The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression

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Jonathan Cape, 2007 - Depressions - 464 pages
25 Reviews
Challenging conventional history, Amity Shlaes offers a striking reinterpretation of the Great Depression. She shows how both Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt failed to understand the prosperity of the 1920s and heaped massive burdens on the country that more than offset the benefit of New Deal programs. From 1929 to 1940, federal intervention helped to make the Depression great by forgetting the men and women who sought to help themselves. In this illuminating work of history, Shlaes follows the struggles of those now forgotten people, from a family of butchers in Brooklyn who dealt a stunning blow to the New Deal, to Bill W., who founded Alcoholics Anonymous, and Father Divine, a black cult leader. She takes a fresh look at the great scapegoats of the period, from Andrew Mellon to Sam Insull of Chicago. Finally, she traces the mounting agony of the New Dealers themselves. Authoritative, original, and utterly engrossing, The Forgotten Man reveals how those dark years shaped both current political challenges and the strong national character that helps Americans to confront them.

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User Review  - cyderry - LibraryThing

This book was informative but at times it was very slow and often had far too many details. However, it did give a very accurate feeling of the time and pointed out several changes that were adopted as to the federal government role for the nation. Read full review

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User Review  - marshapetry - LibraryThing

OK book, good audiobook narrator. There were some interesting parts and it all had some interesting speculation but had so many paths that kinda were presented as if "absolutely true" that it just ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Amity Shlaes is a syndicated columnist at Bloomberg and a former columnist at the Financial Times and editorial board member of the Wall Street Journal. Her writing has appeared in Fortune, The New Yorker, National Review, The New Republic, and Foreign Affairs. She is the author of The Greedy Hand. Shlaes has twice been a finalist for the Loeb Prize in commentary, and is a co-winner of the Frederic Bastiat Prize, an international prize for writing on political economy. In 2003 she was named the J.P. Morgan fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and three children.

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