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A noted economic historian reveals the political and economic battle behind early America's first national debt and its continued legacy today Since the Revolutionary period, our leaders have warred over the role of debt and finance in building a great nation. In One Nation Under Debt, noted historian Robert E. Wright expertly explores the story of our first U.S. national debt, which arose during the Revolution and was extinguished during the presidency of Andrew Jackson. Throughout the book, he examines in detail the seminal events that spawned profound changes in the structure of the U.S. financial system and the nature of debt. The author first explains the political and economic importance of government debt markets. He then looks at the long-term development of national debt and the pro-debt views of Alexander Hamilton and those of critics like Thomas Jefferson. Wright also describes Andrew Jackson's complete repayment of the national debt-offering concrete lessons that can help in handling our current and future debt.
Robert E. Wright is the Rudy and Marlyn Nef Family Chair of Political Economy in the Division of Social Sciences at Augustana College and is a curator for the Museum of American Finance. He is the author of scores of articles, entries, reviews, and chapters, and has authored or coauthored nine books. Wright has written for Barron's, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Forbes.com, and other prominent publications, and has appeared on NPR, C-SPAN, and the BBC.