“A thoughtful, well-written argument for Alexander Hamilton’s financial system as a guard against tyranny.” — Kirkus Reviews
by Nancy Spannaus
Aug. 8, 2019–The opening quote is the conclusion of the Kirkus review of Hamilton Versus Wall Street, which was released this evening, and is now posted on their website. Kirkus Reviews (established 1933) is one of the major book review companies in the United States, and a major source for libraries, publishers, and bookstores. The Indie division is specially for self-published authors like myself. I’m pleased to publish the review in its entirety below. More information and additional reviews can be found on my blog, www.americansystemnow.com
HAMILTON VERSUS WALL STREET The Core Principles of the American System of Economics
Nancy Bradeen Spannaus
iUniverse (244 pp.) $13.99 paperback, $5.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1-5320-6754-9; February 16, 2019
A Hamilton enthusiast argues for his significance and contrasts his views with today’s world of finance.
In this debut history book, Spannaus builds on online writings about Alexander Hamilton’s political and financial theses to argue that he was and continues to be a driving force in shaping the American financial system and that—contrary to popular opinion—he would be more likely to oppose today’s shareholder value-driven business climate than to feel at home on 21st-century Wall Street. The book makes the case for Hamilton’s continuing relevance by arguing that his theories served as the basis for Abraham Lincoln’s and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s policies, as well as those of several other countries, while Hamilton’s distance from Adam Smith sets the stage for an assessment of his opinions on modern corporations. Hamilton’s writings, particularly the Report on Manufactures, provide much of the basis for the book’s solid (if occasionally overenthusiastic, e.g., “Alexander Hamilton’s banking system was not British!”) analysis. However, the inclusion of active hyperlinks (i.e., “click here” in a physical book is sloppy, and it detracts from Spannaus’ effort to connect the reader to the book’s substantial base of primary and secondary historical sources. On the whole, though, Spannaus is a strong writer, making discussions of economic theory accessible and displaying a clear passion for her subject: “Now that Hamilton’s American System of economics has been virtually erased from popular memory, there is a real danger that our government will either collapse or cease to be a republic.” The book concludes with a Hamilton-inspired convincing proposal for a new infrastructure bank, an appropriate coda to a full-bodied and plausibly argued defense of his original vision for commerce in the United States.
A thoughtful, well-written argument for Alexander Hamilton’s financial system as a guard against tyranny.
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