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Coolidge in The Economist: "When Less Led To More"

February 23, 2013 by Jacqueline Lowe

"Calvin Coolidge and The Great Depression: When less led to more" in The Economist reviews the new biography Coolidge by 4% Growth Project Director Amity Shlaes.


"American readers who believe intervention to be a good thing are likely to blanch at a controversial new biography of Coolidge by Amity Shlaes, an American columnist and historian of the Depression. However, if they are brave enough to read on they will also discover a presidency of remarkable achievement that has received too little attention. During Coolidge’s tenure American debt fell by one-third, the tax rate by half and unemployment collapsed."


The Economist review, and Shlaes' biography, examines not only the presidency of Calvin Coolidge, but his upbringing and the philosophy that guided "the great refrainer". The 30th president can be remembered as much for what he did not do than for what he did - demonstated in Coolidge's own famous words: "It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones".


The review notes the economic state of the country before and after President Coolidge and concludes, " Ms. Shlaes’s biography provides a window onto an unfairly tarnished period. It deserves to be widely read."

Read the full article here.