The Cinder Buggy

The Cinder Buggy

A Fable in Iron and Steel

By:

Garet Garrett

Book Club members' rating

Click any button below to buy or to see prices and Amazon reviews:

Book club members only: click here to join the discussion!


Log in to add to wishlist, library or to rate the book

Summary

Garet Garrett's fiction deals with the social impact of economic transformations. In The Driver, he deals with railroads, while Satan's Bushel examines agricultural. The Cinder Buggy, his second in the trilogy, is the longest of the three and his true epoch novel and unforgettable masterpiece. With a great story, and tremendous literary passion, it chronicles the transformation of America from the age of iron to the age of steel.

It covers the period between 1820 and 1870 and its dramatic technology march. The plot concerns an ongoing war between two industrialists, one the hero who is beaten in the first generation and the other who is malevolent but initially wins a first round in the competitive drive. The struggle continues through the second generation, which leads to a titanic battle over whether steel or iron would triumph and why.

Wrought iron is what made New Damascus tick and the two men who made it happen were named Aaron Breakspeare and Enoch Gib. Aaron is beloved but not a great businessmen. He dreamed of the steel age but failed to make it happen. Enoch is a good businessman but dour and widely loathed for his miserliness and treatment of others. A feud over a banker's daughter leads to the initial dissolution of the partnership, and the son of the resulting union, John Breakspeare, returns to New Damascus to enter the iron business.

This leads to a fascinating repeat of events that causes another dissolution, this one more bitter and shocking than the last. The feud continues over iron and then over steel until steel wins the victory after many fits and starts. In the course of the story, the reader discovers how it is that technology has such a dramatic effect on society, and how risk and entrepreneurship are at the very heart of it all.

Whereas this genre of fiction usually deals with real war, Garrett employs every literary device to make commerce itself the setting for great acts of courage, heroism, sacrifice, and tragedy. And as with his other books, the central mover of events here is the price system. It is the signal for and cause of the most notable changes in the plot. The reader discovers economics in a way that might otherwise not be possible, and it is hard to imagine that anyone would come away with anything but love of the whole subject of enterprise.

Garrett does not portray the market as some idealized utopia. We have here the full range of human emotion and motivation at work: arrogance, pride, malice, love, compassion, jealousy, rage, and everything else. What is striking is that all these emotions play themselves out in a setting that is ultimately peaceful. No one can fully control price movements, and it is these that act to reward virtues and punish vices.

We also have here a realistic portrayal of the truth about innovation. It is not enough to come up with a good idea. That idea must be embodied in real production that takes place in a cost-reducing way, and then marketed in the service of society. The unity of technology, accounting, and marketing must all come together to make possible such things as technological revolutions.

There has never been, before or since, economic fiction that can compare with the super-high quality standards set by Garrett in these smashing novels. The Cinder Buggy could easily be considered the best of his work in this area. It is a wonderful novel for anyone who loves, or wants to more deeply understand, American history, economic theory, and the place of technology in the molding of society.

Summary courtesy of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. The Mises Institute is the premier organization in support of the free market, peace and prosperity. They provide free educational material, books audio books, lectures and courses that free your mind. This site would not exist were it not for the generosity, hard work and dedication of the Mises Institute, its employees, fellows and its benefactors. Books of Liberty is eternally grateful to all of their work and efforts. Please consider supporting the Mises Institute in any way you can.

Great Deals!

Do you want to get this and many other paperback/hardcover books delivered fast and free? Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial or give the Gift of Amazon Prime to someone who'd love it!

The FREE Kindle Reading App lets you read your favorite eBooks on most devices (PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc.). Click here to get the FREE Kindle Reading App.
However, you could read this and countless other books on a brand new Kindle E-reader for less than the price of a cup of coffee per week. Click here to choose your favorite Kindle E-reader.
And the best thing is that most Books of Liberty eBooks are actually available through Kindle Unlimited. Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial to read from over 1 million ebooks and listen to thousands of audiobooks, all for one fixed, low price.

Read or listen for free

Buy elsewhere

Tags

Similar Books

loading

Related Starting Points

History

One of the most popular topics on this site, history, is a fascinating subject to read. Given the nature of this site it didn’t quite make sense to create a category of ‘revisionist history’ since most of the history books featured are of that nature. Sure enough, we have uncontested historical accounts of various historical events, but when you search for history and drill further down into a specific topic (such as various wars, Pearl Harbor, The New Deal or the Great Depression), you are going to get intellectually honest ‘revisionist’ accounts of these events.

While you may expand your history search by historical event or by selecting US history or the history of some other area or nation, we have classified the history texts by period as well. You can indulge your curiosity if you are an avid reader of one of or more of the following periods: Antiquity, Biblical period, Classical period, Medieval period or the Middle ages, Early modern period, the Renaissance, or specifically within the last few hundred years, as grouped by: 16th Century, 17th Century, 18th Century, 19th Century, or the 20th Century.

