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The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression [Paperback]

Amity Shlaes
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 293 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (27 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061967645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061967641
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,375,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format:Paperback
‘The Forgotten Man Graphic Edition’ originally written by Amity Shlaes is comic adaptation of a bit controversial title ‘A New History of the Great Depression’ where its author who is one of the most respected economic analysts provided different interpretation of the time known as the Great Depression.

The importance of the book is primarily in the fact that it provides a different picture compared to what we were taught in the schools of this period; in same time being extremely informative about the Great Depression, it manages to somehow end the history myths that are usually connected with those times, mainly about the view on Roosevelt’s New Deal. What is certainly evident is amount of time author spent writing and researching her book, therefore it is not surprising that the result is such an interesting and extensive work, which is extremely important to consider from the historical and economic point of view.

Speaking about this graphic version, first I would say that the audience the author addresses is different from the one of text version - this edition will be more liked by younger people who may not have enough time or will to go through 500 pages of text, but also for those who love graphics novel in general because it certainly offers great illustrations and interesting story, especially for a person who has not read the original book.

The story is told from the perspective of Wendell Willkie, an executive who worked in utilities company, a man who ran against Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the election back in 1940. Willkie will introduce reader to the history of the Great Depression, though in moments his story can somehow seem disjointed, perhaps in this way also giving criticism how contradictory the New Deal policies actually were.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep scholarship and accessible learning -- not to mention a terrific idea 27 May 2014
By James Lucier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Here is incisive history in a graphic format that really captures the look and feel of the 1930s. It's totally original idea. It makes you wonder why more history books aren't presented this way, especially when they deal with a foundational period such as the 1930s that shapes our lives and experience to this day. I was a fan of the 480-page scholarly book, which should be the next step for anyone reading the graphic edition that has not read the big book first. Amity Shlaes presents an enormous number of personalities and situations in densely-researched, meticulously reported detail. The writing is lively, but here—wow! The personalities jump right off the page and the arc of the narrative takes off before your eyes. It's like watching a fine mosaic turn into a movie. I would recommend the Forgotten Man Graphic Edition for history buffs of any age, but I would recommend it particularly for university students getting interested in the field and secondly, for post-college adults who may have studied another areas and think that an ambitious, serious (and pathbreaking) work of social and economic history might be more than than they can handle. Yet with the Graphic Edition they can plow right in. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a significant number of new writers find their inspiration in this masterwork by Miss Shlaes. The more, the merrier, I say.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Those Who Don't Learn From the Past... 31 May 2014
By C. Bordelon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Amity Shlaes is an incredibly gifted researcher and articulate writer. Her original "The Forgotten Man" addresses the state of this country following the start of the Great Depression in August of 1929 and ran throughout the 30's, 40's, and until the mid-50's, and describes in an excellent analysis how the administrations and federal government did things which made the Depression worse and much longer through "The New Deal", which most Americans of all ideologies do not understand.

The New Deal was a series of domestic programs enacted in the United States between 1933 and 1936, and a few that came later. They included both laws passed by Congress as well as presidential executive orders during the first term (1933-37) of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were in response to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call the "3 Rs": Relief, Recovery, and Reform. That is Relief for the unemployed and poor; Recovery of the economy to normal levels; and Reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression. In the "First New Deal" of 1933-34, programs, such as the National Recovery Administration (NRA), sought to stimulate demand and provide work and relief through increased government spending. The Roosevelt Administration reacted by launching a rhetorical campaign against monopoly power, which was cast as the cause of the depression, and appointing Thurman Arnold to break up large trusts. Ignoring the pleas of the Treasury Department, Roosevelt embarked on an antidote to the depression, reluctantly abandoning his efforts to balance the budget and launching a $5 billion spending program in the spring of 1938 in an effort to increase mass purchasing power. Sound familiar? It failed.

