect of this period in American history and that's important. And most of the books cover the events leading up to the crash and depression. But this is the only book I've read that exposes the dynamics behind the scenes that caused the crash and it's terrible crushing length and enormous suffering.
Rothbard explains in great detail how government butted in where it was not needed and created untold suffering. He explains how we allowed England to dictate to us and how in our desire to help Her, our government intentionally hurt its own citizens.
Rothbard was a great economist and a great proponent of the libertarian cause. His belief in Laissez-faire economics is behind his philosophy. It is Laissez-faire that created this country and it is the loss of it that has and is causing us grief and loss of liberty.
This is an excellent book. Published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, it is a book you'll want to read again and again. Austrian economics are exciting and workable and the Ludwin von Mises Institute is a dynamic proponent of this very workable economic philosophy.
If you are interested in economics and the Great Depression and its real causes, you must read this powerful, well written book.
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69 of 82 people found the following review helpful By LMJ on September 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In "America's Great Depression", Professor Rothbard effectively demolishes the myths surrounding this tragic event. However, semi-literate pop-historians continue to ignore the fact that the depression was caused by government intervention. (Central bank manipulation is government intervention.) Rothbard's book stands out due to his refusal to reduce this complex event to a simple story of good (New Dealers, Socialists) versus evil ("capitalism"). Upon close examination of such accounts, it becomes clear that not only do "historians" get the facts wrong, they simply fail to comprehend them. Mainstream historians who refuse to even attempt to gain a basic understanding of economics have had their interpretations rendered embarrassingly obsolete by Rothbard.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Morea on October 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
First and last, this is a great book. It clearly explains one of the major economic theories of business cycles and goes on to apply it to the Great Depression. The book is best suited to a college economics student, or to a layman willing to devote a considerable level of effort to understanding the subject, but it would not be a particularly difficult project for anyone who reads on a college level. It should be noted that the book espouses ONE of the major economic theories of business cycles, the Austrian theory. Since the book is well written, it is almost dangerous to a student going into it blindly--you are liable to become an Austrian economist! Not that this is a bad thing, but you should realize there are other viewpoints. I do think Rothbard is a bit monomaniacal in his devotion to Austrian theory at the exclusion of everything else, but that doesn't prevent this from being a great book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wanted to read this item over Christmas break, but it looks like it might not even suffice as a "bathroom read," due to the super hard-to-read format. It's set in very small, thinly-spaced, and squat typeface, unprofessional layout (odd margins), fuzzy images for tables/figures, with grammar and typographical errors likely inserted by the printing process, such as question marks inserted for random characters like the letter i (on occasion), and hyphenation when dashes are intended. No table of contents, no index, and NO PUBLISHER INFORMATION (the FIFTH edition is supposed to have all these things, and an introduction by Paul Johnson). All you get is this cheap, nearly unreadable copy with nonetheless a compelling paperback binding. I'm actually not convinced that the producer owns the rights, and that some form of copyright infringement may be at work, by someone in Lexington, Kentucky employing "CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform." I'll likely decline reading this copy and read/print the web-authorized copy at the Mises Institute site: [...]. Don't get duped by this shoddy version sold on Amazon. It's a total rip-off.
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