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Peddling Prosperity: Economic Sense and Nonsense in the Age of Diminished Expectations [Hardcover]

Paul Krugman
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 May 1994
Over the past 20 years, the search for a new magic in the American economy has created a distinctive cycle. In the 1980s, Milton Friedman and conservative academic economists found their work hijacked by Ronald Reagan's administration and the nation was left mired in debt. Now academic economists from the Left have developed new theories that challenge the faith in unregulated markets. However, with Clinton's administration, another group has rushed into power, preaching an overly simple message of competitiveness.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co.; 1st, First Edition, First Printing edition (18 May 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393036022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393036022
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 14.4 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 509,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Paul Krugman writes a twice-weekly column for the op-ed page of the New York Times. A winner of the John Bates Clark Medal who was also named Columnist of the Year by Editor and Publisher magazine, he teaches economics at Princeton University.

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In 1981 Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan uttered a startling pronouncement: "The Republicans," he declared, "are now the party of ideas." Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opener 21 July 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I took a macro econonomics course in college and a couple of economics courses in business school, but I was still pretty helpless when it came to discussing economic issues with my dad and others with strong opinions. That was until I read this book. What this book did for me was to help me understand the strengths and weaknesses of everyday policy decisions based on the best academic research on the subject. Krugman writes in a crystal clear style with wit and charm. Stay away from this book if you don't want to see him mock the cherished economic homilies delivered by the Wall Street Journal, Republicans, or Democrats. Having alienated policy makers from both parties, Krugman sits above the political fray, his only allegiance being a professional commitment to sound economic reasoning. So if you want to be able to gently (or wickedly, depending on your personality)win cocktail party arguments against people whose political opinions cloud their economic reasoning, I strongly recommend it. The book also got me to buy The Age of Diminished Expectations (another 10) and Pop Internationalism (7) which I would have rated a 10 but for the non-existent editing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Krugman is a real economists who can present complex Economics in simple layman words. I 've never seen anyone done this tasks better than him. Reading these books u will know how economics interplays with politics, and how its shape our everyday life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A quote from the cover reads: "...His clear and simple explanations of quite complex economic issues and ideas in a few sentences have to be read to be believed." I now believe.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredibly intelligent book 10 Oct 1997
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
When referred to by "The Economist", Paul Krugman is called P. "Nobel Prize 2024" Krugman and he largely deserves this nickname. In "Peddling Prosperity", P. Krugman describes with clear and simple words what America's economic problems have been in the last 25 years. He presents theory, ideas, Government policies (or lack of) and individual stories - history, in fact - with such penetrating views that, while reading, one wishes the book could go on forever. We can only hope that he will repeat this achievement in the next book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth hurts 13 Mar 1997
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book should be required reading for any introductory
economics course. This is also great reading to understand
the silliness of our politicians' answers to our economic
problems. This book can be offensive to die-hard conservatives as well as die-hard liberals. So, for those
readers I would recommend reading it once and get the anger
out, then a second time to really understand what is wrong
with our economy.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Economics for Non-Economists 5 Aug 2002
Format:Paperback
I loved this book. Economics and page-turning rarely merge, but Krugman has done it, something few, no matter how brilliant, accomplish.
A book which attacks the so called "supply side economists" with a degree of vigor I rarely see beyond my own debates (which are never as eloquently argued as Krugman).
For anyone who has studied little Economics, this book is a treasure of knowledge. He argues that "policy entrepenuers", different than economists, created supply-side economics, and that no true "card carrying" economists is a supply -sider. He begins his book in the time when Keynes ruled, and then when Classical economists chipped away at Keynes and finally, the Wall Street Journal created an excuse to give the overtly rich a break called: SUPPLY SIDE.
In the final section of his book entitled, In the Long Run, Keynes is Alive, he begins to trumpet the return of one fo the greatest economists of our time.
The book is a simple, fun and quick read. I recommend it to anyone who wishes to understand the history of Economics for the past 40 years in one week (at least begin to)
-Student in Scotland
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, important, and fun 26 Aug 2009
Format:Hardcover
I have re-read this book after twelve years, and I agree with a previous reviewer: this book should be required reading for first-year economics students. And it should be a must to anyone interested in politics and policy debates.

The book tells the story of the intellectual fight between Economics "Professors": on one side the Keynesians, who believe economic policy can help mitigate booms and busts; on the other, the New Classicals, who are sceptical of the effectiveness of economic policy.

The Professors, ones and the others, had however no magic recipes for economic prosperity. So, Krugman tells us, politicians turned instead to "policy entrepreneurs", mostly journalists and the odd eccentric academic, who promised the moon with silly, cartoon versions of the Professors' ideas. An example is the idea that tax cuts will stimulate economic growth so much that tax revenues will end up increasing (the failed Reaganomics). Commentators and politicians are still trotting out these cartoon economics, which makes this book as relevant today as when it first appeared in the early 1990s.

Krugman has an extraordinary ability cut down to the core of economic ideas with great clarity and wit, which makes a potentially arid topic into a stimulating and fun read. As another previous reviewer, I wished the book would go on forever. And to update on that review, Krugman got the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2008.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars refreshing
The academic take on economics as its used and misused by polititions. Paul Krugman pulls the rug from under politics.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent on economics, a bit bitter on policy
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5.0 out of 5 stars The single best economics book I have ever read
Reading an entire book on a short-lived set of economic policies and ideas that circulated for a short while in the mid 1980s may not be your idea of intellectual rapture, but... Read more
Published on 2 Mar 2007 by Hugh Janus
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but lacks rigour.
I was assigned this book as prep reading for university. Whilst i found it highly informative as to the history of macroeconomic theory and policy in a general sense, the analysis... Read more
Published on 24 Aug 2005 by wanderer
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book from insider of last-30-year economics' history
Krugman is a real economists who can present complex Economics in simple layman words. I 've never seen anyone done this tasks better than him. Read more
Published on 21 May 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Important and thoughtful
Peddling Prosperity by Paul Krugman is a good book. It is entertaining - opinionated and gossipy; important - because of its policy implications; thoughtful - since he deals with... Read more
Published on 14 Dec 1997
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