Earlier this year, in a flea market, I found an interesting book: Exchange, Prices and Production in Hyper-Inflation: Germany, 1920 – 1923, by Frank D. Graham (Princeton University Press, 1930).Download PDF
I had come across Professor Graham’s name on Mises.org, so I suspected the book might offer insights into these matters from a free-market perspective. The copy I bought had languished in a well-known university’s library for about 80 years and then been discarded — since some universities apparently are no longer in the business of preserving knowledge.
Frank Graham (d. 1944) was a Princeton economist. He lived in, as the old Chinese curse has it, “interesting times.” Generally, he supported free markets and free societies during a time when they were under unrelenting attack by jack-booted, collectivist intellectuals of various stripes.
What is unusual about Professor Graham’s 1930 book is that it views the events in Germany without foreknowledge of the Great Depression, the Nazi takeover, or the madness of the long-running Soviet state. In that sense, it is an innocent book. For instance, the professor makes a passing reference to what we now view as the market crash of 1929, but to him it is just another Wall Street panic, barely worth a mention — not yet known as the harbinger of nearly twenty years of depression and war. FULL ARTICLE by Ralph Fucetola