100 books like The Rise and Fall of American Growth

By Robert J. Gordon,

Here are 100 books that The Rise and Fall of American Growth fans have personally recommended if you like The Rise and Fall of American Growth. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Great Crash 1929

Matthew P. Fink Author Of The Unlikely Reformer: Carter Glass and Financial Regulation

From my list on American financial history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was always interested in American history and studied at Brown University under an outstanding professor of American economic history, James Blaine Hedges.   During my career at the mutual fund association I often approached issues from an historical perspective. For example:  Why did Congress draft legislation in a particular way?  How would past events likely affect a regulator’s decisions today?  As a lawyer I had been trained to write carefully and precisely.  As a lobbyist I learned the need to pre

Matthew's book list on American financial history

Matthew P. Fink Why did Matthew love this book?

The book does an outstanding job in describing the people and events that produced the October 1929 stock market crash in a highly entertaining style. Galbraith wrote more like a witty and insightful journalist than the award-winning economist that he was. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn about American financial history. The book is a model for writers who want to educate non-experts about public policy issues.

By John Kenneth Galbraith,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Great Crash 1929 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'One of the most engrossing books I have ever read' Daily Telegraph

John Kenneth Galbraith's now-classic account of the 1929 stock market collapse remains the definitive book on the most disastrous cycle of boom and bust in modern times.

Vividly depicting the causes, effects, aftermath and long-term consequences of financial meltdown, Galbraith also describes the people and the corporations who were affected by the catastrophe. With its depiction of the 'gold-rush fantasy' ingrained in America's psychology, The Great Crash 1929 remains a penetrating study of human greed and folly.


Book cover of An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

Liah Greenfeld Author Of The Spirit of Capitalism: Nationalism and Economic Growth

From my list on the relationship between capitalism and nationalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

The Spirit of Capitalism: Nationalism and Economic Growth is the second volume of my nationalism trilogy. When I published the first volume, Nationalism: Five Roads to Modernity, the accepted view on the subject of nationalism was that it is a product of economic development, specifically, of industrialization and capitalism. On the basis of historical evidence, I proved that its emergence had nothing to do with these economic phenomena: in fact, it preceded both. Reviews of Nationalism, noting that, for this reason, economic developments could not have caused nationalism, raised the question what relationship, then, did exist between nationalism and the economy, and this led me to investigate it. 

Liah's book list on the relationship between capitalism and nationalism

Liah Greenfeld Why did Liah love this book?

The Wealth of Nations is the foundational text of modern economics, reflecting – contrary to the common notion – the clearly national consciousness of its author and demonstrating that modern economic imagination (and activity) is a product of nationalism.

Its nationalist inspiration is the main reason I recommend reading it, for the commonplace interpretations of this classic miss this most interesting aspect of the work. In addition, it is a delightful text. 

By Adam Smith,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in 1776, the year in which the American Revolution officially began, Smith’s Wealth of Nations sparked a revolution of its own. In it Smith analyzes the major elements of political economy, from market pricing and the division of labor to monetary, tax, trade, and other government policies that affect economic behavior. Throughout he offers seminal arguments for free trade, free markets, and limited government.

Criticizing mercantilists who sought to use the state to increase their nations’ supply of precious metals, Smith points out that a nation’s wealth should be measured by the well-being of its people. Prosperity in…


Book cover of The World Economy: History and Prospect

Larry Allen Author Of The ABC-Clio World History Companion to Capitalism

From my list on seeing world history thru the lens of economics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up listening to my grandfathers tell stories about the Great Depression (1930s). My cousins would want me to go out and play, but I wanted to stay indoors and listen to the stories. The Depression proved my grandfathers were not the best cotton farmers, but they were good storytellers, and I ended up an economics professor. Along the way, I ran across a thought from renowned British philosopher Francis Bacon: “Histories make men wise, poets, witty, mathematics, subtle;” Modern economics has gone in for subtlety, and maybe is a little too careless of wisdom. This thought sent me delving deeper into economic history, and I ended up writing five books in economics history. 

Larry's book list on seeing world history thru the lens of economics

Larry Allen Why did Larry love this book?

