A cogently argued account that lays bare the similarities and differences between the world today and earlier theoretical...

AN EXTRAORDINARY TIME

THE END OF THE POSTWAR BOOM AND THE RETURN OF THE ORDINARY ECONOMY

An economic historian challenges both politicians and economists in this account of why the post–World War II economic boom came to an end and what followed.

Former Economist finance and economics editor Levinson (The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America, 2011, etc.) argues that 1973 was when the world changed course. Then, he writes, “average income per person around the world leaped 4.5 percent. At that rate, a person’s income would double in sixteen years….Average people had reason to feel good. And then the good times were over.” The author considers various causes—e.g., the first oil shock, when OPEC, following Saudi Arabia’s lead, hiked its prices by 400 percent, and foreign exchange volatility, which preceded President Richard Nixon’s decision to take the dollar off gold in August 1971. Levinson also considers the ineptitude of both politicians and economists as major contributors to the crisis. Neither “had any idea what was causing the ailment. They acted because they were under pressure to act, not because they had confidence in their prescriptions.” This view is absolutely worth heeding in these days of unprecedented worldwide financial experimentation. Levinson contends that beginning with Arthur Burns, the chair of the Federal Reserve from 1970 to 1978, efforts to control inflation proceeded from doctrinal bases that only a few years later would be considered “bizarre.” The author shows the ending of a world in which government action was thought to be capable of providing competent direction to economic processes. He associates that world with two thinkers: Argentinian Raúl Prebisch and German Karl Schiller. Prebisch advocated import substitution as a pathway to development for developing economies, while Schiller was a master planner. Free-market advocates Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan changed that bygone world, but in Thatcher’s case, Britain didn’t achieve growth comparable to the times before the 1970s.

A cogently argued account that lays bare the similarities and differences between the world today and earlier theoretical shortcomings.

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-465-06198-3

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Basic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 8, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular...

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 13

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist

WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR

A neurosurgeon with a passion for literature tragically finds his perfect subject after his diagnosis of terminal lung cancer.

Writing isn’t brain surgery, but it’s rare when someone adept at the latter is also so accomplished at the former. Searching for meaning and purpose in his life, Kalanithi pursued a doctorate in literature and had felt certain that he wouldn’t enter the field of medicine, in which his father and other members of his family excelled. “But I couldn’t let go of the question,” he writes, after realizing that his goals “didn’t quite fit in an English department.” “Where did biology, morality, literature and philosophy intersect?” So he decided to set aside his doctoral dissertation and belatedly prepare for medical school, which “would allow me a chance to find answers that are not in books, to find a different sort of sublime, to forge relationships with the suffering, and to keep following the question of what makes human life meaningful, even in the face of death and decay.” The author’s empathy undoubtedly made him an exceptional doctor, and the precision of his prose—as well as the moral purpose underscoring it—suggests that he could have written a good book on any subject he chose. Part of what makes this book so essential is the fact that it was written under a death sentence following the diagnosis that upended his life, just as he was preparing to end his residency and attract offers at the top of his profession. Kalanithi learned he might have 10 years to live or perhaps five. Should he return to neurosurgery (he could and did), or should he write (he also did)? Should he and his wife have a baby? They did, eight months before he died, which was less than two years after the original diagnosis. “The fact of death is unsettling,” he understates. “Yet there is no other way to live.”

A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular clarity.

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8129-8840-6

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

more