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The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal (Politically Incorrect Guides)

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  345 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
In this timely new P.I. Guide, Murphy reveals the stark truth: free market failure didn't cause the Great Depression and the New Deal didn't cure it. Shattering myths and politically correct lies, he tells why World War II didn t help the economy or get us out of the Great Depression; why it took FDR to make the Depression Great; and why Herbert Hoover was more like Obama ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by Regnery Publishing
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Wes Brummer
Mar 10, 2013 Wes Brummer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a revisionist neo-conservative spin of the FDR's New Deal policies. There is very little history, politically incorrectly, or othervise. Imagine if Sports Illustrated wrote how 1930s football be be is coached by today's coaches. It would be meanlingless.

Same goes for this book. Putting a 21st century Bill O'Reilly spin on New Deal policies just makes for a strange book. History told by Sarah Pailin or Glenn Beck or their minions. This whole series of book is worthless as history. I woul
Oct 15, 2014 Don rated it liked it
Shelves: history, economics
Serviceable summary of a conservative view of the great depression. I have read many of the source books the author cites. This might make a good introduction to readers who have only learned the generally accepted history of the depression with FDR as savior.

It did bother me that the author did not have an accurate understanding of FDIC. This insurance is not paid for by tax payers. It is paid for by fees collected from banks.

The book was written in 2009, but the author predicted that Obama wou
Kathryn Muratore
Dec 26, 2009 Kathryn Muratore rated it liked it
Recommends it for: right-of-center laypersons interested in the Great Depression.
The most surprising thing I learned was that the legal tender law against gold was removed in the 70's. But that's just a tiny factoid in a well-researched book. I knew of many of the other things in the book from reading the author's blog and listening to his lectures over the past year or so, which is why I didn't "learn" much from the book itself. But, someone who is not already a fan of the author - funny, really smart, level-headed, did I say smart? - will learn a lot from the book.
It is an
John Barbour
Jun 12, 2013 John Barbour rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All Americans
Shelves: history, economics
Who Put the “Great” in the Great Depression?

A depression (recession, panic, or contraction, whatever name you want to call it) is a natural recurring feature of capitalism. If you don’t believe me, ask the Fed. They sold themselves to the American public as a way of smoothing over these cycles.

So what makes a normal depression into a Great one? It takes lobbying and it takes politics and it takes a lot of do-gooders and not so do-gooders in Washington trying to do the so-called pragmatic thing.
May 11, 2009 Richard rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
This is a book about economics and history, two subjects which can be very boring, and as such, it is occasionally boring, but it makes its points:

1) Many of common "facts" about the early 20th century, the Great Depression, and economics, generally, are actually quite false.

2) Progressive policies and their implementation caused and exacerbated the Great Depression.

3) The Obama Administration is making the same mistakes today that were made at the time of the Great Depression, thereby making ou
Void lon iXaarii
Apr 06, 2011 Void lon iXaarii rated it liked it
Not only was I happy to find a book which had views on saving & growth that I can respect but it also happens to be apparently more than interesting historical data, proving to be quite relevant to what has/is/will be happening in recent years in the US/worldwide, as if the book is right things are being mirrored almost 1 to 1 in the ways the government is intervening.
Bill Powers
May 23, 2013 Bill Powers rated it it was amazing
Pity they don't teach "real" history in schools anymore - just watered down politically correct propaganda. This is a must read for people who want to gain a real understanding of the Great Depression and late 20th century US economic/monetary policy.
Mark Geise
Jun 02, 2016 Mark Geise rated it it was amazing
“The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal” by Robert Murphy is a very good introduction into the myths surrounding the Great Depression and the New Deal. Much of the economic ignorance spouted today is justified by parroting myths from the 1920’s and 1930’s, so it is important to dispel those myths if we wish to dispel the economic ignorance in vogue today. I have listened to Bob Murphy on the Contra Krugman podcast and in several of his talks at Mises Institute ...more
Dec 16, 2015 Qasim rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
Most of us have been fed one narrative of the Great Depression: The market excesses of the roaring 20s caused the Great Depression, then upon winning the election FDR swooped in and declared a bank holiday, which essentially stabilized the markets. The New Deal was an essential stimulant in the road to recovery, and finally it was U.S entry into WW2 which created the type of production necessary to put us over the top and get us out of the Great Depression.

