Summary of The Great Boom

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The Great Boom book summary


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How did the modern United States get so rich? Robert Sobel presents an overview of American history from the end of World War II to the present, focusing on the economic, social, and technological developments that built wealth in America. The book is an engaging read, especially for anyone who grew up in the early ’40s or ’50s. Sobel, a professor of business history, wrestles a mass of historical data to the ground, though he sometimes daunts the reader with long, complex sentences or over-ambitious clumps of information. The book unfolds thematically, sometimes skipping about chronologically, so you might wish for charts or graphics that clarify time frames and supplementary material. You’ll get over that, as you become absorbed in this otherwise excellent, thoughtful book, which getabstract recommends for its skillful weaving of familiar historical facts and insightful analysis.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the post-World War II generation in the U.S. successfully accumulated wealth;
  • How education and home ownership contributed to this wealth; and
  • How the U.S. economy, and consumerism, boomed in the 1950s.

About the Author

Robert Sobel died in June 1999, was the Lawrence Stessin Distinguished Professor of Business History at Hofstra University. He wrote many books on business and finance, including IBM: Colossus in Transition and The Pursuit of Wealth.



The Beginnings of the Great Boom
Ironically, the World War II or GI generation came out of the war with limited aspirations. They expected to "become wealthy enough to pay off the mortgage on a fairly modest home, take vacations overseas, send their offspring to private colleges, ...

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