A Rabble of Dead Money: The Great Crash and the Global Depression; 1929–1939

Charles R. Morris. PublicAffairs, $28.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-61039-534-2
In this sprightly—if strangely titled—volume, Morris (Comeback: America’s New Economic Boom) recounts a major 20th-century crisis. Morris characterizes himself as a “historian with a professional background in finance,” and he is at his best when writing about economic matters, alerting readers to the latest, most authoritative thinking about the causes and realities of the Great Depression. He sets his main story’s stage with a long introduction on the 1920s, which takes up a third of the book, and eventually hits his stride in the midst of the Depression. The usual characters—Herbert Hoover and F.D.R. especially—make their necessary appearances, but part of the book’s distinctiveness lies in Morris’s inclusion of little-known people, not all of them American, such as Chicago businessman Samuel Insull and the “Swedish Match King” Ivar Kreuger. Another of its strengths is that Morris goes beyond American shores to cover the Depression’s roots in, and effects on, the rest of the world. There’s not much new here, but what Morris delivers is dependably accurate, well paced, and easy to read. This is an ideal book for readers seeking an introduction to the Depression years, though Eric F. Goldman’s classic Rendezvous with Destiny remains essential reading. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/23/2017
Release date: 03/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-68168-286-0
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