This book treats a rich variety of weighty topics, global in scope. It lays bare the real insights that bubble up when economic history is subpoenaed to the bar of economic thinking. The famous British Disraeli said he only read biographies because biographies were life without theory. It helps to take a break from scholars whose thoughts are pinned down by the most recent theories. To study economics without theory, it is necessary to study economic history. Economic forecasters too often have a bias toward predicting a continuation of existing trends with small adjustments. Rostov’s long sweep of history shows that these forecasts may be overridden by long-term trends. This book contains a lot of meat—a great abundance of instructive explanations, intelligent comments, and practical conclusions. 

By W. W. Rostow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The World Economy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This monumental study is an account of the world economy from the eighteenth century to the twentieth, an analysis and prescription for the future, and a challenge to the neo-Keynesian theories of income determination and growth. It is based on some forty years of research and teaching.

Originally published in 1978, the volume looks back over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It includes an analysis of how the world's population expanded from about 1 billion in 1800 to 4 billion in 1976, with some 6.5 billion in sight for the year 2000; an account of the expansion and distribution of…


Book cover of A Tract on Monetary Reform

Larry Allen Author Of The ABC-Clio World History Companion to Capitalism

From my list on seeing world history thru the lens of economics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up listening to my grandfathers tell stories about the Great Depression (1930s). My cousins would want me to go out and play, but I wanted to stay indoors and listen to the stories. The Depression proved my grandfathers were not the best cotton farmers, but they were good storytellers, and I ended up an economics professor. Along the way, I ran across a thought from renowned British philosopher Francis Bacon: “Histories make men wise, poets, witty, mathematics, subtle;” Modern economics has gone in for subtlety, and maybe is a little too careless of wisdom. This thought sent me delving deeper into economic history, and I ended up writing five books in economics history. 

Larry's book list on seeing world history thru the lens of economics

Larry Allen Why did Larry love this book?

This book is perhaps one of the best-kept secrets in economics, overshadowed by Keynes’ more path-breaking General Theory, but oozing with wisdom on every page. Here Keynes transcends the bounds of economics. In his words: “It is one of the objects of this book to urge that the best way to cure this mortal disease of individualism is to provide there shall never exist any confident expectation either that prices are generally going to fall or that they are going to rise; and also that there shall be no serious risk that a movement, if it does occur, will be a big one.” Of course, inflation is the subject here. Its writing style alone elevates it above the commonplace. In this book, the reader finds the balance of practical judgment found in the best economists. 

By John Maynard Keynes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Tract on Monetary Reform as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book, is devoted to the need for stable currency as the essential foundation of a healthy world economy. Describing the various effects of unstable currency on investors, business people, and wage earners, Keynes recommends the implementation of policies that aim at achieving stability of the commodity value of the dollar rather than the gold value. Keynes's brilliant, clear analysis of the world monetary situation at the beginning of the twentieth century, with his many suggestions and his masterful elucidation of economic principles, stands as a vital primer for anyone interested in developing a better understanding of basic economics and…


Book cover of Basic Economics

Michael Muthukrishna Author Of A Theory of Everyone: The New Science of Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We're Going

From my list on changing how you see the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professor of economic psychology at the London School of Economics with affiliations in developmental economics and data science. Before that, I was at Harvard in Human Evolutionary Biology. During my PhD, I took graduate courses in psychology, economics, evolutionary biology, and statistics. I have undergraduate degrees in engineering and in psychology and took courses in everything from economics and biology to philosophy and political science. As a child, I witnessed the civil war in Sri Lanka; a violent coup in Papua New Guinea; the end of apartheid in South Africa, living in neighboring Botswana; and London’s 7/7 bomb attacks. I’ve also lived in Australia, Canada, USA, and UK.

Michael's book list on changing how you see the world

Michael Muthukrishna Why did Michael love this book?

This is probably the best lay introduction to economics that I've read. If you have opinions about the vices or virtues of capitalism, liberalism, socialism, or inequality, it offers a rigorous discussion of the underlying considerations.

Sowell is probably best known for his discussions on race, but in Basic Economics, his ability to explain, well, basic economic intuitions and thinking, really shines. Anyone opining on policy should read it.

