The Founding Fortunes: How the Wealthy Paid for and Profited from America’s Revolution

St. Martin’s. Jan. 2020. 352p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781250164766. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250170743. HIST
Schachtman (How the French Saved America) examines economics from the end of the French and Indian War (1754–63) to the War of 1812, when the Americans and British contested authority over the eastern portion of the United States. Economic policy questions about control over land and sea, taxation, and awarding of governmental contracts emerge as themes throughout. Shachtman uses both primary and secondary sources to deliver a macroassessment of American economics during this period, with a focus on the merchants and political leaders of the time. What’s lacking is a picture of the lower social classes who played a vital role in the country’s formation.
VERDICT Overall, the work presents a commendable treatment of pecuniary matters during this country’s embryonic stages and is recommended for readers interested in fiscal matters and American economic habits.

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