Friday, January 14, 2011

The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, by Amity Schlaes


An excellent and quite illuminating read--very critical of FDR and his response(s) to the Great Depression. Still, it seems like a situation necessarily impervious to any real substantive answers. How can you know what would have worked? How can you know if something else would have worked better? And how in the world are leaders supposed to figure out the right answer in the moment, without the benefit of 80 years of historical and economic analysis?

My biggest takeaway from this book: I so do not want to be president. Not for all the WPA-felled lumber in the Pacific Northwest, or all the water in the TVA.

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