The Great Depression: An Inquiry Into the Causes, Course, and Consequences of the Worldwide Depression of the Nineteen-Thirties, as Seen by

John A. Garraty, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $0 (292p) ISBN 978-0-15-136903-4
Unable to foresee, prevent, appraise correctly or reverse plunging property values, soaring unemployment and stagnant business conditions of the Great Depression, economists have been trying to sort it all out ever since. A definitive study is attempted here, tracing 20th century social, industrial, financial and political forces. Garraty, Columbia University historian, distills contemporary writings of the 1930s, and in a facile and informative, if less than stirring, narrative he analyzes the interrelated passage of various nations through deflation, inflation, farm price collapse, unemployment, factory closings, relief programs and public works. He decries failure of vitally needed international cooperation and pervasive official fear of national deficits. Surprises in retrospect: Hitler and Roosevelt in their early recovery plans had much in common and Britain actually did achieve recovery in the 1930s, though it went unnoticed. Garraty's opus is thoughtful and well organized but something of the Depression's sui generis mystery remains. (September 25)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Genre: Nonfiction
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