Reflections on the Great Depression
'The interviews with famous senior economists contained in this enjoyable book achieve two important, and quite distinct, goals. First, they provide invaluable insights into the history of theorizing about the Depression. In these conversations we see the struggles of the brightest young economists of their generation to reconcile old paradigms of the efficiency and optimality of free markets with the hard facts of mass unemployment and economic collapse they saw around them in the 1930s. In their attempts to find new answers we see the roots of current ideas and debates in economics. These interviews do an excellent job of recapturing the sense of uncertainty, the feeling of grappling with an intractable puzzle, that almost every one of these economists experienced. The second achievement of these interviews is to provide, well, first-rate highbrow gossip. The interviewees are outstanding economists but they are also an exceptional group of people. They hail from around the world, from a variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Each, in one way or the other, found his or her way to professional prominence, often in the face of substantial adversity.'
- From the foreword by Ben S. Bernanke, Princeton University, US
It is an accepted truism that the Great Depression did more for the development of modern economics than any other single event. Some of the greatest economists of the twentieth century were inspired to go into the field as a direct result of their experiences during this period.
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