Tuesday, January 1, 2013
This is a work of popular history and Grant delves deep into the background of issues, such as the tariff, sometimes going to the early 18th century. The author is at his best when discussing economic and currency issues. These can be tricky topics and he handles them deftly. As a specialist in this era, I found these forays to be a diversion. In their place, I would have liked to have seen some deeper analysis of the issues and politics of the era. I realize I was not in Grant's intended audience, but I feel an awful lot of good scholarship has been done on the period and could have enhanced our understanding of Reed's era. Most of the books cited in the notes are older sources. Noticeably absent are the works of Sven Beckert, Richard Bensel, Charles Calhoun, Edward Crapol, Lewis Gould, Ari Hoogenboom, Jackson Lears, Allan Peskin, Joanne Reitano, Gretchen Ritter, Theda Skopol, Stephen Skowroneck, Mark Wahlren Summers, and Richard Welch, to cite some specific examples.