This volume. is devoted, primarily, to a survey of economic tendencies which developed and prevailed during the period preceding the current economic depression. In order the better to bring out the character of these tendencies, they are reviewed in comparison with the tendencies prevailing during the period preceding the World War.
As a survey this study is important in its own right because of the economic importance of the period 1922-1929. It presents an extremely valuable segment of the continuing study of the phenomena of economic activity, which is being carried forward by the Committee on Recent Economic Changes in conjunction with the National Bureau of Economic Research.
For the scientific competency of this study -- the gathering of the material brought together in the present volume, its interpretation, and the conclusions drawn therefrom -- the National Bureau of Economic Research is solely responsible; but the Committee on Recent Economic Changes is happy to join with the Bureau in the publication of a study throwing such a flood of light upon the nature of recent economic movements in the United States, and the features and forces marking their essential character. It is most timely as a study of recent economic history and as such will be welcomed. But its importance goes beyond its timeliness. Because of its intelligent application of the methods of scientific analysis, assembly, and organization to the understanding of a body of actual economic phenomena, its importance as a contribution to realistic thinking and procedure, in the economic field, deserves appreciative recognition.
In the Committee's opinion, while this volume is important currently as a background study of our economic processes, its greatest value will be realized when the time comes that the depression itself can be analyzed. In the meantime the evidence it presents may