Americana

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51lLZwmAJvL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_“Americana” by Bhu Srinivasan is a fun and thorough review of capitalism in America. Who knew the Mayflower was backed by English financiers? I thought the Puritans were fleeing religious prosecution and had no idea they were borrowing from their supposed prosecutors to fund their venture at 50% interest rates until finally buying creditors out. Srinivasan gives an informative and chronological review of US economic development, and in the process, provides the reader great insight into major commodities, industries, inventions and other sources of wealth. This is a very entertaining chronicle of the American approach to making money whether it be through tobacco, cotton, steam, railroads, oil, bootlegging, electricity, brewing, trusts, autos, homebuilding, or computer technology. Srinivasan presents a corresponding history of government policies implemented to rein in market excess and correct imbalances from federal tariffs to investment, guarantees, programs and contracts. making the salient point that our democracy has always required and relied upon regulation. It is thus with great pleasure, I recommend a book that Ayn Rand, Rand Paul and Paul Ryan would hate.

Nicole Charbonnet

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