Roosevelt's declining popularity in 1938 was evident throughout the US in the business community, the press, and the Senate and House. Many were labeling the recession the "Roosevelt Recession". We are now in the Obama Recession, and our economy is getting worse, not better. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Pub.L. 111-5), commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act. Taxpayers were charged $831 billion. Obama stated that if ARRA was not enacted the unemployment rate would exceed 9%; but if ARRA was enacted it would never exceed 8%. After ARRA became law, the actual unemployment rate exceeded 8% in February 2009, exceeded 9% in May 2009, and exceeded 10% in October 2009. The actual unemployment rate was 9.2% in June 2011 when it was projected to be below 7% with the ARRA. The unemployment rate has fallen to 6.3% for two primary reasons: part-time jobs are included in "employment" and 9 million Americans stopped looking for work, which explains the historically low labor participation rate.

Our current president has made comments on numerous occasions that he "looks forward, not into the past". His policy failures and regulations, many of which are unilateral executive actions intentionally bypassing Congress, have prevented an economic recovery and has resulted in the lowest labor participation since Jimmy Carter blundered his way through the disaster of his presidency. With a revised GDP of -1% for the quarter Jan-March 2014, it's more imperative for Americans of all political ideologies to read "The Forgotten Man" or this version to understand we do, in fact, need to learn from the past so we don't repeat the mistakes made by our leaders which resulted in the Great Depression and extended it until the early 1950's.

This is an educational book, #1 in Amazon in its category, and should be given as gifts - especially the Graphic Edition. Children should read it and try to discuss the information with their parents. After all, who is going to pay the $17.3 Trillion national debt? Our children and grandchildren, and their children.

Our president must be taught to look backwards and learn from the past. This book should be his starting point. Graphic Edition of course.
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal book; have never seen anything like it. 27 May 2014
By Nick S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an extraordinary book: A history of the Great Depression and New Deal illustrated like a comic book. It tells a lot of stories that you won't find in conventional histories, the stories of small businesspeople struggling through a difficult era.
The illustrations are marvelous---they really convey the times. I'm a book reader and haven't read many comic books, but I loved this one. Comic book lovers, of course, will love it too. For adults, this will be a novelty and revelation. For kids and teens, this will make American history fun.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very unique and well done look at the Great Depression. 29 May 2014
By James Crabtree - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved The Forgotten Man when it was first published and wondered, as many probably did, how a graphic novel could be made out of it. Well, Shlaes, Rivoche, and Dixon have done a stellar job. This book is a lot of fun to read and it flows very quickly. Highly recommend it to all who love history and economics. You've probably never seen a book like this before.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Appealing graphic adaption of work important to consider from the historical and economic point of view 2 Jun 2014
By Denis Vukosav - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
‘The Forgotten Man Graphic Edition’ originally written by Amity Shlaes is comic adaptation of a bit controversial title ‘A New History of the Great Depression’ where its author who is one of the most respected economic analysts provided different interpretation of the time known as the Great Depression.

The importance of the book is primarily in the fact that it provides a different picture compared to what we were taught in the schools of this period; in same time being extremely informative about the Great Depression, it manages to somehow end the history myths that are usually connected with those times, mainly about the view on Roosevelt’s New Deal. What is certainly evident is amount of time author spent writing and researching her book, therefore it is not surprising that the result is such an interesting and extensive work, which is extremely important to consider from the historical and economic point of view.

Speaking about this graphic version, first I would say that the audience the author addresses is different from the one of text version - this edition will be more liked by younger people who may not have enough time or will to go through 500 pages of text, but also for those who love graphics novel in general because it certainly offers great illustrations and interesting story, especially for a person who has not read the original book.

The story is told from the perspective of Wendell Willkie, an executive who worked in utilities company, a man who ran against Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the election back in 1940. Willkie will introduce reader to the history of the Great Depression, though in moments his story can somehow seem disjointed, perhaps in this way also giving criticism how contradictory the New Deal policies actually were.

Speaking about the artistic value, it is something where this book particularly shines – providing great black & white illustrations, author Paul Rivoche manages to serve extremely well book theme, so those that will judge the book only based on this aspect will be extremely satisfied.

Overall, with ‘The Forgotten Man Graphic Edition’ Amity Shlaes provided an appealing graphic adaption of work important to consider from the historical and economic point of view, which will be equally enjoyed by fans of comics, history and economics.
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