Adam Tooze: Crashed – A Decade of Financial Crises

In the spring semester 2021, the PPE Reading Group will discuss Adam Tooze’s book, Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World (2018).

Professor Tooze holds the Shelby Cullom Davis Chair of History and serves as Director of the European Institute at Columbia University. Professor Tooze is an award-winning economic historian. In 2019, the Foreign Policy Magazine named Professor Tooze as one of the top Global Thinkers of the decade. Professor Tooze will deliver the PPE Distinguished Public Lecture at Virginia Tech in April this year.

Professor Tooze’s book offers an eye-opening reinterpretation of the 2008 economic crisis and its ten-year aftermath as a global event that directly led to the shockwaves being felt around the world today.

We live in a world where dramatic shifts in the domestic and global economy command the headlines, from rollbacks in U.S. banking regulations to tariffs that may ignite international trade wars. But current events have deep roots, and the key to navigating today’s roiling policies lies in the events that started it all – the 2008 economic crisis and its aftermath. Despite initial attempts to downplay the crisis as a local incident, what happened on Wall Street beginning in 2008 was, in fact, a dramatic caesura of global significance that spiraled around the world, from the financial markets of the U.K. and Europe to the factories and dockyards of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, forcing a rearrangement of global governance.

With an eye for detail, connection, and consequence, Professor Tooze brings the story right up to today’s negotiations, actions, and threats – a much-needed perspective on a global catastrophe and its long-term consequences. The book won the Lionel Gelber Prize and was a New York Times notable book of 2018, one of the Economist’s Books of the Year, and a New York Times Critics’ Top Book.

The PPE Reading Group will take place via Zoom and is scheduled for every other Tuesday from 2:30-4:00pm. Participation is open to any interested student (whether already a PPE student or interested in becoming one) and selected faculty.

Please sign up with Gil Hersch ( at the beginning of the semester to receive Zoom meeting details and your book in time to read.

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