Sunday, February 21, 2010

What I've Been Reading

Back on November 2 of last year, my post was to a link at The Washington Post reviewing the book, The Great Depression: A Diary (link can be found on my carousel, at left). I indicated I would review the book when done. Luckily, someone got the book for me for Christmas and I just finished it.

I can only repeat my recommendation, especially for anyone who teaches this era of American History. It was engaging and it was a short read. You may even want to consider using the book as an ancillary text for the course, or if you have a course that is restricted to this period, add it to your text list. I think it would even be usable with junior high/middle school students provided they are reading at or near grade level.

However, the book has some additional utility - at least in my opinion. The author of the diary was using the economic downturn as an opportunity to teach himself about finance. As he watches, studies and learns, he enters his thoughts in his journal. There are no earth-shattering revelations on money management; just sound, basic (some would characterize it as risk-averse - I disagree) principles that can be integrated into a personal finance course. Consequently, the book provides a number of ways to integrate personal finance principles with history and economics. There is even political commentary. (I suspect the author would get along well with Amity Shlaes, author of The Forgotten Man. But that's good company.)

The book is still on my carousel, so if you're inclined to purchase it, please consider that channel. Aside from the commercial plug, I think many of you will find this book useful. I welcome your comments.

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