Veblen has been claimed and rejected both by sociologists and economists as being one of theirs. He enriched and attacked both disciplines, as he did so many others: philosophy, history, social psychology, politics, and linguistics. Because he took all knowledge as necessary and relevant to adequate understanding, Veblen was a holistic analyst of the social process.
First published in 1904, this classic analysis of the U.S. economy has enduring value today. In it, Veblen posited a theory of business fluctuations and economic growth which included chronic depression and inflation. He predicted the socioeconomic changes that would occur as a result: militarism, imperialism, fascism, consumerism, and the development of the mass media as well as the corporate bureaucracy. Douglas Dowd's introduction places the volume within the traditions of both macroeconomics and microeconomics, tracing Veblen's place among social thinkers, and the place of this volume in the body of his work.