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The Best Economic History Books According to Readers

Thanks to everyone who responded to my post about US Economic History. I received a torrent of suggestions for books and decided to share them with everyone, in case you’re interested in the subject. I’m going to be working my way through them and just started the book on Keynes. As I learn interesting things, I’ll share them here.

Manias, Panics, and Crashes: history of financial explosions and the importance of credit in crashes.

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds: starts with the tulip mania in Holland and discusses how we fool each other.

The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World was Created: An economic history of the world.

The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World: a history of money in the world, and how it has evolved from precious metals, to backed by gold, to fiat currency.

Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk: a history of risk and probability through time.

The High Cost of Good Intentions: A History of US Federal Entitlement Programs: a pointed analysis of US programs meant to support citizens in need (welfare, social security, healthcare).

The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes: a modern biography of one of the most important economists of the 20th century.

Technological Revolutions & Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages: a fantastically clear and cogent theory on how technology changes markets and how to make money during these cycles.

Street Fighters: The Last 72 Hours of Bear Stearns, the Toughest Firm on Wall Street

Stress Test: Tim Geithner: play-by-play of the 2008 crisis from the vantage point of the US Secretary of the Treasury.

Anatomy of the Bear: portfolio management in times of crisis from a professional investors.

Ray Dalio’s The Changing World Order books & LinkedIn posts: This was by far the most suggested work. Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater (a very successful hedge fund), is in the process of writing a book on the future of macroeconomics in the US and publishing chapters online as he writes them. They are excellent.

Empire of Wealth by Gordon: a history of US economic power.

Americana by Srinivasan: 2017 Best Book according to the Economist; history of the American economy.