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Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, The Great Recession, and the Uses-and Misuses-of History (Hardback)
  • Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, The Great Recession, and the Uses-and Misuses-of History (Hardback)
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Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, The Great Recession, and the Uses-and Misuses-of History (Hardback)

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£20.00
Hardback 520 Pages / Published: 22/01/2015
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The Great Depression and the Great Recession are the two great economic crises of the past hundred years. While there are accounts of both episodes, no one has yet attempted a sustained comparative analysis. In Hall of Mirrors, Barry Eichengreen draws on his unparalleled expertise for a brilliantly conceived dual-track account of the two crises and their consequences. Rather than telling the stories of the two crises in sequence, instead he weaves them together. He describes the two bubble-fuelled build-ups, then the onset of crisis, the subsequent financial and economic and collapse, the policy response, and finally the recovery. A theme of Eichengreen's narrative is that while the policy response to the Great Recession was importantly shaped by perceptions of the Great Depression - contemporary policymakers did in fact learn lessons from the Depression that enabled them, this time, to prevent the worst - they could have done better. Their failure to do so reflected a tendency to take the lessons of the Depression too literally, leading to an inability to recognize important respects in which circumstances, and specifically the structure of financial markets, had changed - precisely in response to the policies put in place due to the Depression. In addition, success was the mother of failure: the success of the policy response took the wind out of reformers' sails. It diminished support for the kind of far-reaching social and financial reforms adopted in the 1930s. It allowed policy makers and society to prematurely indulge their desire for a return to normal policies before a normal economy had been restored. To be sure, this more recent crisis was better managed than the earlier one, which resulted in widespread social distress and, in the worst case, the rise of fascism. But a wiser collective response after 2008 would have staved off the painfully slow growth that subsequently plagued the United States and Europe.

Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
ISBN: 9780199392001
Number of pages: 520
Weight: 903 g
Dimensions: 236 x 164 x 33 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This is undoubtedly one of the best books on the history of economic policy-making to be published in the last half century... clear, compelling account of the Great Depression and the Great Recession. * Professor Brad Bratley Bateman (Randolph College), HETP Vol.2 *
one of the most clear-sighted of commentators in recent years. He brings all his insights together in Hall of Mirrors * Ben Chu, Books of the Year 2015, Independent *
Hall of Mirrors is both a major work of economic history and an essential exploration of how we avoided making only some of the same mistakes twice. It shows not just how the "lessons" of Great Depression history continue to shape society's response to contemporary economic problems, but also how the experience of the Great Recession will permanently change how we think about the Great Depression. * Crisis Observatory *
This book is a joy; for a book gf serious economics, it sings * Financial World, Andrew Hilton *
entertaining * Capital, Christian Schutte *
educational... well researched and well written * Mortgage Strategy *
his version of the 1930s is rich with detail and myth-busting insights. * Economist *
As a leading scholar of the Great Depression and one of the deftest commentators on the current crisis, Eichengreen is perfectly placed to compare the two slumps. The book is rich with anecdotes including portraits of the financiers who twice helped to bring the US banking system to its knees that make it highly readable...impressive work. Hall of Mirrors is destined to change the way we think about both the Great Depression and the Great Recession. Commentators and scholars will debate its thesis for many years to come. * Financial Times, Ferdinando Giugliano *
Hall of Mirrors is destined to change the way we think about both the Great Depression and the Great Recession. Commentators and scholars will debate its thesis for many years to come. * Ferdinando Giugliano, Financial Times *
Eichengreen mines his material for lessons learned and lost a worthy and distinctive addition to the literature on the crash. * Wall Street Journal *
Eichengreen recreates the last century's two great episodes of financial instability with compelling portraits of bankers and policymakers and accessible theoretical explanations . . . his version of the 1930s is rich with detail and myth-busting insights. * The EconomistR *
[Barry Eichengreen] does, however, provide the clearest, best developed history of the economics of the paroxysmal asset-value crashes of 1929-30 and the Great Depression, long thought to be among the sequelae of the First World War and the toxic seeds of the Second. His new book strengthens this argument and clirigies the mechanisms of generation and connection. This is its principal relevance to military history. * William D. O'Neil, Michigan War Study Review *

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