Throughout time, from ancient Rome to modern Britain, the great empires built and maintained their domination through force of arms and political power. But not the United States. America has dominated the world in a new, peaceful, and pervasive way -- through the continued creation of staggering wealth. In this authoritative, engrossing history, John Steele Gordon captures as never before the true source of our nation's global influence: wealth and the capacity to create more of it.
This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
The word "epic" in the subtitle is a tip-off that instead of a critical history of the American economy, this book is a celebration of it. Nothing wrong with that, especially when the tale's told breezily and accurately. In fact, Gordon (The Scarlet Woman of Wall Street) notes the many stumbles and the frequent foolishness and corruption that attended the nation's rise as an economic powerhouse. The larger story of success is, in fact, an extraordinary one. The trouble is that the American economy, like every other, bends much out of shape. It has always provided opportunity but always with too much inequality. A full history of the American economy would take this into consideration in the past as well as the present, and Gordon's doesn't. Also, his book sometimes wanders off into irrelevant subjects, like the origins of the computer, but his grasp of the larger picture is sure and his prose bright. His chapter on Northern and Southern Civil War finances is a model of its kind. Those seeking an introduction to the general history of American economic power will find few better places to start, as long as they keep in mind that the nation's economy is not perfect, its benefits not unalloyed and its future domination of other economic powerhouses by no means assured. Agent, Katinka Matson. (Oct. 5) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . Wonderful Book
Posted October 14, 2009 by Hugh Marlor , Boise, IdahoThis is by far Mr. Gordon's best book. Although he covers a substantial amount of material, he describes the events of the rise of American business in a manner that is both factual and enjoyable to read. Several books written on this era tend to focus on the negative aspects of this period. Mr. Gordon, instead, writes from a positive perspective, (i.e. what was accomplished so that the reader understands the importance of this part of history in today's world). This book is great story telling, and the opportunity to enjoy history.
October 31, 2005
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