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The Economists' Hour - How the False Prophets of Free Markets Fractured Our Society
Appelbaum, Binyamin

Picador, 2019. Good secondhand condition.

The Economist's Hour is the first book to critically examine the role of the professional economist in the U.S. government, showing how the free market ideology so popular post World War II has endured even seventy years later. The result is a wholly new look at how American financial prosperity and crisis are managed today, and what the future of the U.S. economy could be.

Employing his expert ability to break down complex topics and to paint memorable portraits of well-known figures, Appelbaum begins his book right after World War II, when the future Treasury Secretary Paul Volcker worked as a human calculator in a basement office at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. At this time, Washington was not stocked with credentialed economists, and the key decisions that determined the future course of the U.S. economy were made by politicians, not economic experts. So how did the prosperity of the post-war period give way to the volatility of today's economy?

As Appelbaum tells it, the answer lies in understanding the way in which the specific intellectual bent of men like Milton Friedman, advisor to several U.S. presidents, introduced free market ideas to Washington policy makers. The result can be seen in successive (Republican and Democratic) presidential administrations' longstanding commitment to lower taxes, low inflation, deregulation and free trade, even if those practices haven't always reliably delivered the prosperity and growth that all U.S. presidents seek.

A dazzling work of original analysis and storytelling, Appelbaum burrows beneath the headlines, and deep into the numbers, surfacing the larger-than-life characters and ideas that animate markets and policy and determine the future course of our country.

Second hand Trade Paperback