By Thomas Sowell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Basic Economics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this fifth edition of Basic Economics , Thomas Sowell revises and updates his popular book on common sense economics, bringing the world into clearer focus through a basic understanding of the fundamental economic principles and how they explain our lives. Drawing on lively examples from around the world and from centuries of history, Sowell explains basic economic principles for the general public in plain English. Basic Economics , which has now been translated into six languages and has additional material online, remains true to its core principle: that the fundamental facts and principles of economics do not require jargon,…


Book cover of Slavery and American Economic Development

Joshua L. Rosenbloom Author Of Quantitative Economic History: The Good of Counting

From my list on understanding the modern capitalist economy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been studying, writing, and teaching economic history for nearly four decades. I was drawn to the field because it let me combine my passion for understanding how the past and present are connected with my fascination with the insights derived from the natural sciences. When I started studying economic history, the discipline was still relatively new, having grown out of pioneering research in the 1950s and 1960s by a small band of innovative scholars. During my career, I have met many of these intellectual giants personally, and I have watched the discipline of economic history mature and grow in both its methods and intellectual scope.

Joshua's book list on understanding the modern capitalist economy

Joshua L. Rosenbloom Why did Joshua love this book?

If you read one book about the history of slavery, this should be it. This brief volume sums up decades of Wright’s scholarship about how the institution of slavery shaped virtually every aspect of American economic development and left a lasting imprint long after Emancipation. It is concise, eye-opening, and insightful. It also offers a broader lesson in the ways in which economic institutions affect aspects of behavior in unanticipated ways.

By Gavin Wright,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Slavery and American Economic Development as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Through an analysis of slavery as an economic institution, Gavin Wright presents an innovative look at the economic divergence between North and South in the antebellum era. He draws a distinction between slavery as a form of work organisation, the aspect that has dominated historical debates, and slavery as a set of property rights. Slave-based commerce remained central to the eighteenth-century rise of the Atlantic economy, not because slave plantations were superior as a method of organizing production, but because slaves could be put to work on sugar plantations that could not have attracted free labor on economically viable terms.


Book cover of Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era

Malcolm Rutherford Author Of The Institutionalist Movement in American Economics, 1918-1947: Science and Social Control

From my list on the economic mind in America from 1880 to 1960.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was contemplating a topic for my PhD thesis, it struck me powerfully that American economics was severely under-studied, and that this applied even more so to those associated with “American institutional economics.” My research soon indicated to me that the literature that did exist was lacking in coverage and badly misleading. During my research in archives, I uncovered some real gems—just one example was the archives of the Robert Bookings Graduate School, an institution largely forgotten, but famous at the time. This was exciting and inspired me to continue on to provide a major re-evaluation of American economics in the interwar period.    

Malcolm's book list on the economic mind in America from 1880 to 1960

Malcolm Rutherford Why did Malcolm love this book?

Mary Furner’s book presents what is the common view of progressives as liberal reformers, but there is another side to progressive social science that is less liberal. 

The progressive era social science literature is replete with racism and with arguments about racial and other forms of inferiority derived from eugenics.

The vast amount of immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe gave rise to concerns about the undermining of American standards, both biological and economic, including theories of “race suicide.” 

Leonard’s book has generated a great deal of discussion, and while there is no doubt that many progressives displayed eugenic and racist ideas, it needs to be stressed that such views were not limited to progressives, but included many of those with conservative and even free-market views in other areas.     

By Thomas C. Leonard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Illiberal Reformers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Illiberal Reformers, Thomas Leonard reexamines the economic progressives whose ideas and reform agenda underwrote the Progressive Era dismantling of laissez-faire and the creation of the regulatory welfare state, which, they believed, would humanize and rationalize industrial capitalism. But not for all. Academic social scientists such as Richard T. Ely, John R. Commons, and Edward A. Ross, together with their reform allies in social work, charity, journalism, and law, played a pivotal role in establishing minimum-wage and maximum-hours laws, workmen's compensation, antitrust regulation, and other hallmarks of the regulatory welfare state. But even as they offered uplift to some, economic…


Book cover of The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World

Selwyn Parker Author Of The Great Crash: How the Stock Market Crash of 1929 Plunged the World into Depression

From my list on economics and investment.

Why am I passionate about this?

Selwyn Parker is an award-winning journalist, author, speaker and pianist. In journalism he focuses on transformational contemporary issues like the new era in energy, the upheaval in banking, the revolution in transportation and the fast-moving world of investment. However most of his dozen books – novels and non-fiction -- are rooted in landmark historical events whose effects still register today.

Selwyn's book list on economics and investment

Selwyn Parker Why did Selwyn love this book?

Apart from revealing and sometimes dismaying insights into the workings of the White House, this legendary chairman of the US Federal Reserve presents a tour d’horizon of the economic thought that underpins the creation of wealth. As such, it should be obligatory reading for anybody interested in how nations prosper (or don’t), how governments routinely make disastrous interventions even if they aim to act for the right reasons, why Adam Smith continues to influence our lives (even though we don’t know it), and why capitalism is so foolishly demonised by banner-waving grandstanders.

