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Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression
The Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930, which raised U.S. duties on hundreds of imported goods to record levels, is America's most infamous trade law. It is often associated with--and sometimes blamed for--the onset of the Great Depression, the collapse of world trade, and the global spread of protectionism in the 1930s. Even today, the ghosts of congressmen Reed Smoot and Willis ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published January 24th 2011 by Princeton University Press
(first published January 1st 2011)
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I usually like good economic history books, but this was a disappointment. No earth-shaking economic revelations or conclusions and it read like an economic term paper. It was perhaps aimed at people who only knew Smoot-Hawley from the extreme myths that have surrounded it and did help to debunk those. However, as the author shows, it was still a lousy piece of legislation, even if it wasn't as bad as some of the non-economists have said it was.
IF YOU think Congress is worse than ever, you weren’t around in 1930. It was then Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff—a piece of protectionist folly that raised the levies on nearly nine hundred categories of imports. Read more...
Good overview of various aspects of the Smoot-Hawley tariff. A nice and short read with numerous references to other work for the interested reader. Useful for one interested in the general consensus of the effects of Smoot-Hawley without needing to read the great amount of research deriving from the tariff .
Not being an expert in economic history, I found this to be a surprisingly clear, readable, and well-researched little book on a subject towards which many historians are sadly prone to ill-informed hyperbole...