Streaming Audiobook - 2013
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Calvin Coolidge, president from 1923 to 1929, never rated highly in polls, and history has remembered the decade in which he served as an extravagant period predating the Great Depression. Now Amity Shlaes provides a fresh look at the 1920s and its elusive president, showing that the mid-1920s was in fact a triumphant period that established our modern way of life: The nation electrified, Americans drove their first cars, and the federal deficit was replaced with a surplus. Coolidge is an eye-opening biography of the little-known president behind that era of remarkable growth and national optimism. Coolidge's trademark discipline and composure, Shlaes reveals, represented not weakness but strength, and he proved unafraid to take on the divisive issues of this crucial period: reining in public sector unions, unrelentingly curtailing spending, and rejecting funding for new interest groups. He reduced the federal budget even as the economy grew, wages rose, taxes fell, and unemployment dropped. In this magisterial biography, Amity Shlaes captures the remarkable story of Calvin Coolidge and the decade of extraordinary prosperity that grew from his leadership.
Publisher: [United States] : Harper Collins Publishers : Made available through hoopla, 2013
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780062116093
Branch Call Number: eAudiobook hoopla
Characteristics: streaming audio file (1 audio file (21hr., 04 min.)) : digital
Additional Contributors: Aselford, Terence
hoopla digital


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Oct 03, 2013

This book comes with an advance review by Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board. People who see this and other reviews will correctly think it leans strongly towards a narrative of Coolidge's economic policies. They may be disappointed, though, if they are expecting an analysis of rival doctrines. Coolidge favoured the gold standard and did not agree with bimetallism, but Ms. Shlaes doesn't choose between one and the other. He and his Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon introduced what we would now recognize as supply side economics to American finances but there is never any mention in the book of the Laffer Curve. This is not to criticize the book but just to say what kind of book it is. Foreign policy gets the same kind of treatment but in much less detail. The Coolidge years were incredibly busy in all kinds of ways and it would be impossible in a one-volume study to cover everything. There was never any period that saw so much creative activity in price index number theory before or since. Konus developed the theory of the cost-of-living index in 1924 in the Soviet Union and of course Coolidge can take no credit for that. But the same year O.L. Stine and Louis Bean published the most important paper that ever will be written on the subject of seasonal goods in price indexes, a study of four kinds of agricultural price indexes. They were both agricultural economists working in the US Department of Agriculture in the administration of Calvin Coolidge.


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