Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Quick Book Review: The Forgotten Man by Amithy Shlaes

The Great Depression is often talked about in US history classes. The book, The Forgotten Man, would be a nice little insertion into any course on the Great Depression (GD) and Hoover/FDR responses. My high school education on the GD was the crash at the end of the Roaring '20s, Hoover doing nothing, FDR doing a lot that didn't help much, and then WW2 getting us out of the rut. It is far richer and deeper of a history than that. This book spotlights how the '20s was full of great progress, Hoover did do things, some good and some bad, FDR did try things, many similar to Hoover and some were awful, and really neither did much good. A blind spot in this book is the reality that private debt was at horribly high levels, and only once the debt was either forgiven partially or written off, did we grow again, which also coincided with the USA supplying other countries during the early stages of WW2. It's a quick read, and I enjoyed it.

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