My second source evaluation is Monopolies in America: Empire Builders and Their Enemies from Jay Gould to Bill Gates by Charles R. Geisst, specifically chapter 3 (page 77) which focuses on the 1920-1930 era. Charles R. Geisst was the first Chair in business at Manhattan College, a professor of global economics and finance and the author of 19 books. The chapter I want to focus on specifically includes many themes I want to explore further in my research of the topic. Firstly was the financial trends in American culture at the time, where the people were in the mood to spend and spend in what appeared to be a time of great prosperity while in reality, the wages of the average worker were dropping. One example the book gives (page 93) is that of the F. W. Woolworth Company which reported profit margins of 20% but in reality was lowering the wages of salesgirls in their stores. These trends of false confidence in the economy are definitely a thread I want to explore further. Additionally, xenophobia and racism was on the rise nationally. The numerous divisions and diversion distracted the country from mergers were growing at an unprecedented rate. An additional source I looked at to examine the economics in the 1920’s was from the Economic History Association. The article by Gene Smiley from Marquette University provides many useful charts and graphics that give insight to the the economic trends of the time and their cultural influence. These two sources should help me learn specifically about the connections between the financial and cultural shaping of America during the 1920’s.
Geisst, Charles R. Monopolies in America: empire builders and their enemies, from Jay Gould to Bill Gates. Oxford: Oxford U Press, 2000. Print.
Smiley, Gene. “The U.S. Economy in the 1920s.” EHnet. Economic History Association, n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2017.