And speaking of indulging yourself, with several dozen books on conspiracy theories, you may brush up on such topics as 9/11, the New World Order, False Flag operations, or on the Kennedy deaths, or various institutions and secret societies like The Illuminati, The Freemasons, Bilderberg Group, Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations, Tavistock Institute, or even Skull & Bones.

A note from the curator: The variety of history courses within Liberty Classroom, including two US History courses, two Western Civilization courses, and many (many!) more will, no doubt, make you as big of a fan of Liberty Classroom as I am. The Western Civilization courses are also available to students of the Ron Paul Curriculum homeschool program along with many other courses you will not find in public schools (or most private schools either).

In full transparency, I have no direct experience in homeschooling but if you want your kids to learn the real history you were never taught, you can’t get much better than providing them Ron Paul’s program. Books of Liberty is happy to promote both these programs in exchange for a small advertising fee because I cannot reiterate enough what terrific history resources these programs are.


Economics

The economics category, as expected, is very well represented within the pages of this site. Of all the economics books, around half are explicitly Austrian Economics texts, and (with a significant overlap) around half discuss monetary theory. You may search specifically for economic treatises or books about economists; you will find historical or theoretical accounts of financial crises; you will stumble upon recent books on crypto-currencies (like bitcoin), books covering topics like income or wealth inequality, as well as more technical subjects like price theory, monopoly, division of labor, public choice theory and others. Additionally, critiques of Keynesian economics are to be found throughout the books in this category.

Of the Austrian Economics books, the largest portion discuss The Austrian Business Cycle and praxeology or human action, but you will find many covering to one degree or another topics like time preference, capital and interest, subjective value, and economic calculation, to name a few.

And for those interested in currency or money, whether sound money or fiat money, you will find books arguing the benefits of the gold standard, debates on inflation and deflation, banking, central banks and the Federal Reserve specifically.

At the heart of the free market system of unregulated, voluntary trade stands capitalism and its emphasis on private property. Unsurprisingly, a large collection of books are available on this subject, many of which outline quite clearly the fundamentals and the outcomes of capitalism, especially in contrast to other economic systems like socialism. Additional related topics, such as free trade, decentralization, risk, uncertainty, and the market process can be found in such books.

A note from the curator: Liberty Classroom provides courses like: Austrian Economics Step by Step, two courses on the History of Economic Thought, and What’s Wrong with Textbook Economics, to name a few. With courses like these, how can you not become a fan of Liberty Classroom? I know I am.

And would you like your homeschoolers to learn economics right the first time around? The Ron Paul Curriculum homeschool program covers 12th grade economics from teachers you can trust. In full disclosure, Books of Liberty will get a small advertising fee for purchases made through our links.


Technology

As a tool devised by our ingenuity, technology is what has propelled us to becoming the dominant species on Earth despite comparative physical disadvantages. But technology continues to empower those in whose hands it should not be used. From outright war to the underappreciated abuses of mass surveillance, the State has been using technology to strip us of life, liberty and property since the dawn of its existence.

In the age of The American Panopticon, breaches of privacy and security through domestic spying are pervasive. The ability to retaliate through the use of bitcoin, and other crypto-currencies and blockchain solutions, or with tools like Tor, the Dark Net, and further ingenious hacking techniques were brought to us by cypherpunks and other such heroes. Learning the technical skills to disrupt and contribute is best done online. The technology world moves fast and traditional publishers can't keep up. But we have amassed a significant collections of books, nonetheless, on these topics within the pages of Books of Liberty, whether they be "how to", novels or non-fiction books.

A note from the curator: Combining "how to" with technology will also yield some great resources on learning coding or other technical skills. For a full Computer Science course aimed at the homeschooling 11th grader, I would recommend the Ron Paul Curriculum homeschool program. Learning to code would not be the sole reason to homeschool, since it can be done by any interested or entrepreneurial-minded person, but the program’s emphasis on such matters (including how to create and run a blog with Wordpress) shows how comprehensive this course is. I found only great feedback about the full curriculum and openly recommend it. In full disclosure, Books of Liberty gets advertising fees for those who purchase through our links.


Literature

While all books technically fall under this topic, we’ve reserved this mostly as a way to easily filter through the many hundred titles to find works of fiction (whether it be science fiction or dystopian novels), humor, poetry or quotes. The great manifestos are clearly labeled, as are Festschrifts, which are collections of writings published in honor of a scholar. Finally, we've included a range of biographies and autobiographies that shed light on some key individuals.

A note from the curator: With a variety of literature homeschool courses the Ron Paul Curriculum homeschool program does not disappoint. Western Literature, American Literature and Classic Autobiographies are covered in the high school years. My experience of literature in public school was horrendous and I wish I had the curriculum and approach provided by Ron Paul’s program instead. Books of Liberty gets advertising fees for those who purchase through our links.


Other classifications

To make things easier to find, we created a few groupings that allow you to narrow down certain topics that include a large number of named individuals, geographical locations, or geopolitical entities. We created the topics: people and groups; areas and nations; economists; and politicians (who, within it, include also nation state leaders and US presidents).

And if you want a book that seems to have a wide variety of topics, you may just want to filter with the word smorgasbord and see what books come up.