The journal The Historian has just published a review of America’s First Great Depression. “Roberts’s book is more than an economic analysis of the 1830s and 1840s,” writes Dave Bush of Shasta College. “He persuasively argues that it was a great depression not solely for economic reasons but because of resulting social and political changes. . . . Roberts does a particularly fine job of placing this period of US history within a global perspective.” Read the review.
America’s First Great Depression is reviewed in the latest issue of Pennsylvania History. Andrew Shankman of Rutgers University writes: “[A] highly successful and comprehensible book that puts the early takeoff years of American capitalism in their proper international context. It is a noteworthy achievement.” Read the review.
In the current issue of New Left Review, Tom Mertes reviews America’s First Great Depression. “Roberts provides a striking picture of the decade’s economic woes, drawing extensively on contemporary commentaries from both sides of the Atlantic and informed by a vivid sense of American geography.” Read the review.
I’ve contributed an article to the November/December issue of PA Times, examining how the default crisis of the 1840s produced constitutional change in the United States. Read the article.
Robert F. Bruner, Dean of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, has put America’s First Great Depression on his 2013 book recommendation list. The book “gives an excellent account of the awful wreckage” of the depression of the 1840s, Bruner says.
In the current issue of Economic History Review, Adam Costanzo of Wiley College reviews America’s First Great Depression: “an admirable argument for reassessing the importance of the panic of 1837 and its subsequent economic crisis.” Read the review.
In the current issue of American Review of Public Administration, Curtis Ventriss of the University of Vermont discusses America’s First Great Depression: “What is noteworthy about Roberts’s meticulous historical analysis is not so much the validity of his conclusions, but instead his attention to the interplay of the global economy and the changing economic dynamics occurring domestically and the political detritus of such developments on the body politic. This is a prescient reminder of why the inclusion of a historical dimension is critical to any legitimate inquiry (coupled with appropriate empirical data) about the important nexus between public affairs and economic issues.” Read the article.
Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, draws on America’s First Great Depression in his recent paper on reform of the Eurozone, The Re-emergence of Europe.
The current issue of Political Science Quarterly includes a review of America’s First Great Depression, written by Johann Neem of Western Washington University. “Alasdair Roberts has written a thoughtful and timely book about how Americans in the past responded to global economic and political forces beyond their control. Roberts masterfully reinterprets the period for historians, but his goal is not primarily historical. Political scientists, policymakers, and citizens have much to learn from the economic crisis following 1837.”
The July 19 Wall Street Journal discusses America’s First Great Depression in relation to the Detroit default. (Michigan itself defaulted during the First Great Depression.) Jason Zweig calls it an “outstanding book.”