What Leads to What

Last fall, when they stopped in New York on their way to vacation in Europe, Chronicles editor Chilton Williamson and his wife invited Taki and me to dinner.  Before the wine started flowing and Taki’s raconteurial skills became the primary entertainment, Chilton mentioned his desire for more reviews of books of economic history in the magazine.  Unknown to Chilton, one of my Ph.D. exam fields happened to be economic history.  I volunteered to help him fill this void in Chronicles’ otherwise broad coverage.  Between the sloshing wine and several off-color jokes by Taki, Chilton expanded my reportorial duties to include this neglected academic field.

When Adam Tooze’s latest book, Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World, hit bookstores this past August, I suggested I review it to Chilton.  He immediately agreed.  Within days the gargantuan review copy landed with a thud like a stack of foreclosure notices on my doorstep.  Tooze, the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of History at Columbia University, has racked up numerous prizes for his important works on the post-World War I global order (The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931) and the Nazi economy (The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy). ...

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