John Maynard Keynes, "The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money"
Prometheus Books | 403 pages | 1997 | ISBN: 1573921394 | PDF | 900 KB
seminal, but inscrutable for the average Joe Published in 1936 during the height of the the Great Depression, Keynes's "General Theory" is widely credited, rightly or wrongly, as being the theory that actually pointed out how to end the Depression. It has never been out of print since its first publication. The volume you're getting here hasn't much in terms of being "reader friendly." There is a brief (2-page) introduction. There are no footnotes (other than Keynes's original ones), and no helpful commentary or other aid that would help make Keynes's book more comprehensible to the general reader. So you're basically getting the bare bones. But the book can be very tough going, even for those with extensive preparation in economics. It has plenty of nasty equations and there are more thistles than you'll find in an English hedgerow. In brief, it's one of those universally heralded classics that many pay lip service to but few have ever read. As for whether this is "the book that ended the Depression," I'm not so sure. There were many competing theories floating around during the Depression, and Keynes's was only one of those. While Keynes's recipe of counteracting a decline in private spending with an increase in government spending turned out to be what Roosevelt (and Hitler) actually did, certainly the war would have come along whether or not Keynes published his book. Hence governments would have stumbled upon "the Keynesian solution" on their own anyway.
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