Episode #23: Calvin Coolidge and the Self-Made Scholar

Apr 11, 2019 |  Peter Wood

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Episode #23: Calvin Coolidge and the Self-Made Scholar

Apr 11, 2019 | 

Peter Wood

In this episode, Amity Shlaes and I walk through the 1920s and ’30s. Were the ’20s a champagne bubble bound to pop? Did the New Deal make the Great Depression worse?

Amity is the author of four New York Times bestselling books—including a biography of Calvin Coolidge—and the chair of the board of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation. Her book The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression won the Hayek Prize and was also turned into a graphic novel. She is a former member of the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board.

Amity and I discuss whether young scholars and writers need to go to graduate school, and how President Coolidge became a lawyer without attending law school. Amity advises aspiring journalists to learn a trade (and explains why journalism is not a trade). And she describes a dissertation topic some entrepreneurial scholar should take up, on bank architecture and economic policy.

Listen through to the end to hear us discuss The Coolidge Scholarship, a full-tuition merit-based scholarship to any university in the United States.

Alfred S Townsend

| April 13, 2019 - 9:39 AM


In addition to my marmalade, this interview was a most fruitful way to start my day.  Professor Shlaes’s knowledgeable and articulate comments were edifying and reminded me that I must renew my NAS membership. Thank you Peter Wood and Amity Shlaes.