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Charles P. Kindleberger was a well-known economic historian and I have no doubt that he knew his stuff, but this book is in dire need of editing. On one page, I counted the phrase "the invisible hand" three times, in addition, his writing style seems disjointed, hard to follow at times. He also assumes a knowledge of arcane financial crises over the centuries and references them without giving any background.

I am not an economist, I'm a general reader with a reasonable knowledge of economics and I found this book to be a tough read, partly due to my ignorance of the aforementioned financial crises and partly due to the fragmented, dry style of writing. Two chapters, one of which deals with a domestic lender of last resort and the other which deals with an international lender of last resort were quite interesting and saved the book, in my opinion. These chapters dealt with central banks and the IMF and I wish that Kindleberger had spent more time on these topics.

You may want to check this book out of your local library rather than buying it, it has some good insight into crowd behaviour (manias) and the role of government in containing and cleaning up after bubbles, however, while reading the book is a fairly good investment of time, buying it might not be as rational.
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