This is a great book for anyone who wants to understand what behaviors caused the debt crises in various nations but does not have a background in finance or economics. It's not a very technical book. It studies several countries or other places that were and still are key to the debt crises in Europe and America, and concludes that in these places--Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany, and California--the horrible financial decisions that led to unsustainable debt and to recession (except in Germany, which is not loaded with debt but financed excessive spending in other countries with easy credit, and will now probably be on the hook for bailing Europe out). were influenced by flaws peculiar to their national or regional character. It's fascinating, particularly Lewis's analysis of the German national character (which, be warned, is disgusting in some respects).