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America's Great Depression

Narrated by: Tom Weiner
Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)
Regular price: £19.69
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Summary

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.

The Great Depression was not a crisis for capitalism but merely an example of the downturn part of the business cycle, which 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.

©1978 Murray N. Rothbard (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 07-11-12

Depressed that I wasted a credit on it!

Okay my rating and title are perhaps a little unfair. I think the problem is that Audiobooks have placed it in the History section and I suppose, lured by the picture, I thought it was going to be an historical account.



Not a bit of it!



Unless you have a PhD in Economics and have run several international monetary funds and a couple of central banks I would advise you to steer well clear of this. I think even the Governor of the Bank of England would wonder what on earth it is all about!



I confess I only listened to about 40 minutes of it on the bus but that was enough and the other passengers were complaining because I was inadvertently chewing my right leg off in agony!



I am sure for Economists it is great and I am sure the author really knows his stuff but Audiobooks I politely say that you really do need to re-classify this away from the History section.



Again I am trying to be broad-minded and all-embracing but have to say if the first 40 minutes was anything to go by it is really difficult to see why anyone would want to listen to this as an audiobook. A textbook fine, as an academic work that you can cross-reference, refer back through etc.but not an audiobook to listen to when mowing the lawn (you would probably throw yourself under the blades!).

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Damon
  • 26-09-08

required reading- hard to capture over audio

Murray Rothbard is one of the Austrian Economists who Rep. Ron Paul puts on his reading list. This book is very technical and requires a lot of concentration to truly understand the causes of the depression and what prolonged the depression.

This book gives an excellent account of causes of the great depression in the 20s. It uncovers banker's corruption, moral suasion, and secrets of Cal and Harding's presidency. There are unfortunately many similarities between the greenspan/bernanke fed and the fed of the 20's.

This book should be required reading for every person elected to our congress.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 30-10-08

Outstanding historical analysis

Excellent book, but not for someone looking for a biographical history filled with famous personalities or a social history looking back at everyday life during a time of 25% unemployment. This is an economic history. It is recommended for anyone who would like a detailed anaylisis of how federal monetary policy errors can cause false booms by expanding the credit money supply, leading eventually to inevitable recessionary or depressionary corrections. It also explores how Keynesian fiscal policy tends to exacerbate and extend these periods of correction. Interesting, if for no other reason than this cycle of inflationary boom and recession/depression is still with us, and the same disproven tactics are still used as treatments. Anyone interested in the history of banking, finance or economics will probably find this a good read.

30 of 34 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard
  • 25-02-13

Murray Rothbard tells it like it is - or was

If you could sum up America's Great Depression in three words, what would they be?

Economics is normally a boring subject, but Austrian School economics tells the truth about everything. If you want to truly understand our money and what's going on you should listen to this book. I would also recommend Rothbard's other books, like What has Government Done to our Money. Richard R., Toronto

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • peter
  • 27-12-08

a classic

A classic work on how the initiation of violence caused the great depression and suffocated any recovery. Unfortunately read rather fast for the complexity of the subject matter and the amount of detailed data. If you are not very familiar with economic terms, it might go a bit fast and I would recommend the paper version.

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex Younger
  • 09-11-15

Rothbard doesn't miss one detail

If you're okay with learning every single detail about the depression, this book is for you. There is no stone left unturned regarding the depression in this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Douglas
  • 01-03-13

Read The Description!

I bought this book thinking it would be a history of the Great Depression, and it turned out to be an extremely detailed analysis of Keynesian economics and how this prolongs "panics" into "depressions." I shifted expectation gears and forced myself to continue listening and found it to be quite informative, and, by chance, it happily followed my reading of Buckley's God And Man At Yale, in which Buckley also criticizes Keynesian economics.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mira Krishnan
  • 30-01-19

Maybe a little heavy on the Austrian I Told You So

This is the first Rothbard book I have read, by way of disclosure, but I have spent a lot of time in the last year reading about the rise of modern banking, as well as classical economics, and I read Mises' Socialism in the last year, as well. At a basic level, this book does a nice job of explaining the role of governmental intervention in boom/bust cycles and applying Mises' theory to the Great Depression. It does not spend a lot of time explaining late 19th century banking or early 20th century banking, so it does assume the reader knows some things about how runs occur, what fractional reserve lending is, how it worked during the late era of the gold standard, etc. Probably the greatest current relevance of this book is that it applies Mises to American boom / bust cycles and it emphasizes the role of government actions that encouraged the boom. The problem is nobody wants to restrain booms (through action or inaction), and so discussion in the public discourse of this kind of Austrian approach always seems to only occur during the bust cycle and we never really learn our lesson. Rothbard raises excellent points about forms of intervention that are counterproductive or yield paradoxical results, although even by Austrian standards this book can feel snide at times (Mises, himself, is overbearing, especially compared to the much more thoughtful approach of Hayek, although in the places where he's right, he's just plain right, and what can one do...). I do feel a little as if this particular book does not really reveal as much of Rothbard's own thinking (although it is certainly present when comparing what is said here to Mises himself), but it is a nice analysis, albeit it should probably be read in the context of other perspectives on the matter.

The narration style is dry, but production quality is good, the narrator is easily understood, and overall this is a well produced rendition that is easy to listen to while commuting.

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  • Peter Jiang
  • 04-09-17

Detailed explanation of the Great Depression

Detailed explanation of the Great Depression from the Austrian perspective. Including critical analysis of other theories/school of thoughts in relation to this topic.

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  • Paul B.
  • 25-03-17

Solid

Rothbard lays out the relevant Austrian theory then detailed history of Hoover era progressive interventions.

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  • Gary Baren
  • 10-03-16

Not a great narration

Great book, dull narration. Seemed like he was in a big rush. Book written with wit and sarcasm, read flat.