Chapter 11: Herbert Stein
Herbert Stein was an economist who wore many hats in his career. He was an academic, an economist working for the government on several tours of duty, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors from January 1, 1972 through August 3 1, 1974, and a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal and other publications. To me, his writing style and his presentation of economic ideas had an elegant simplicity that I found to be both interesting and enlightening. I wanted him to apply these talents to interpreting the events of the Great Depression as well. Given the high regard in which I held the way and manner in which he expressed his views on sociaVeconomic problems and their solutions, I wanted his take on the economics of the interwar era. We spoke in his office at The American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC in September 1997. He passed away in the fall of 1999. Would you state where you were born and when and what you were doing during the Great Depression? Well, I was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1916. So if we start with the Great Depression, from 1929 to 193 1 I was in high school in Schenectady, New York. From 1931 to 1935 I was in college at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and from 1935 to 1938 I was at the University of Chicago mainly, with some time off. In 1938 I moved down to Washington. So that’s my life during the Depression....
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