Interpreting the Great Depression


The conventional narrative of the Great Depression in the US is that Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal rescued the nation from a catastrophic failure of the capitalist system. However, classical liberal critiques of this history have raised serious questions about how effective government action was during the Great Depression. This conference addressed various interpretations of the history of the Great Depression.


Conference Readings

Anderson, Benjamin M. Economics and the Public Welfare: A Financial and Economic History of the United States, 1914-1946. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1980.

Friedman, Jeffrey. “A Crisis of Politics, not Economics: Complexity, Ignorance, and Policy Failure.” Critical Review 21, no. 23 (June 30, 2009): 127-183. (accessed June 3, 2010).

Higgs, Robert. Depression, War, and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Kling, Arnold. “The Financial Crisis: Moral Failure or Cognitive Failure.” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (Spring 2010): 507-518.

Parker, Randall E. The Economics of the Great Depression: A Twenty-First Century Look Back at the Economics of the Interwar Era. Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2007.

Parker, Randall E. Reflections on the Great Depression. Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2003.

Rauchway, Eric. The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Shlaes, Amity. The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression. New York: Harper Perennial, 2008.

Stiglitz, Joseph E. “The Anatomy of a Murder: Who Killed America's Economy?” Critical Review 21, no. 2-3 (2009): 329-339. (accessed June 3, 2010).

Wessel, David. In Fed We Trust. New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2009.