A Great Leap Forward - Field, Alexander J. - Yale University Press

Series Information
Yale Series in Economic and Financial History

A Great Leap Forward

1930s Depression and U.S. Economic Growth

  • Alexander J. Field
      REVIEWS             PREVIEW             CONTENTS             EXCERPTS      

Out of Print.

Winner of the 2012 Alice Hanson Jones Biennial Prize, sponsored by the Economic History Association

Winner of the 2012 National Book Award in the Social Sciences, sponsored by Alpha Sigma Nu.

Selected as a 2011 Choice Outstanding Academic Title in the Economics category.

This bold re-examination of the history of U.S. economic growth is built around a novel claim, that productive capacity grew dramatically across the Depression years (1929-1941) and that this advance provided the foundation for the economic and military success of the United States during the Second World War as well as for the golden age (1948-1973) that followed. 

Alexander J. Field takes a fresh look at growth data and concludes that, behind a backdrop of double-digit unemployment, the 1930s actually experienced very high rates of technological and organizational innovation, fueled by the maturing of a privately funded research and development system and the government-funded build-out of the country's surface road infrastructure. This significant new volume in the Yale Series in Economic and Financial History invites new discussion of the causes and consequences of productivity growth over the last century and a half and on our current prospects.

Alexander J. Field is the Michel and Mary Orradre Professor of Economics, Santa Clara University, and executive director of the Economic History Association.