The Great Crash 1929 - John Kenneth Galbraith

I bought this book alongside Depression Economics by Paul Krugman, and rather left it to one side. I've only just got round to reading it, and I have been very pleasantly surprised. Knowing that it was a classic text on the subject, I rather expected it to be dry and worthy. It is completely the opposite. After the first few pages, it quickly picks up pace and is an absolute page turner. There are not many books that I find I cannot put down, but this was one of them. I won't pretend to understand everything, and there are many out of date references that go over my head, but the big message is loud and clear. Largely based on newspaper reports, often tracing the story over individual days, people thought they could not lose, and borrowed money to invest. Confidence slipped, and then crashed catastrophically.

It is easy now to imagine you would be immune to such folly, but by the end I could easily envisage myself getting caught up in the mood of the time.

On the minus side, the quality of the printing is poor, with smudgy text. This is not an economics text book, you might learn about the psychology of the time, and think about the economics, but it does not provide glib answers. However, the mark of a good book, it leaves you wanting to know more.