American Economic History

American Economic History

American Economic History

American Economic History

Excerpt

For ten years I tried to find a capable and willing author to write a handbook volume on American economic history. But I failed and learned that there was but one practical approach, namely, an anthology. A book written by one author has the advantage of a consistent view and a well-integrated presentation. At least the chances are improved for achieving these objectives when responsibility is concentrated.

But an anthology has important advantages also, especially when the ground covered is so large both in time and material. We can assign each subject to an expert. In all, twenty contributors have written fifteen chapters. The editor chose them on the basis of their command of their fields and their general competence in economics. No attempt was made to select authors of any one school. Here the reader will find Keynesians, non-Keynesians, and anti-Keynesians; those who favor a substantial role for government and those who do not; those who have a flair for econometrics and those who prefer their economic history in literary form.

In general, I have not tried to reconcile differences among authors.

I owe a special thanks to Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who read the whole manuscript critically, and to my secretary the late Mrs. Anna Thorpe, who gave devoted service for seventeen years, for secretarial help.

Seymour E. Harris . . .

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