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Summary

The history of the U.S. economy in the 20th century is far too interesting - and far too important to our future - to be dismissed with just a few stock explanations. These 10 fast-paced lectures introduce you to vital economic lessons learned in the last century to provide invaluable guidance for understanding the current economy. Each lecture focuses exclusively on one decade to provide you with a clear understanding of economic developments and outside influences on the U.S. economy.

In some cases, you'll examine well-defined events like the creation of the Federal Reserve or the war in Vietnam. In other lectures, you'll explore larger societal shifts, such as the evolving role of women in the economy and changing consumption patterns. This decade-by-decade approach takes you deep inside America's memorable economic milestones. Among these: the U.S. trade surplus during World War I; the rise of the automobile industry in the 1920s; the mismanagement of monetary policy that led to the Great Depression; the Employment Act of 1946, which gave the federal government the responsibility to maintain high employment and economic growth; the strangling inflation of the 1970s and early 1980s; and more.

Professor Taylor takes care to ensure that you can follow this course clearly regardless of your knowledge of economics. He uses historical examples and quotes from economists and other notables, and his use of economic reasoning often brings surprising insight.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©1996 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)1996 The Great Courses

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Too fast

Excellent series of lectures by the ever enthusiastic Prof. Taylor. And no prior knowledge of economics needed. But wouldn't it be nice if he slowed his delivery at least by half.

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  • Philo
  • 15-07-13

Very effective, as far as it goes

I have read many books that weave in and out of this topic, but it is nice to hear a decade-by-decade walk-through. It is detail-rich (for a fast overview from 30,000 feet, as the saying goes), with good meaningful stats blended in, all delivered in a fast cadence by the professor. Note, Glass-Steagal was still in effect when this was produced, making it between 10 and 15 years old. Thus, the kinds of reflections and additional insights that might have appeared based on lessons we have learned since then is not there. But, that wasn't my goal here anyway.
I am SO happy audible acquired this series! My wish list is stuffed with them.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark Weber
  • 17-07-13

Easy, interesting listen.

Any additional comments?

This audio program is excellent context for viewing current US economy. Program is very interesting and easy to listen to. If you are ‘one of those people’ who think everything is going to hell in a hand basket today, this is a must listen, we have been there before.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jake
  • 17-02-15

Packed With Fascinating Information

This was a riveting look at America's recent economic history. Taylor is really good at providing interesting statistics to illuminate trends. He disabuses the listener of common economic fallacies and inculcates the economic way of thinking about a host of important issues. A major theme throughout the course is the dramatic increase in the size of government over the century. Taylor analyzes different policies and gives the consensus economist view on most of them. I highly recommend this course.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Quaker
  • 05-04-16

Should be required listening for any citizen

This is one of the older series in The Great Courses library -- it was recorded at the close of the 20th century; but it is outstanding, and the best evidence of that is the fact that every minute of it remains relevant today.

When I listen to the level of political discourse we have in the 21st-century, it almost makes me sympathetic to the belief by our founding fathers that only educated people should be allowed to vote. Better still, just have all of our elected officials listen to this course. It is a fascinating history of the United States in the 20th century as told through the eyes of an economist, and as economists go, Professor Tim Taylor is a joy to listen to. No matter what your political persuasion, prepare to have myths busted, your eyes opened, and your opinions changed. This series is a perfect example of what makes The GreatCourses so great.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard Falkenrath
  • 16-01-15

Good basic intro to recent us econ history

Pre-financial crisis, so it was a little odd.

From 1900s to WWII was the better half. 1960s-1980s were too compressed

Lecturer is very enthusiast and often breathless. Loves his material that's for sure.

Each lecture flies by on a medium commute.

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  • Mitch
  • 20-06-14

Great for understanding the development of US econ

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This book I think is great in not only putting the US economy context, but also for showing how economic choices and policies effect later ones.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Having no formal training in economics I chose to take it in chunks. Luckily the author breaks it down into decades.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve
  • 17-07-13

Outstanding!

Would you consider the audio edition of A History of the U.S. Economy in the 20th Century to be better than the print version?

Better than any econ class I had in school both grad and undergrad

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

All of it

Any additional comments?

No

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • John Gathly
  • 16-01-18

fairly biased view of "economics" in US history

Professor Taylor lost me pretty early when he mistook Ida Tarbell for a man, not once, but several times. How many times has he done this lecture? Has no one every corrected him? Clearly, this man has a limited grasp of history, so it's not surprising that despite his claims that his lecture was not about politics, it clearly had a biased neoliberal understanding of economics. The man actually praised the Taylor system, because when you work a man like a machine for many hours, scientifically timing him like a clockwork piece of machinery, positioning him to work on a limited or single portion of the production process, the capital owner gets vast new profits, but the worker will also see some raise in pay. Professor Taylor doesn't seemed to have thought to question why the capitalist owner should get such a disproportionately larger percentage of the result of greater productivity that is entirely provided by the worker, but don't worry, that's not politics. It's only the neoliberal propaganda economics classes teach all their students, and not something a historian of economics would think to even question.

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  • Krysten Reilly
  • 08-09-17

Non-consensus based history clearly neoliberal

Hoover did better than FDR...? Everything from 1920 to 1980 was a joke. Hack job

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  • Chris B.
  • 26-08-17

enjoy this over a good several months.. don't rush

there are idea fractals everywhere in this book that take you in multiple directions then converge. super high energy professor does a great job presenting... don't be afraid to use the rewind button often to absorb full impact of some stats. amazing levels of detail in the research.