The Rise and Fall of American Growth

The Rise and Fall of American Growth

The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War

Book - 2016
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Examines the economic growth of the United States since the Civil War, arguing that the rate of growth between 1870 and 1970 cannot be repeated and that a number of issues are further stagnating the already slow rate of productivity growth.
Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2016]
ISBN: 9780691147727
Branch Call Number: 339.42 Gordon
HD6983 .G69 2016
Characteristics: xii, 762 pages : illustrations : 24 cm


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Sep 13, 2017

It's a large book but makes for a fascinating read.

It really clarified what life was like in the recent past. I found it very eye opening to realize that our present lifestyles have only existed for about a hundred years; before that was extremely different.

This book will do two things for you. One it will inoculate you against romanticising the past. And two, you'll come to see that we are not in a modern-life steady-state. Technology change is ongoing, history is in play.

Jul 16, 2017

This is an important and fascinating book, which won many rewards. Novels and movies about life in the 19th century usually show upper-class people, with an army of servants. The movies do not show the tons of manure on the streets. This book shows us life as it was for ordinary people, not something I would want to share. He describes the miraculous progress since 1870, such as electricity and radio. He has gloomy predictions for the future, which need not come to pass, if this country can muster the will to heal the sick, educate our young people, and prevent roasting the planet, among other recommendations. The writing is sometimes quite technical. I looked up in Google all the terms I do not know. "Log ratio" is the constant in the exponent for exponential growth. I do not understand how Gross Domestic Product is calculated, especially how to measure output in health and education. My only complaint is a reference to a book by Charles Murray, whose scholarship I do not respect. I recommend this book to everybody.

Mar 25, 2016

May be one of the most important books on American social and economic history to appear in recent years. Paints a detailed and fascinating picture of how profoundly life changed in the century, 1870 to 1970. Makes the case that, in the decades to come, it will be difficult to match the level of economic growth Americans experienced up to 1970. May sound like heavy reading, but there is a lot in this book for curious general readers with an interest in American social history. I hadn't thought before about how how much water women had to carry into and out of the house, in the days before indoor plumbing. Or about the tons of manure horses deposited, every day, on urban streets.


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