The Conscience of a Liberal

The Conscience of a Liberal

4.1 29
by Paul Krugman
     
 

ISBN-10: 0393333132

ISBN-13: 9780393333138

Pub. Date: 01/12/2009

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

"The most consistent and courageous—and unapologetic—liberal partisan in American journalism." —Michael Tomasky, New York Review of BooksIn 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

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Overview

"The most consistent and courageous—and unapologetic—liberal partisan in American journalism." —Michael Tomasky, New York Review of BooksIn 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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393333138
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
01/12/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
162,986
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Paperback Edition ix

1 The Way We Were 3

2 The Long Gilded Age 15

3 The Great Compression 37

4 The Politics of the Welfare State 57

5 The Sixties: A Troubled Prosperity 79

6 Movement Conservatism 101

7 The Great Divergence 124

8 The Politics of Inequality 153

9 Weapons of Mass Distraction 173

10 The New Politics of Equality 198

11 The Health Care Imperative 214

12 Confronting Inequality 244

13 The Conscience of a Liberal 265

Notes 275

Acknowledgments 285

Index 287

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The Conscience of a Liberal 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Michael_Lovallo More than 1 year ago
For someone such as myself, that loves politics but lacks the intellect to absorb some of the heavy hitters, this book really hits a home run. Krugman writes in a way that the average person can understand the vast differences between todays conservatives and the progressive liberals. I especially liked the background and statistics he gives of how the Great Compression came about - how the disparity between rich and poor shrank during this time, but has now reversed course and is now equal to or greater than what is was before the Great Depression. Not only does he explain this clearly but outlines ways in which we can bring back better times for the middle class. Krugman is a great Nobel winning economist and a great writer. I highly recommend this book. If you like this book, I might also recommend "The Squandering of America" and "Obama's Challenge" both by Robert Kuttner.
PaintItBlue More than 1 year ago
Reading and evaluating The Conscience of a Liberal has broadened my awareness for the impact of economic inequality on more than just statistics, but also of the evident damage inflicted upon all social classes. Krugman's argument detailing the detrimental rise in American socio-economic inequality is both well supported and well organized. By providing adequate background information Krugman lays a strong foundation followed by his intellectual dismantling of the GOP, the party he claims is responsible for the rise in inequality. With the bulk of the argument written in 2007 and published again with an updated introduction in 2009, Krugman's references to the troubled housing market, the 2008 election, and the goals of the Obama administration make the text greatly applicable to readers looking for answers in the current economy. I would strongly recommend this book someone who is a faithful Democrat and is supportive of the liberal agenda, or to anyone interested in the American political and economic environment of the past, present and future.
Tbrad More than 1 year ago
Great book, well written.  Essentially this summarizes the inconvenient history of the modern day Republican party, which Krugman calls the "movement conservatives".  Krugman also talks about demographic trends and what that means for politics in the future, as well as a general outline of what liberals need to accomplish concerning healthcare and more.
watkd25 More than 1 year ago
Paul Krugman has published a wonderful book that has personally helped me fill in the gaps of what it means to be a republican or democrat in the United States (through the lens of being a liberal). The books premise is based on the causes of economic inequality through the hisotry of politics and how it could be fixed (although I feel his proposition is a little unrealistic). Paul's book also explains in political and economic terms the necessitiy of health care and what effect it would have (written before the Affordable Care Act's passage) on reducing economic inequality and how its importance helps define a nation. The main lesson I have taken away from this book is that polity definitely influences the economy.
cp-retired More than 1 year ago
Terrific book by a Nobel Prize winning economist - who is nevertheless humane, easily readable and politically savvy. Book begins with discussion of the Gilded Age, where a few unregulated rich owned most of the country's wealth, dominated the electoral system with huge campaign contributions, and paid next to nothing in taxes; while most lived on the edge of poverty, with no safety net. He then describes development of government regulation (women's rights, food safety legislation, progressive income tax, labor unions) in first 30 years of 20th century; and the development of government as an equalizing force, creating a mass middle class, during and following the Great Depression. Krugman then chronicles, beginning about 40 years ago, the resurgence of a radical right, committed to returning country to a renewed gilded age; and the consequent overall economic decline / collapse as ordinary folks can no longer spend enough to keep the economy going. Krugman then lays out a path for returning to a more just society. This is done with solid documentation, described without graphs in common sense language - economics for the rest of us. Every American should be aware of this history. This is basic good citizenship reading. Read the book.
JBDT More than 1 year ago
This should be required reading for all republicans before they are allowed to vote.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Nice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After being dissolution with the way conservatives were attacking our President, I had a crisis of political faith, untill a dear freind gave me tjis book. After reading this book I realized what I had been taught to belive about liberals. Was a lie. This book spoke to me on many levels, and sealed my devision to switch parties.
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random_skeptic More than 1 year ago
Paul Krugman has done an excellent job explaining the situation in which our country has now found itself in terms of economic inequality. He provides an enlightening history of inequality in this country spanning from the late 1800's to the 1920's and how that all changed with the coming of the New Deal. Krugman also details the rise of the middle class and the threats to it that have arisen over past couple of decades. He also describes the rise of the conservative movement and its complicity in the rising inequality of today. He also provides solutions for inequality. Moreover, the book was easy to read and enlightening. A must read for all middle and working class people.
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