From the legendary former Fed Chairman and the acclaimed Economist writer and historian the full epic story of America's evolution from a small patchwork of threadbare colonies to the most powerful engine of wealth and innovation the world has ever seenShortlisted for the 2018 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year AwardFrom even the start of his fabled career Alan Greenspan was duly famous for his deep understanding of even the most arcane corners of the American economy and his restless curiosity to know even To the extent possible he has made a science of understanding how the US economy works almost as a living organism how it grows and changes surges and stalls He has made a particular study of the question of productivity growth at the heart of which is the riddle of innovation Where does innovation come from and how does it spread through a society? And why do some eras see the fruits of innovation spread democratically and others including our own see the opposite?In Capitalism in America Greenspan distills a lifetime of grappling with these questions into a thrilling and profound master reckoning with the decisive drivers of the US economy over the course of its history In partnership with the celebrated Economist journalist and historian Adrian Wooldridge he unfolds a tale involving vast landscapes titanic figures triumphant breakthroughs enlightenment ideals as well as terrible moral failings Every crucial debate is here from the role of slavery in the antebellum Southern economy to the real impact of FDR's New Deal to America's violent mood swings in its openness to global trade and its impact But to read Capitalism in America is above all to be stirred deeply by the extraordinary productive energies unleashed by millions of ordinary Americans that have driven this country to unprecedented heights of power and prosperity At heart the authors argue America's genius has been its unique tolerance for the effects of creative destruction the ceaseless churn of the old giving way to the new driven by new people and new ideas Often messy and painful creative destruction has also lifted almost all Americans to standards of living unimaginable to even the wealthiest citizens of the world a few generations past A sense of justice and human decency demands that those who bear the brunt of the pain of change be protected but America has always accepted pain for gain and its vaunted rise cannot otherwise be understood or its challenges faced without recognizing this legacy For now in our time productivity growth has stalled again stirring up the populist furies There's no better moment to apply the lessons of history to the most pressing question we face that of whether the United States will preserve its preeminence or see its leadership pass to other inevitably less democratic powers


10 thoughts on “Capitalism in America

  1. says:

    I grabbed this book on an impulse at the library It was surprisingly entertaining and informative Written by the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank it had the potential to be a dense boring work of economic minutiae However it is written in a very readable and enjoyable prose For the most part the economic concepts described in the book are presented such that an average reader can understand what is being discussedThe title of the book is apropos Whereas most history books are concerned with political history this book is concerned with the economic history of the United States It covers such topics as the economic development of the early colonies the economic effects of westward expansion the development of transportation particularly canalsrailroads roads cars trucks and railroads the rise of titans like Carnegie Morgan Rockefeller Stanford Vanderbilt the rise of conglomerates the Depression the effects of WWI and WWII and the Civil War the effect of government the effect of slavery the effect of immigration stagflation Reaganomics Dot Com bubble the Great Recession and the recovery and globalizationIn recent years Greenspan had as much of an affect on American economics as any single person in recent years so he writes from a position of exceptional authority Ever since the Great Bust of 2007 I have been very interested in in the functioning of the US economy and this book is one of the best and most informative I have foundIf you want to understand where the US has been economically and where it may be headed this book is a must