The vast expansion of public finance and of governmental monetary, credit, and foreign trade controls currently taking place has made the public keenly interested in the political and economic issues involved in these fields of governmental activity. This keen interest seems to create an ideal setting for a new financial history of the United States, a history which would help toward a better understanding of the genesis, interrelationships, and effects of governmental fiscal, monetary, banking, and tariff policies and institutional arrangements.
The present book attempts to meet this need. It is designed not only for the professional economist, political scientist, and student, but also for the layman seeking enlightenment on the current financial problems of the nation and its subdivisions.
The book is written out of an extensive teaching experience, embracing the training of hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students. Its writing was prompted by the keen interest of the students in the subject matter and by the absence of acceptable texts, the earlier ones all being out of print. A preliminary draft in mimeographed form was prepared first and was used in the authors' classes for three succeeding years. As the experiment seemed to turn out favorably, the work was put into permanent form so that it could have wider use.
Dr. Johnson, according to Boswell, once said that "a man will turn over half a library to make one book." Something of this nature could be said about the labors involved in the preparation of this book. Many works and documents were consulted-in fact, many more than could be listed in the appended bibliography. Among the earlier works, the greatest debt is owed to Davis Rich Dewey's Financial History of the United States, which will continue to be a classic in the field.
Special acknowledgment is due to Dr. Robert T. Patterson, Professor John Bryson, and Professor Ernest Kurnow for having gone over the manuscript and checked much of the factual data presented in it; and to Mulford Martin, associate director of libraries of New York University, and to C. B. Allen, one of his assistants, for extending to the authors many courtesies in the procurement and use of library materials.
HERMAN E. KROOSS
NEW YORK, N.Y. November, 1951