The best books on the Great Depression

Tobias Straumann Author Of 1931: Debt, Crisis, and the Rise of Hitler
By Tobias Straumann

The Books I Picked & Why

Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World

By Liaquat Ahamed

Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World

Why this book?

There is no better way to get a sense of what went wrong in the 1930s than to read the bestselling and award-winning book of Liaquat Ahamet. Like no other Ahamet manages to combine economic explanations with personal portraits and a series of anecdotes which make you sometimes laugh and sometimes shake your head in disbelief.


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The Great Depression of the 1930s: Lessons for Today

By Nicholas Crafts, Peter Fearon

The Great Depression of the 1930s: Lessons for Today

Why this book?

This book is highly recommended for those who want to get an overview of the newest research on the Great Depression. Written by leading economic historians, the book explains what made the catastrophe possible, why it spread across the globe, and how it was ended. Most importantly, the authors manage to explain the scholarly literature in a language that can be understood by everyone interested in the period.


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Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses-And Misuses-Of History

By Barry Eichengreen

Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses-And Misuses-Of History

Why this book?

Our view of the Great Depression was changed by the Great Recession following the financial crisis of 2008. No one has a better grasp of the similarities and differences between the two major economic shocks of the last 100 years than Barry Eichengreen. Most interesting are Eichengreen’s reflections about the right and wrong lessons the firefighters of the 2008 financial crisis drew from the Great Depression.


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End of Globalization: Lessons from the Great Depression

By Harold James

End of Globalization: Lessons from the Great Depression

Why this book?

Financial crises are not only catastrophic because of their devastating economic consequences. They also unleash radical political forces undermining the foundations of our free and open society. Widely praised for his work on Germany in the interwar years, Harold James is the best historian to describe the vicious circle of crisis, radicalization, and national isolation in the 1930s and to discuss the question: can it happen again?


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The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931

By Adam Tooze

The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931

Why this book?

The book of Adam Tooze is a masterful synthesis of global history and offers an original reinterpretation of the interwar years. Readers not only gain intriguing insights about the relationships between military, financial, political, and diplomatic events. They will also be surprised by a new and well-founded view of US hegemony after 1916 that contradicts almost everything they learned in school or in other historical books.


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