In what is sure to become the standard account, Rothbard traces inflations, banking panics, and money meltdowns from the colonial period through the mid-20th century to show how government's systematic war on sound money is the hidden force behind nearly all major economic calamities in American history.
Never has the story of money and banking been told with such rhetorical power and theoretical vigor. You will treasure this volume.
From the introduction by Joseph Salerno:
"Rothbard employs the Misesian approach to economic history consistently and dazzlingly throughout the volume to unravel the causes and consequences of events and institutions ranging over the course of US monetary history, from the colonial times through the New Deal era. One of the important benefits of Rothbard's unique approach is that it naturally leads to an account of the development of the US monetary system in terms of a compelling narrative linking human motives and plans that oftentimes are hidden and devious, leading to outcomes that sometimes are tragic. And one will learn much more about monetary history from reading this exciting story than from poring over reams of statistical analysis. Although its five parts were written separately, this volume presents a relatively integrated narrative, with very little overlap, that sweeps across 300 years of US monetary history."
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Great facts (if selective); ideological rigidity
- Phil O.
Well written and thoroughly researched, but not a mainstream perspective on money and banking. This book is more accurately described as an apologia for the Austrian School of economics than a traditional history text.
The publication (2002 1st Edition produced by Audible in 2016) is a collection of the writings of Murray Rothbard (1926 - 1995) arranged to provide a narrative from the Colonial period through the end of World War 2. Most or perhaps all of these writings pre-date the end of Bretton Woods / gold-exchange standard in 1971.
- Kurt Frey