But I'm not part of the gangI work from central New Jersey, and continue to live the life of a college professorso I never bought into the shared assumptions. Moreover, I couldn't be bullied in the usual ways. The stock in trade of most journalists is inside informationleaks from highly placed sources, up-close-and-personal interviews with the powerful. This leaves them vulnerable: they can be seduced with offers of special access, threatened with the career-destroying prospect that they will be frozen out. But I rely almost entirely on numbers and analyses that are in the public domain; I don't need to be in the good graces of top officials, so I also have no need to display the deference that characterizes many journalists.
Whatever the reason, I have spent much of the last three years providing a picture of the world that differs greatly from the vision of most other mainstream pundits. (Web-based commentators have done yeoman dutybut they don't land on a million doorsteps twice a week.) One of the columns in this book is titled "An Alternate Reality"; that about captures it. At a time when most pundits were celebrating the bold vision, skill, and moral clarity of our leaders, I saw confusion, ineffectuality, and dishonesty. It wasn't a popular point of view, especially in the early months after September 11. But have I been right? Read the book and decide for yourself.
From The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century by Paul Krugman. Copyright Paul Krugman. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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