Saturday, May 18, 2013

Business/Finance Books: Embarrassment of Riches

Wading into Jean Strouse's Morgan: American Financier, may I take a moment to marvel at how much more and better business/economic history of the United States we have today than we had back when I was a tad,  the best I can remember finding were Matthew Josephson The Robber Barons,  John Kenneth Galbraith, The Great Crash, and John Chamberlain, Enterprising America, A Business History of the United States, none entirely worthless but each unsatisfactory in its own way.  I suppose I could add Frederick Lewis Allen, Only Yesterday,  although I didn't recognize this as "financial history" until much later.

I won't begin to catalog what is available these days except to note that we've got at least two fullscale presentations of Morgan (I'm counting this) and, FWIW, two of Warren Buffet (link, link).  I keep trying to put together some sort of Amazon top-ten list but I can't narrow it down enough.

Afterthought:  Lacking good history, I suspect the best way to get a feel for American business/financial history was to read Dreiser or Dos Passos.  Might still be a pretty good way.

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