Shlaes, Amity. Great Society. New York: Harper, 2019. ISBN 978-0-06-170642-4.
Adam Smith wrote, “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation”—even though nations and their rulers may adopt ruinous policies for a while, a great nation has deep resources and usually has time to observe the consequences, change course, and restore sound governance. But, as this book shows, the amount of ruin in a nation is not unlimited, and well-intended policies which fundamentally change the character of the citizenry and their relationship to the state can have ruinous consequences that cast a long shadow and may not be reversible. Between 1960 and 1974, under three presidents: Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, the United States, starting from peace and prosperity unprecedented in the human experience, reached for greatness and tragically embraced top-down, centrally-planned, deficit-spending funded, and socialist (in all but the forbidden name), policies which, by the mid 1970s, had destroyed prosperity, debased the dollar and unleashed ruinous inflation, wrecked the world's monetary system, incited urban riots and racial strife, created an unemployable underclass, destroyed neighbourhoods and built Soviet-style public housing in their place, and set into motion the destruction of domestic manufacturing and the middle class it supported. It is a tragic tale, an utterly unnecessary destruction of a once-great nation, as this magnificently written and researched but unavoidably depressing history of the era recounts.

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