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on 21 July 1997
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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on 21 May 1999
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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on 26 August 2009
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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on 10 October 1997
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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on 5 August 2002
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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on 16 December 1997
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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on 13 March 1997
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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on 2 March 2007
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 despite its narrow focus, this book is as much of a page turner as you are ever likely to come across in economics. Krugman uses his attack on supply-side economists to give a very broad account of the development of macroeconomics throughout the 20th century, and does so with the kind of facility for eye-opening revelations as is normally found only with the greats of popular natural science writing (Dawkins, Sagan etc.). I have read my share of popular and academic economics texts, and this is one of the few special gems in the social science that leaves you with a feeling of really having grasped concepts that are both complex, and more importantly, worth grasping.
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on 24 November 2009
One of my favourite pastimes when there's slow time available is running the news feature on a Bloomberg terminal for an historical date when markets were particularly volatile. Of course with the benefit of hindsight it's not so hard to see that most commentators did not know what the =f= they were talking about. Krugman wrote this at the start of the Clinton years so a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. The expose on the S&L crisis for instance is so eerily similar to today's (2009) "heads you win, tails the taxpayers lose" practices of our much beloved financial sleuths. This instructive book covers recent economic history and the actions or mis-actions of policymakers in some gory detail. Krugman cuts a swathe through all the key economic theories (Keynesianism, the shenanigans of conservative economics aka monetarism, rational expectations, the real business cycle, supply siders etc), what they are, why they mattered and most importantly how they fared when applied. Along the way, there's ample excoriation of think tank pseudo economists or policy entrepreneurs as Krugman calls them. In the end, Keynes triumphs. And since here today in 2009 Keynes is the only game in town it looks like Krugman had the correct diagnosis.
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This is a wonderfully written and lucid book on the return of many economists to the truths of Keynes. No one defends and explains Keynes as well as Krugman, and his irrascibility is truly a pleasure in the usual rather dry discipline. He treats us to a tour of recent economic policies and in the process demolishes both monetarism and supply-side economics.

Where he goes wrong is in his disdain for politics and the politicos who must sell economic ideas. Krugman hates these guys, perhaps because he is so impolitic himself that he got pssed over for a plum job in the Clinton Administration. As such, he denounces them with such fervor that the reader gets tired of the polemmic after a while, which is the only thing that detracts from an otherwise fine book and a masterpiece of the genre.

Warmly recommended.
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