• Meltdown

  • A Look at Why the Economy Tanked and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse
  • By: Thomas E. Woods Jr.
  • Narrated by: Alan Sklar
  • Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (621 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The media tells us that "deregulation" and "unfettered free markets" have wrecked our economy and will continue to make things worse without a heavy dose of federal regulation. But the real blame lies elsewhere.

In Meltdown, best-selling author Thomas E. Woods, Jr., unearths the real causes behind the collapse of housing values and the stock market---and it turns out the culprits reside more in Washington than on Wall Street. And the trillions of dollars in federal bailouts? Our politicians' ham-handed attempts to fix the problems they themselves created will only make things much worse.

Woods, a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and winner of the 2006 Templeton Enterprise Award, busts the media myths and government spin. He explains how government intervention in the economy---from the Democratic hobby horse called Fannie Mae to affirmative action programs like the Community Redevelopment Act---actually caused the housing bubble. Most important, Woods, author of the New York Times best seller The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, traces this most recent boom-and-bust---and all such booms and busts of the past century---back to one of the most revered government institutions of all: the Federal Reserve System, which allows busybody bureaucrats and ambitious politicians to pull the strings of our financial sector and manipulate the value of the very money we use.

Meltdown, which features a foreword by Congressman Ron Paul (R - Texas), also provides a timely history lesson to counter the current clamor for a new New Deal. The Great Depression, Woods demonstrates, was only as deep and as long as it was because of the government interventions by Herbert Hoover (no free-market capitalist, despite what your high-school history teacher may have taught you) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (no savior of the American economy, in spite of what the mainstream media says). If you want to understand what caused the fi...

©2009 Thomas E. Woods, Jr. (P)2009 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Provocative, well-written, and deserves to be read." ( Catholic Historical Review)
"Well written, well researched, and the thesis put forth is well argued." ( Journal of American History)

What listeners say about Meltdown

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

...A Must Read!

This is a wake up call Americans! Our gov't is either inept or criminal,.. or both. Tom Woods lays it all out so anyone can understand. I listened to the whole thing without stopping. It will captivate and anger you.

Listen and then call or e-mail your elected officials!

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Meltdown makes Lava Economics Easy to Understand

Meltdown is a book that every red blooded American that works hard or not needs to listen to or read this book NOW. It's forwarded by the Congressman from TX, (D) Ron Paul, who endorses the book with vigor. This book goes through step by step why the bailout will only prolong the recession and even worse- depression! But seriously if you want to know what you are not hearing in the mainstream news media, print or even radio read this book which articulates complex subjects into easy to understand English.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible

This book summarizes the works of Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, and F.A. Hayek in one succinct text. I am not an economist, but wanted more information about what the heck was going on at the end of last year. I read "Atlas Shrugged", then "Capitalism: an unknown ideal" by Ayn Rand. That took me to Mises' "Human Action" and then Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom". A must-read book by Henry Hazlitt was thrown in there called "Economics in One Lesson". Woods is brilliant...if you don't have the time or the will to read the above, you NEED to at least read this book. Thank God for the Austrian School of Economics!

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Easy to understand, because its full of TRUTH

Good narration, very well written, without hyperbole. I have good knowledge of economics, but my wife does not, and she was able to follow along well. I highly recommend this selection.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Biting and brilliant

The author demolishes the standard Keynesian and monetarist models and delivers a straightforward and insightful Austrian approach to today's economic times.

His indictment of the Fed alone is worth the price of the book. The title for this chapter is telling: "The Elephant in the Living Room."

Even more importantly, chapter 4 "How Government Causes the Boom-Bust Cycle," is the best layman's explanation of Austrian Business Cycle Theory I have found. Presented clearly and cogently, even Paul Krugman could understand it were he so inclined.

Solid theory backing solid solutions, an A+ for content.

About production, Alan Sklar's narration is wonderful. Best I've heard, full stop.

He actually seems to have read the book beforehand and gotten a sense of the author's tone and style prior to recording.* Rather than the boring monotone of so many other readers, he invests the text with life and offers a vibrant rendition of the text.

Thank you Messrs. Woods and Sklar for offering the top combination of content and production I have yet to come across.

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* Yes, as some other reviewers have mentioned, Woods has a bit of sarcasm in his writing. When one deals with ideas which should have been put out of our misery many years ago but somehow keep showing up like zombies in a drive-in theater, a bit of leeway might be allowed for the positive unbelief that these ideas still hold sway in so many "educated" circles. =/

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

If only I could give it ZERO Stars!

What a crock of drivel!

Good grief, the narrator doesn't even attemmpt to make it sound anything other than partisan hogwash. Oh, that nasty government! How dare those poor people try to buy homes?

About the only thing we can agree on is that the current policies of blindly paying off Wall Street, while selling our manufacturing base down the river, is wrong.

If you're trying to undertsand the current crisis, this is not the the place to start.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Awakening

I have a masters in economics and thus see myself as knowing my fair share on the subject. I knew of Keynes, the Austrian school, the New Deal, the Japanese recession and about the gold standard before, but this book really gave me a theory I could accept as plausible.

I read Paul Krugmans "The Return of Depression Economics" and compared to "Meltdown" Krugmans theory for a solution does just not hold as much weight as the Austrian theory. The worrying thing is that USA now seems to go for Krugmans "easy fix" (=illusion) instead of accepting the inconvenient truth.

USA now seems to be in for another "lost decade" together with Japan and with its second one...

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A layman's opinion

I liked how this book revealed the feds involvement. I thought it was going to be more inflammatory regarding the party politics; putting responsibility on one and ignoring the others. Thankfully it was not.

Do not buy this to hear how the republicans got us in this mess and the democrats are the ones to save us. It will take a new way of thinking from everyone involved to get out of this and as partisan as politics are today I am not sure the ppl currently serving us are up for the job.

As far as the tone of the narrator goes: I would not have been able to make it through the text version of an economics book but I really liked how the narrator handled himself. After the book I went to thomasewoods.com and listened to the author himself, I believe the sarcasm was intended. Just a normal reading of the book would have not been able to get the same message across.

now i hope we can get "The United States Constitution" in an audio book

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Read this book!

Forget about 'derivatives' and the other esoteric culprits for the economic collapse of 2008-2009. The real reason is much simpler than that and Woods skillfully explains why. Woods is an historian who delivers a compelling narrative that hearing, you just know he would have been one of your favorite teachers if you had been in his class.
I was so impressed by it that I have bought and given out many copies of this book. Read it. Highest reviews.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Meltdown: A Look at Why the Economy Tanked

I am predisposed to agree with the author's views but they are so poorly presented and the narrator is so patronizing that this book will anger more people than it converts. The views expressed are important but many readers will be driven away. One star was the least available.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Frank
  • Frank
  • 04-05-10

My first Audible book

This was my first Audible book I purchased.
Since then I have purchased and listened to 15 books.
This still remains my favourite and I have listened to it 3 times.
Gives you an insight of the Federal Reserve.My first introduction to Austrian Economics.
A must book to read to get an understanding of the world economic crisis.

2 people found this helpful