"The most consistent and courageous—and unapologetic—liberal partisan in American journalism." —Michael Tomasky, New York Review of Books
In this "clear, provocative" (Boston Globe) New York Times bestseller, Paul Krugman, today's most widely read economist, examines the past eighty years of American history, from the reforms that tamed the harsh inequality of the Gilded Age and the 1920s to the unraveling of that achievement and the reemergence of immense economic and political inequality since the 1970s. Seeking to understand both what happened to middle-class America and what it will take to achieve a "new New Deal," Krugman has created his finest book to date, a "stimulating manifesto" offering "a compelling historical defense of liberalism and a clarion call for Americans to retake control of their economic destiny" (Publishers Weekly).
"As Democrats seek a rationale not merely for returning to power, but for fundamentally changing—or changing back—the relationship between America's government and its citizens, Mr. Krugman's arguments will prove vital in the months and years ahead." —Peter Beinart, New York Times
Economist and New York Times columnist Krugman's stimulating manifesto aims to galvanize today's progressives the way Barry Goldwater's The Conscience of a Conservative did right-wingers in 1964. Krugman's great theme is economic equality and the liberal politics that support it. America's post-war middle-class society was not the automatic product of a free-market economy, he writes, but was created... by the policies of the Roosevelt Administration. By strengthening labor unions and taxing the rich to fund redistributive programs like Social Security and Medicare, the New Deal consensus narrowed the income gap, lifted the working class out of poverty and made the economy boom. Things went awry, Krugman contends, with the Republican Party's takeover by movement conservatism, practicing a politics of deception distraction to advance the interests of the wealthy. Conservative initiatives to cut taxes for the rich, dismantle social programs and demolish unions, he argues, have led to sharply rising inequality, with the incomes of the wealthiest soaring while those of most workers stagnate. Krugman's accessible, stylishly presented argument deftly combines economic data with social and political analysis; his account of the racial politics driving conservative successes is especially sharp. The result is a compelling historical defense of liberalism and a clarion call for Americans to retake control of their economic destiny.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Coherent and convincing
If you are looking for a book with good general arguments for a more progressive public policy without any of the economic heavy lifting, this is the book for you. Krugman's explanation of American inequality being a result of public policy's shift right is convincing and well reasoned. If you identify as conservative, this book will most likely feel too "in your face" but the information is nonetheless presented well and one would still benefit from reading it. As a liberal, this book feels like happy a call to arms and a pat on the back for embracing a more coherent economic and social view on equality.
Very nice book
Definitely recommend this book to people who want to understand the American society and problems associated with it
Not a counter to Goldwater
If you are looking for a definitive counter to Barry Goldwater's "Conscience of a Conservative," look elsewhere. Apparently all a liberal's conscienceness is based on calling conservatives ugly names and never clearly laying what a liberal believes in now. Very disappointing from someone who is seen as the academic voice of the left.