By Alan Greenspan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Age of Turbulence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alan Greenspan's The Age of Turbulence is the essential guide to what is happening in the world, and where we're heading, from the ultimate expert.

Alan Greenspan wielded more power than the presidents he worked for, from Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton to George Bush and his son. He was in the command room of the world economy for longer than any other single figure. One word from him could send markets into freefall.

Now Alan Greenspan, the legendary former chairman of the Federal Reserve, gives us a unique insider's view of the world over his lifetime, from stock market…


Book cover of A Most Enterprising Country: North Korea in the Global Economy

Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland Author Of Witness to Transformation: Refugee Insights Into North Korea

From my list on the North Korean economy.

Why are we passionate about this?

We teamed up about fifteen years ago around a common interest in the political economy of North Korea; Haggard is a political scientist, Noland an economist. Both of us had spent our careers focused on Asia but looking largely at the capitalist successes: Japan and the newly industrializing countries of Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. But what about the anomalous cases in the region that did not get on the growth train? The “Asian miracle” was hardly ubiquitous…what had gone wrong? North Korea was clearly the biggest puzzle, and we ended up researching and writing on the famine, refugees, and the complexities of international sanctions. 

Stephan and Marcus' book list on the North Korean economy

Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland Why did Stephan and Marcus love this book?

The title of this book is doubly surprising. Is North Korea enterprising? And North Korea “in the world economy”? Isn’t it the hermit kingdom? Hastings picks up a theme that was central to our work on the famine: that the socialist sector in North Korea has undergone a secular decline while households and entrepreneurs have constructed a complex market economy that is partially above ground, partly below it. But Hastings goes further, showing how that market economy is integrally tied to China. And the book has the added attraction of focusing attention on lucrative black markets that range from amphetamine to counterfeited one hundred dollar bills. 

By Justin V. Hastings,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Most Enterprising Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

North Korea has survived the end of the Cold War, massive famine, numerous regional crises, punishing sanctions, and international stigma. In A Most Enterprising Country, Justin V. Hastings explores the puzzle of how the most politically isolated state in the world nonetheless sustains itself in large part by international trade and integration into the global economy. The world's last Stalinist state is also one of the most enterprising, as Hastings shows through in-depth examinations of North Korea's import and export efforts, with a particular focus on restaurants, the weapons trade, and drug trafficking. Tracing the development of trade networks inside…


Book cover of Rethinking Economics: Lectures and Seminars on World Economics

Lorraine Flower Author Of Heartful Business: Leading with the World in Mind

From my list on leading business consciously to create a better world for all.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love businesses and have been lucky enough to work for and with some great ones in my career in senior leadership positions. For me, leadership is an extraordinary privilege, so we have a responsibility to do it well and keep learning and improving ourselves and the organisations we lead. My journey into more conscious leadership began over 30 years ago, well ahead of the current movement, and it has progressively become the passion driving my work to help leaders and organisations contribute to building a better world. This passion also drives my service with a number of spiritual communities, including Sundial House and the Community of Living Ethics.

Lorraine's book list on leading business consciously to create a better world for all

Lorraine Flower Why did Lorraine love this book?

You might think this book is a bit left field in the arena of leadership, given its title. I think it cuts to the heart of the big question all leaders, whether of organisations or nations, should be considering, that of economics and economy.

What really resonated with me is the exploration of the subject from holistic and spiritual, or consciousness, perspectives and how this encourages thinking more deeply about the confines and constraints our economic systems place on us, the compromises that ensue in decision-making and, most importantly, the choices we need to consider more carefully from an ethical and human values standpoint.

This is a topic central to human survival and well-being, a must-read for leaders.

By Rudolf Steiner, Peter Clemm (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rethinking Economics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

14 lectures in Dornach, July 14-August 6, 1922 (CW 340)
6 seminars in Dornach, July 31-August 5, 1922 (CW 341)

“In this age of social, economic, and ecological disruption, many people are beginning to realize that perhaps the most important root causes for this crisis originate in an economic thinking that is increasingly out of touch with the social, ecological, and spiritual realities of our time. How, then, can we rethink and redefine the fundamental economic concepts that frame our discussions and shape our key institutions in society today? This is the big question on the table today. Rudolf Steiner’s…


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