Very interesting content centered around a key period of HP company history written just at the time the Compaq merger happened. A decade of developments allows to understand the book in a different way and see the hubris in the decisions and the wisdom of some of the critics. Current HP soulsearching shows that the problems existing then went unresolved
However, severely lacking in objetivity and even handness, sounding at time like a PR piece on Carly Fiorina. Language is quite unfit for serious non-fiction and psychological analysis of characters is shallow and full of boosterism. On top of that overly-centered in the proxy contest of the Compaq merger
Would not be my first choice but an interesting read if you are interested in the period
As always with Barbara Tuchman a masterful, enlightening and instructive view on the selected period. In this case you get the feeling of living through the pre-war period. Some chapters are just an absolute please (e.g. first one on the English goverment & establishment, chapter on the Dreyfus affair in France). It is also commendable how taking ~8-9 different subjects and sticking to them the author manages to create a coherent tapestry of the period
American made is an incredible "tour de force" of primary materials of the WPA. Lots of first hand stories which bring to life what the depression and the WPA meant.
However, it is not without serious shortcomings that limit its interest. First, there is little structure to the story beyond a certain chronological and thematic outline so you are exposed to a long unstructured series of events. Second, it is completely one-sided and uncritical on Roosevelt and especially Harry Hopkins, at times even hagiographic. Finally, it has no thesis or lessons learnt beyond the fact that the WPA was important and relevant.
In summary, might be worthwhile for real buffs of Roosevelt, Hopkins or the New Deal. However, there are plenty of better history books (in general and on the period) that would be a much better use of their time for most people.
Very good explanation of economic principles for common people in a very approachable and engaging language. Contributes to close the huge knowledge gap that plagues our society in a topic so important for our everyday life. Would be interesting to know if people with absolutely no economic/business background find the book intelligible.
The author seems more of "laissez-faire" in ideology but maintains a more or less even keel throughout the book. Although Europeans and "big government" Americans might find some of the principles taken a bit further than the evidence seems to warrant, it is very thought provoking in many other points challenging existing orthodoxy and making it a wholly interesting read for anyone
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