Paradis recognizes the unique character of today's inflation but' his descriptive/historical survey will fail anyone seeking to understand how and why the current situation differs from the classic textbook spiral. Long dramatized vignettes show how post-Revolutionary farmers and Wall Street brokers in 1929 reacted to those historical crashes and how inflation affects different segments of the population (the poor, pensioners. . .) today. But theory is limited to a quick gloss of Keynesian economics and stern warnings on the national debt and the inflationary potential of government domestic spending. (In fairness, Paradis does not slight the social importance of welfare, conservation and other programs, but defense programs receive proportionately less criticism.) International trade and monetary theory are barely introduced; nor is there any hint of why the financial pages have become increasingly preoccupied with the glitter of gold. Worst of all, the text is pre-energy crisis, and firmly but erroneously (because the cut-off date for statistics is 1972) assures us that the average consumer's real buying power has continued to increase despite inflation. Already outdated, alas.