Rethinking US Economic History

Economic historian Alexander Field’s new book, The Great Leap Forward: 1930s Depression and US Economic Growth, is making big waves, and is one I’m considering seriously for the Senior Experience book option for next year.

Here’s Field in the New York Times:

The conventional wisdom is that the war somehow magically transformed the doom and gloom of the Depression into the U.S. standing like a colossus astride the world in 1948. My counterargument is that potential output expanded by leaps and bounds between 1929 and 1941, and it was this expansion in capacity that both helped us win the war and established the foundations for postwar prosperity.

Tyler Cowen discusses it.

Arnold Kling reviews it.

This looks like a winner.   We’ll see where I’m at this fall.