"The Age of Turbulence" is part biography and part economic treatise. In the first part, Greenspan tells the saga of his youth, education and gradual professional development. The narrative of his relationships with Ayn Rand, Arthur Burns and others introduces the reader to the concept of how a familiarity with innovative thinkers can direct a life and career. As a business major in college, I find the story of the life work of an economist to be fascinating. A reader with less interest in business may find it to be boring. Greenspan then progresses into the memoirs of his service on the Council of Economic Advisors and as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. As an amateur historian, I became engrossed in his memories of service with presidents from Nixon to George W. Bush. His intimate analysis of them, including his characterization of Nixon and Clinton as the smartest with whom he worked, is instructive. His narratives on recent history from an economic viewpoint present the issues with which we have lived in a unique perspective. His discrete stories about his relationships with his mother and wife, Andrea Mitchell, keep the work grounded in real life.
The latter parts of the book consist of Greenspan's views on the economic conditions and prospects in nations and regions of the world followed by his analyses of anticipated opportunities and challenges expected to confront the U.S. economy in the foreseeable future.
This book is well written. The biographical portions will be fascinating to anyone with an interest in recent national and economic history. This section may justify the purchase in itself. Elements of the later sections dealing with economics will require a greater than common understanding of economic theory and methods to keep the eyes from glazing over. Even if you do not finish the book, the early portions will make the effort worthwhile.