One of my correspondents, Brett Christophers of Uppsala University, just asked me which books I’d read on the history of finance that had helped me think about the financial present in a new way. (He has a superb book out early next year, [amazon_link id=”1444338285″ target=”_blank” ]Banking Across Boundaries[/amazon_link], about the role of banks in the economy over time, and the links between financialisation and globalisation. It will be an essential read for anyone wanting to understand the deeper roots of the financial crisis.)
[amazon_image id=”1444338285″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Banking Across Boundaries: Placing Finance in Capitalism (Antipode Book Series)[/amazon_image]
Anyway, here is the list that came to mind replying to Brett’s email this morning. Other suggestions will be welcome.
Liaquat Ahmed’s [amazon_link id=”009949308X” target=”_blank” ]Lords of Finance[/amazon_link] – the monetary policy debates of the 1930s, and a page-turner (really!)
[amazon_link id=”0691152640″ target=”_blank” ]This Time is Different[/amazon_link], Reinhardt and Rogoff.
I have high hopes for Jonathan Levy’s [amazon_link id=”0674047486″ target=”_blank” ]Freaks of Fortune[/amazon_link], about risk-taking in 19th century American capitalism
Niall Ferguson’s [amazon_link id=”0140293337″ target=”_blank” ]The Cash Nexus: Money and Politics in Modern History[/amazon_link] alongside David Graeber’s [amazon_link id=”1612191819″ target=”_blank” ]Debt: The First 5000 Years[/amazon_link] – a contrast between a conservative historian and a progressive anthropologist
Benjamin Friedman, [amazon_link id=”1400095719″ target=”_blank” ]The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth[/amazon_link] – why growth enables democracy and liberty
Benjamin Roth [amazon_link id=”1586489011″ target=”_blank” ]The Great Depression: A Diary[/amazon_link] – a contemporary diary from the 1930s mid-west, and a vivid reminder of how long it will take to emerge from the present stagnation
Roger Backhouse and Bradley Bateman, [amazon_link id=”0674057759″ target=”_blank” ]Capitalist Revolutionary[/amazon_link], the best modern revisiting of Keynes.
[amazon_link id=”0691151571″ target=”_blank” ]Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics[/amazon_link] by Daniel Stedman Jones, a political scientist traces the multi-decade project that enabled a particular ideological perspective to come to dominate public policy.