Looking for a text(s) describing the economic history of the Great Depression.

I would like to have a basis for understanding the economic history of the Great Depression, what lead to the Great Depression and what influenced the recovery. Dr. Wolff outlines this history in several of his presentation and I would like to understand the references he makes.

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  • Nicholas Anderson
    commented 2018-01-18 22:19:33 -0500
    From an economic perspective you could read John Maynard Keynes’s “General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money”. That should cover the method and mindset behind the New Deal although it is definitely a capitalist perspective. Keynes also postulated as to the cause of financial crisis’s in this work as well. The real issue with trying to find a text to explain the causes and ultimately the solution to the Great Depression is that all of the schools of thought disagree. Neoclassical economists would argue that it was the issuing of war bonds that effectively bailed the economy out of the recession. Keynesian’s argue that it was the efforts of the New Deal. If you are looking for a socialist perspective you will find very few materials especially regarding the USA. That being said, part of the reason I recommend Keynes is that he presented his idea’s to FDR who applied them BECAUSE labor, the Socialist party and the Communist party were gaining rapid support and unity that jeopardized capitalism. The New Deal obviously appealed to and mollified these movements otherwise we would have a very different society today. Based on that assumption it’s only fair to follow it through and conclude that something in the form of the New Deal conformed to the demands of these movements and fulfilled a degree of socialist reform. If you are looking for broader examples of cause, effect and solution, then it may be best to look at the policies of Europe. If you find any other works that do address these ideas please let me know.
  • Nicholas Anderson
    tagged this with upvote 2018-01-18 22:19:31 -0500
  • Mark  (aka Ogden Monk) Thron
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2018-01-18 08:13:12 -0500