Summary and book reviews of The Great Unraveling by Paul Krugman

The Great Unraveling

Losing Our Way in the New Century

by Paul Krugman

The Great Unraveling
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2003, 426 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2004, 480 pages

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Book Summary

A galvanizing new work from America's leading economic critic—a book that will set the terms of the political debate for years to come.

No one has more authority to call the shots the way they really are than Paul Krugman, whose provocative New York Times columns are keenly followed by millions. One of the world's most respected economists, Krugman has been named America's most important columnist by the Washington Monthly and columnist of the year by Editor and Publisher magazine.

In this long-awaited work containing Krugman's most influential columns along with new commentary, he chronicles how the boom economy unraveled: how exuberance gave way to pessimism, how the age of corporate heroes gave way to corporate scandals, how fiscal responsibility collapsed. From his account of the secret history of the California energy crisis to his devastating dissections of dishonesty in the Bush administration, Krugman tells the uncomfortable truth about how the United States lost its way. And he gives us the road map we will need to follow if we are to get the country back on track.

  • Acknowledgments
  • Preface
  • Introduction: A Revolutionary Power
  • Seven Habits of Highly Defective Investors
  • The Ice Age Cometh
  • The Ponzi Paradigm
  • Dow Wow, Dow Ow
  • Money for Nothing?
  • Create and Destroy
  • The Pizza Principle
  • Damaged by the Dow
  • Asia: What Went Wrong?
  • Why Germany Kant Kompete
  • We're Not Japan
  • A Leap in the Dark
  • Don't Ask Alan
  • Eleven and Counting
  • Herd on the Street
  • Living with Bears
  • Dubya's Double Dip?
  • Mind the Gap
  • Passing the Buck
  • Stocks and Bombs
  • The Vision Thing
  • Dealing with W
  • My Economic Plan
  • Crony Capitalism, U.S.A.
  • Two, Three, Many?
  • Enemies of Reform
  • Greed Is Bad
  • Flavors of Fraud
  • Everyone Is Outraged
  • Succeeding in Business
  • The Insider Game
  • The Outrage Constraint
  • Business as Usual
  • Oops! He Did It Again
  • We're Not Responsible
  • Fuzzier and Fuzzier
  • Et Tu, Alan?
  • Slicing the Salami
  • The Money Pit
  • The Universal Elixir
  • Bad Heir Day
  • Pants on Fire
  • Hitting the Trifecta
  • The Quiet Man
  • Our Wretched States
  • Bush's Aggressive Accounting
  • True Blue Americans
  • The Great Evasion
  • Springtime for ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

New York Review of Books - Russell Baker

....It seems slightly scandalous that Krugman has persisted in noting that the present administration has been moving the lion's share of the money to an array of corporate interests distinguished by the greed of their CEOs, an indifference toward their workers, and boardroom conviction that it is the welfare state that is ruining the country. Krugman has been strident. He has been shrill. He has lowered the dignity of the commentariat. How refreshing.

The New York Times - Peter Beinart

Krugman's best columns showcase his fluency in economics, analytical power and willingness to go out on a limb.

BusinessWeek - Gene Koretz

His most provocative and compelling effort yet.

Publishers Weekly

Krugman is one of the few commentators able to sound both appalled and reasonable at the same time as he provides an alternate history of the last three years to that penned by conservative pundits. Many readers will find Krugman very persuasive as to how our present government has done us wrong.

Library Journal - Susan Hurst

Thought-provoking...at times enraging or depressing, sometimes even funny (depending on one's political leanings). Highly recommended.

Library Journal - Susan Hurst

This is a thought-provoking book, at times enraging or depressing, sometimes even funny (depending on one's political leanings). Highly recommended for all collections.

Author Blurb Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
Lively, lucid, witty, superbly informed, his commentary on the state of the union is required reading.

Author Blurb James Carville
If I had a tenth of Paul Krugman's brain and a twentieth of his courage, I'd be the happiest person on the face of the Earth.

Author Blurb Anthony Lewis
Paul Krugman is the indispensable American columnist, a voice of truth in a political world of lies and calculated injustice.

Author Blurb David Levering Lewis, author of W.E.B. DuBois Biography of a Race
Paul Krugman's coruscant book calls for a great revulsion across the land before it is too late.

Author Blurb Paul A. Samuelson, Institute Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Krugman twice a week and in this coherent sum-up on relevant 2003-2010 economics. Buy. Read. Ponder. Benefit.

Author Blurb Molly Ivins
You need to read this book, and when you do, you'll have only one response it's time to get mad.

Reader Reviews

Isabel

Paul Krugman's book elightens and motivates the reader to further educate themselves about the state of the union and do something to help correct it. I have been inspired by his book to get involved in this country's political system. The Great ...   Read More

Mike

Its not very good, just another sourgrapes liberal writer bashing Bush, unfortunately.

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