Robert Murphy challenges this narrative
Dec 28, 2009 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, did FDR really bring us out of the Great Depression? Hardly. Dr. Murphy does a great job of debunking the myth. If anything, FDR's policies deepened and prolonged the depression. Recessions are a natural part of economic cycles. A free market economy will make the necessary adjustments. Yes, some businesses which provide goods and services that people do not want (or at a price which people are unwilling to pay) will suffer a downturn or possibly bankruptcy. They must either change their ...more
Brian C Albrecht
Feb 05, 2012 Brian C Albrecht rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
The Politically Incorrect series provides a powerful revisionist account of past events. I use revisionist in a neutral sense. It can be used to confirm biases or to challenge the conventional wisdom. With respect to economic history, revisionism is important. The resources and data available to modern economists provides a unique perspective to the events. This combined with additional years to analyze the situation help sober the image.

In Robert Murphy's,, an explanation for the Great Depressi
Sep 07, 2009 Brian rated it really liked it
Shelves: economic-history
I love this series of books, Robert Murphy is a clear writer, very smart and knows economics. This book is centered on the New Deal policies and how they adversely affected our country. He traces the steps of FDR and the FED, he covers the happenings in the country when things were good and what the government was doing and then conversely traces the steps when we were in a Depression and what the Fed and government was doing to enhance the downturn. The subjects he touches on are numerous, they ...more
Nov 22, 2009 Erik rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. There were sections where I wished for more detail, but the format of the series is to condense the material for the casual reader, so that was alright. This book presents good cases against many of the explanations for and solutions to the Great Depression, including Hoover being a do-nothing president, the New Deal getting us out, and WWII getting us out. The Austrian case is presented nicely, and authors such as Hayek, Mises, and Hazlitt are brought up.

The format o
Nov 14, 2009 Glen rated it it was amazing
Although I'm a slow reader I ripped through this book in just a couple of days. Murphy does a great job of presenting the anti-FDR/New Deal case, which I'm very familiar with, without preachiness or boring repetition. The P.I.G. book format did not seem as annoying as it has in the past.

One excellent point made that I hadn't heard before was the explanation for why the US did not sink into socialism during and after WW2, as Britain did, even though that seemed to be our destiny throughout the N
Greg Cruthers
Mar 15, 2015 Greg Cruthers rated it really liked it
Very informative book on the Great Depression and FDR's New Deal. Shocking that all we were taught in school, led to believe by the media, academia and government is a pack of lies, partial-truths skewed by statistics that are at best misleading (like the way today's unemployment numbers are calculated). It not only shows FDR in a different light, which is nothing near the saint he is depicted as, but shows the failures of Hoover and GW Bush as well. I've got a new appreciation for Coolidge too. ...more
Apr 12, 2012 Ethan rated it really liked it
Shelves: political, economy
My mistake was that I read this book. I should have come into it expecting to have to study the book. I do not have an "economics" mind and so at times had to stop and go back over parts in an effort to better grasp different points. I felt the author made very valid points and based on my limited understanding, the Austrian school of economics makes more sense to me. The book seemed to have a well-researched feel to it and the bits of humor sprinkled throughout helped lighten a very dense topic ...more
Aug 27, 2009 Jon rated it it was amazing
This book was great. I knew that the history books being used in the educational system had been "scrubbed", thus eliminating the truth, so I really enjoyed reading this and learning so much that is just never taught. Even if the educational system would at least teach both opposing views for the sake of balance then we could make educated decisions based on that information. As it stands we are instead being indoctrinated with one side and that's never a good thing.

The book is enlightening, fun
David Robins
Oct 03, 2009 David Robins rated it it was amazing
Does an excellent job of bringing many sources together and makes a compelling cases for his thesis that Hoover and George W. Bush, and FDR and Obama are parallels in the current economic crisis. Like Hoover, Bush was seen as laissez-faire, when he spent billions in propping up market failures; like FDR, Obama wants to "spread the wealth around" and his failed stimulus packages build on Bush's in the same way that FDR's New Deal built on Hoover's massive big government spending programs. If ...more
Feb 08, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing
Very well done. Most of it is very accessible to the average American, even though it deals with some pretty technical topics. I appreciated that he avoided using emotional language - kept it just to the facts for the most part. He addresses the opposing view respectfully, but clearly demonstrates why it is fallacious thinking.

An excellent book to understand the Great Depression and New Deal, as well as what's going on today. Though, I must say, he doesn't have to use emotionally charged langua
Aug 01, 2011 Craig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
This is a brilliant analysis of the reasons for the Great Depression of the 1930s and its extraordinary length. Many myths (which have been written into history books as true) are dispelled. Hoover's and FDR's parts in the Great Depression and its scope and length are explained. Parallels are drawn between Hoover/George Bush and FDR/Obama. The parallels are scary. Continued invasive government intervention is the culprit. Government officials who think they know how to manage an economy (but who ...more
Jan 10, 2010 goddess rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, history
Great read with some fascinating details on the Great Depression....and how FDR actually prolonged said economic downturn with his out-of-control spending and New Deal programs. I already knew this, but was interested in the explanation and facts supporting this. It's downright scary the similarities between the 1930s and now. The same tactics are being used today with the current bureaucrats in Washington and are only adding fuel to our economic woes.

