Not since Charles and Mary Beard's Rise of American Civilization has a narrative been written for the general reader and student alike that so superbly explicates the origins of American capitalism. Arguing that the central fact explaining the success of the American experiment is the development of the economy, the distinguished economic historian Stuart Bruchey shows the reciprocal relationship between economic growth and values, law, and social and political change, as well as between economic development ad the more traditional variables of capital, labor, and resources.
Bruchey (economic history, Columbia), offers a comprehensive account of American capitalism from the settlement of Jamestown to the 1980s, covering the development of agrarian, manufacturing, and banking economies. He justifies the historically unequal distribution of wealth in America by arguing that the national wealth created by entrepreneurs has helped many other people, including ``even . . . slaves, at least on plantations in the Southwest.'' America's recent decline in economic growth, says Bruchey, is due to such factors as tax policies that encourage consumption rather than savings; complacency by American industry; and large defense expenditures. The book nicely complements Robert Nagle's American Conservatism: An Illustrated History ( LJ 6/15/89), which is more a political than economic narrative. Bruchey's work makes substantial use of statistical data and secondary sources. It is a recommended addition for public and academic libraries.-- David Steiniche, Missouri Western State Coll., St. Joseph
Twelve accounts of interpretive research projects in developmental, clinical, social, and educational psychology demonstrate the practical and methodological aspects of such study. The three sections cover: the discovering of a workable perspective, conducting an inquiry within the adopted perspective, and critiquing results. The introduction compares hermeneutic (interpretive) views with those of empiricism and rationalism. Paperback edition ($17.95) unseen. Bruchey (emeritus, economic history, Columbian U.) brings together 20 years of research to explicate the origins of American capitalism and show the reciprocal relationship between economic growth and values, law, and social and political change, as well as between economic development and the more traditional variables of capital, labor, and resources. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)