The Economists' Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society

Category: Book
By (author): Appelbaum, Binyamin
Subject:  BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic History
  HISTORY / General
  HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Economy
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Published: September 2020
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 448
Size: 8.35in x 5.60in x 1.45in
Our Price:
$ 23.99
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*In this "lively and entertaining" history of ideas (Liaquat Ahamed, The New Yorker), New York Times editorial writer Binyamin Appelbaum tells the story of the people who sparked four decades of economic revolution. Before the 1960s, American politicians paid little attention to economists. But as the post–World War II boom began to sputter, economists gained influence and power. Binyamin Appelbaum traces the rise of the economists, first in the United States and then around the globe, as their ideas reshaped the modern world, curbing government, unleashing corporations, and hastening globalization. Some leading figures in the field are relatively well-known, such as Milton Friedman and Arthur Laffer, while others stayed out of the limelight but left a lasting impact on modern life: Walter Oi, a blind economist who persuaded President Nixon to end military conscription; Alfred Kahn, who rejoiced in the crowded cabins on commercial flights as proof of his deregulation of air travel; and Thomas Schelling, who put a dollar value on human life.

Their fundamental belief? That government should stop trying to manage the economy. Their guiding principle? That markets would deliver steady growth and ensure that all Americans shared in the benefits.

But the economists' hour failed to deliver on its promise of broad prosperity. And the single-minded embrace of markets has come at the expense of economic equality, the health of liberal democracy, and future generations. Timely, engaging, and expertly researched, The Economists' Hour is a reckoning-and a call for people to rewrite the rules of the market.
  A Wall Street Journal Business BestsellerWinner of the Porchlight Business Book Award in Narrative & Biography 
Review Quote*Winner of the Porchlight Business Book Award in Narrative & Biography A New York Times Editor's ChoiceA Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller One of Oprah Magazine's Best Political Books to Read Ahead of the 2020 Election One of Book Riot's 50 Best Books to Read this Fall One of Five Books' Best Political Books of 2019One of Vanity Fair's Best Books of 2019One of MIT Technology Review's Best Books of the Year--
Review Quote*"His book is a marvel of popular historical writing, propelled by anecdotes and just the right amount of explanation but also impressively well grounded in the latest academic research by historians, sociologists and others. Much of the territory it covers was familiar to me, but I was constantly learning new twists and nuances."-Justin Fox, The New York Times
Review Quote*"Lively and entertaining...The Economists' Hour is a reminder of the power of ideas to shape the course of history."-Liaquat Ahamed, The New Yorker
Review Quote*"It is, I will tell you - and this is not just me, a Marketplace geek, saying this - it's fascinating. It's totally, totally fascinating."-Kai Ryssdal, Marketplace
Review Quote*"The rise and fall of the Chicago School is chronicled by Binyamin Appelbaum in his admirable book The Economists' Hour. As he shows, economists were treated as little more than backroom statisticians until the late 1960s.... Appelbaum argues that their heyday ended on October 13 2008, when the chief executives of America's largest banks were marched into the US Treasury for a crisis meeting. He is surely correct. The mother of all Wall Street bailouts shattered the reputation economics had gained over the previous 40 years. Yet economists' hubris lingers. Perhaps it is a lagging indicator. Economists might call it "sticky".-Edward Luce, Financial Times
Review Quote*"The Economists' Hour provides a novel perspective on the conservative revolution that dominated the past half-century of American political history."-James Kwak, The Washington Post
Review Quote*"A kind of ur-text, revealing the destructive role of centering economists in shaping public policy. It's not that we don't need economists and economic theory, but The Economist's Hour patiently reveals the many times and multiple ways they've had an outsized influence at key times and have steered us wrong. It's a fascinating analysis."-John Warner, The Chicago Tribune
Review Quote*"The Economists' Hour is a work of journalism rather than polemic. It is a well reported and researched history of the ways in which plucky economists helped rewrite policy in America and Europe and across emerging markets."-The Economist
Review Quote*"Appelbaum's book shows economists' dramatic impact on government policy, and thus reveals economics to be not an abstract, disinterested science but a moral and political science all to itself. "-Robin Kaiser-Schatzlein, The New Republic