Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
A thorough walkthrough of economic history & inflation, but strongly opinonated therefore questionable
am 10. August 2014
Fergusson does a great job in walking the reader through life in Austria and Germany in the years of inflation and hyperinflation, giving various examples how detrimental and beneficial it was for different groups of citizens, international speculators and companies. Apart from the style of writing, which turns tiresome at some point, it feels lively enough to give a good account of those days.
The problem lies in the sources the author uses, as I found it very biased and not well informed in terms of utilizing a wider array of sources. Therefore, the main view is very much from a British angle, and even more so, that only that particular view "got it right." Nevertheless, the view is still valuable, if read in a wider context.
What is really worrisome though is the authors distorted view of history as such. Maybe this is because there was not enough broad literature about the first world war by then when the author wrote it, or maybe because of other reasons I don't know. But given blatantly wrong statements, the whole value of the book becomes questionable. By reading statements about Germany like the following in context with Christopher Clark's "Sleepwalkers" the very opionated (and proven incorrect) view becomes obvious:
"The nation which learnt before all others to make a virtue of war"
"Spoils of conquest" in consideration of war mongering
"Stated intention to take over france's colonies"
"More than any other thread that links the two world wars, the history of the inflation is a reminder that for the nation which supremely promoted both of them..."
Summing it all up, if one does a wider and detailed study on inflation, this becomes a mandatory read. Otherwise, feel free to skip.