The Wealth of the Nation: An Economic History of the United States

Stuart Weems Bruchey, Author HarperCollins Publishers $18.95 (259p) ISBN 978-0-06-015854-5
Columbia University professor Bruchey tries to place the economic trends that enabled the United States to rush to commercial supremacy in the context of the broader social and political climate of the republic. While making a dollar has been a unifying forceeven before there were dollarsBruchey shows that it was not until the colonies and then states adopted a more national viewpoint that significant economic growth was possible. (Indeed, President Thomas Jefferson spoke near-heresy in 1806 when he suggested that Congress consider using surplus federal revenues for the ""improvements of roads, canals, rivers, education and other great foundations of prosperity and union.'') Bruchey also argues that the judiciary's accommodation to the agents of commercethe corporation as citizen, with rights and recourse, is largely an invention of the Supreme Courthelped spur economic development. Although in many cases the social and political analysis here is scant, Bruchey has provided an economic history of the nation that the general reader will find palatable. (February)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 260 pages - 978-0-06-091455-4
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