Catalogue


From new era to New Deal : Herbert Hoover, the economists, and American economic policy, 1921-1933 /
William J. Barber.
imprint
Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1985.
description
xii, 237 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. --
ISBN
0521305268
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1985.
isbn
0521305268
general note
Includes index.
local note
cop.2 is first paperback edition 1988.
catalogue key
3299537
 
Bibliography: p. 231-232.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1986-07:
An excellent short history of Hoover's economic attitudes and policies. Barber presents President Hoover as an insightful man trying to deal with a deepening depression in ways that would preserve the gold standard, the strong economic dominance of private enterprise, and the principles of federalism. It was not to be. Faced with what Keynes would call a ``liquidity trap,'' Hoover urged a tight fiscal policy to prevent crowding out in financial markets while experimenting with off-budget financing through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC). Realizing that monetary policy was too tight, Hoover indirectly urged a looser policy on the Federal Reserve while using the RFC to supplement bank lending. Ironically, the Fed may have pursued passive monetary policy in part because it assumed that the RFC was providing monetary stimulation. Barber's work indicates that Hoover understood the basic Keynesian insight that aggregate spending determines the level of output and employment. He was willing for government to be the lender of last resort but not the spender of last resort. Congress would not give the RFC sufficient lending authority to meet the crisis, and the Fed refused to reflate the economy. The author shows how Hoover spent much of his time trying to persuade business leaders to spend the economy into prosperity. They did not do so. President Roosevelt replaced the Hoover policies with a New Deal promising a much more flexible attitude toward the mix of public and private activities. Hoover's studies and policies provided the framework for the New Deal's historic economic journey even though he opposed the ultimate destination. Accessible to a wide readership-general and academic audiences, community college through graduate levels.-R.T. Averitt, Smith College
Reviews
Review Quotes
'Barber has written an exciting, well crafted and important book that succeeds in what it sets out to do. It deserves a careful reading by all serious students of the Hoover period, American economic thought, and American economic policy.' The Journal of Economic History
'This carefuly researched volume is valuable for the insight which it gives into Hoover's changing economic strategy. It also presents, with great clarity, the varied opinions of professional economists.'The Times Higher Education Supplement
'Barber has written an exciting, well crafted and important book that succeeds in what it sets out to do. It deserves a careful reading by all serious students of the Hoover period, American economic thought, and American economic policy.'The Journal of Economic History
'This carefuly researched volume is valuable for the insight which it gives into Hoover's changing economic strategy. It also presents, with great clarity, the varied opinions of professional economists.' The Times Higher Education Supplement
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 1986
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Description for Bookstore
This study examines the properties of an innovative approach to economic growth and stability formulated by Hoover and his associates during his years as secretary of commerce (1921-9) and inspects his deployment of this strategy from the White House following the Great Crash in the autumn of 1929.
Main Description
In popular imagery, Herbert Hoover is often stereotyped as a 'do-nothing' president who offered only nineteenth-century slogans for the greatest economic catastrophe in twentieth-century American history. Nothing could be further from the truth. This study examines the properties of an innovative approach to economic growth and stability formulated by Hoover and his associates during his years as secretary of commerce (1921-9) and inspects his deployment of this strategy from the White House following the Great Crash in the autumn of 1929. Attention is then focused on Hoover's attempts to reformulate his macro-economic programme as the depression deepened in late 1931 and 1932. Archival materials provide arresting insights into Hoover's aspirations for a new institution - the Reconstruction Finance Corporations - as a vehicle for stimulating investment through a novel form of 'off-budget' financing. To complement the discussion of Hoover's theories of economic policy in their various manifestations, the views of contemporary economists on problems of the day are surveyed.
Main Description
In popular imagery, Herbert Hoover is often stereotyped as a 'do-nothing' president who offered only nineteenth-century slogans for the greatest economic catastrophe in twentieth-century American history. Nothing could be further from the truth. This study examines the properties of an innovative approach to economic growth and stability formulated by Hoover and his associates during his years as secretary of commerce (1921'9) and inspects his deployment of this strategy from the White House following the Great Crash in the autumn of 1929. Attention is then focused on Hoover's attempts to reformulate his macro-economic programme as the depression deepened in late 1931 and 1932. Archival materials provide arresting insights into Hoover's aspirations for a new institution - the Reconstruction Finance Corporations - as a vehicle for stimulating investment through a novel form of 'off-budget' financing. To complement the discussion of Hoover's theories of economic policy in their various manifestations, the views of contemporary economists on problems of the day are surveyed.
Unpaid Annotation
Herbert Hoover is usually regarded as a 'do-nothing' President who offered only nineteenth-century slogans as remedies for the greatest economic catastrophe in twentiethcentury American history. This study offers a contrast to this popular image. It examines an innovative approach to economic growth and stability formulated by Hoover and his associates during his years as Secretary of Commerce (1921-1928) and his deployment of this strategy from the White House following the Great Crash in 1929, and considers Hoover's attempts to reformulate his macro-economic programme as the depression deepened. The author suggests that Hoover came closer to grasping the factors crucial to the determination of national income and employment than did most of the professional economists, but his willingness to act on the basis of this insight was constrained by his views on the proper role of the Federal Government within the constitution. Against this backdrop, Roosvelt's New Deal - with its mix of continuities and discontinuities - can be interpreted with enriched understanding.
Table of Contents
Preface
Prologue
The ingredients of a model of a new economics
Challenges to the new economics of the 1920s
The new economics at center stage in 1929
Activating the stabilization model in late 1929 and 1930
Preliminary readings of the results of the stabilization strategy
The unraveling of the first official model in 1931
Shifting course in late 1931 and early 1932
Renewing the offensive in February and March
The economists and their views on policy for 1932
Official model II as shaped in May 1932 and the aftermath
Epilogue
Notes
Selected bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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