These highly-researched books are very info
Nov 27, 2014 Richard is currently reading it
Shelves: mine
Only when the U.S. government rolled up its sleeves to really fight a downturn, through unprecedented fiscal and monetary interventions, did America suffer the worst economic crisis in its history. Hoover abandoned the laissez-faire approach that every prior President had followed when faced with similar circumstances. Instead, Hoover big government policies caused the Great Depression, but it was inconceivable to him that his policies made the situation so bad.
BJ Rose
Mar 23, 2010 BJ Rose rated it really liked it
I'm a big proponent of "the rest of the story" (rest in peace, Paul Harvey!)

I read a variety of history books to try to learn more than the official version, and I especially like the ones that show cause and effect, pointing out the obvious and not-so-obvious. The scariest part is seeing our politicians repeating the problems of the past and swearing to us that it'll be better this time - trust us!
Jul 07, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent overview of the Great Depression and the many ways it resembles the economic mess Americans find themselves in today (ie, George W. Bush is the new Herbert Hoover and Obama is the new FDR). The book challenges some commonly held assertions, such as the notion that Hoover did nothing to combat the economic downturn and that it was primarily the advent of World War II which finally put the brakes on the Depression for good.
Nov 14, 2013 Alan rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
The reality is that there is more background noise to the great depression than what you'll ever find in a traditional high school American history book. The government's role in the initiation of the depression and throughout its unnecessarily long recovery is striking when an objective investigation of this matter is undergone. Economically, FDR is completely illiterate along with his predecessor Hoover. Definitely worthy of a good historical and economic read. Well done.
Thomas Achord
Feb 28, 2016 Thomas Achord rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, economics
This book is an overview of the Great Depression. Yet, it provides enough raw data and references to prove its points. It largely followers various myths surrounding the Great Depression, rather than a running historical narrative. The comparisons between Murphy's then-and-now sections are striking and require sober reflection.
Jan 15, 2011 Pam rated it did not like it
I have read a lot about the Great Depression during my life and was interested in what this book might have to add. It was strictly a opinion piece based on libertarian ideas and did not fulfill it's promise at the beginning of revealing history which no one ever had heard before. Disappointing and misleading.
Feb 15, 2010 Jason rated it it was amazing
its amazing how wrong the history books are when it comes to Hoover and FDR. anyone with a modicum of common sense could appreciate this book, which sadly excludes most of our elected leaders, the ones who would profit the most by reading it.
E. Scott Harvey
Nov 03, 2012 E. Scott Harvey rated it it was amazing
Wow this is a masterful, and easy-to-read explanation what really happened during the great depression and FDR's "raw deal."

Basically, if it's writted by Dr. Robert Murphy, you should probably read it. :)
Eric Bauer
Aug 26, 2011 Eric Bauer rated it it was amazing
A must read, provides evidence that The New Deal didn't get us out of the Depression and neither did World War II. Not to mention that the statistics are rigged in these regards and he shows how certain purported data trends do not indicate economic recovery.
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Robert P. "Bob" Murphy is an Austrian School economist and anarcho-capitalist.
More about Robert P. Murphy...

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“Why Did the Stock Market Crash? The most persuasive explanation for the 1929 stock market crash blames the Federal Reserve. Throughout the 1920s, but particularly in 1927, the Fed pumped artificial credit into the loan market, pushing down interest rates from their free-market level. Lower interest rates exaggerated the feeling of prosperity, and misled businesses and investors. In a laissez-faire market where money and banking are not disturbed by the government, the interest rate is a price that tells borrowers how much capital citizens have saved and made available to fund projects. But when the Fed adopts an “easy-money” policy by pushing down interest rates, this signal is distorted and the interest rate no longer does its job of channeling the available capital into the most deserving projects. Instead, an unsustainable boom develops, with firms hiring workers and starting production processes that will have to be discontinued once the Fed slows down its injections of new money. Many economists point to the Fed hikes in interest rates during 1928 and 1929 as the cause of the stock market crash. In a sense this is true, but the deeper point is that the crash was made inevitable by the bubble in the stock market fueled by the artificially cheap credit preceding the hikes. In other words, when the Fed stopped pumping in gobs of new money that pushed up the stock market, investors came to their senses and asset prices plunged back towards their pre-bubble level.” 0 likes
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