The Conscience of a Liberal

The Conscience of a Liberal
By Paul Krugman

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"The most consistent and courageous―and unapologetic―liberal partisan in American journalism." ―Michael Tomasky, New York Review of Books

In this "clear, provocative" (Boston Globe) New York Times bestseller, Paul Krugman, today's most widely read economist, examines the past eighty years of American history, from the reforms that tamed the harsh inequality of the Gilded Age and the 1920s to the unraveling of that achievement and the reemergence of immense economic and political inequality since the 1970s. Seeking to understand both what happened to middle-class America and what it will take to achieve a "new New Deal," Krugman has created his finest book to date, a "stimulating manifesto" offering "a compelling historical defense of liberalism and a clarion call for Americans to retake control of their economic destiny" (Publishers Weekly).

"As Democrats seek a rationale not merely for returning to power, but for fundamentally changing―or changing back―the relationship between America's government and its citizens, Mr. Krugman's arguments will prove vital in the months and years ahead." ―Peter Beinart, New York Times

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #89413 in Books
  • Brand: Paul Krugman
  • Published on: 2009-01-12
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 8.30" h x .90" w x 5.50" l, .60 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 352 pages


  • The Conscience of a Liberal

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Economist and New York Times columnist Krugman's stimulating manifesto aims to galvanize today's progressives the way Barry Goldwater's The Conscience of a Conservative did right-wingers in 1964. Krugman's great theme is economic equality and the liberal politics that support it. America's post-war middle-class society was not the automatic product of a free-market economy, he writes, but was created... by the policies of the Roosevelt Administration. By strengthening labor unions and taxing the rich to fund redistributive programs like Social Security and Medicare, the New Deal consensus narrowed the income gap, lifted the working class out of poverty and made the economy boom. Things went awry, Krugman contends, with the Republican Party's takeover by movement conservatism, practicing a politics of deception [and] distraction to advance the interests of the wealthy. Conservative initiatives to cut taxes for the rich, dismantle social programs and demolish unions, he argues, have led to sharply rising inequality, with the incomes of the wealthiest soaring while those of most workers stagnate. Krugman's accessible, stylishly presented argument deftly combines economic data with social and political analysis; his account of the racial politics driving conservative successes is especially sharp. The result is a compelling historical defense of liberalism and a clarion call for Americans to retake control of their economic destiny. (Oct.)
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About the Author
Paul Krugman is the recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics. He is a best-selling author, columnist, and blogger for the New York Times, and is a professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
By hassel hill jr
Outstanding Due to the writings of Krugman, Stiglitz and others I have gone from Conservative to something in between that and liberal. Maybe more like a Eisenhower Republican. In my view the people who take campaign money from Wall Street are destroying our Democracy and 2008 is evidence of that. I taught Securities in a law school for over thirty years. It goes to show how little attention the voters of this country pay to how they vote. I am very concerned for this country. Hassel (Bud) Hill Jr

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
4Inequality explained
By DenmarkTG
I found the The Conscience of a Liberal has broadened my attentiveness to inequality in the U.S. It was especially enlightening on the 2008 crisis and how inequality was increased as the results of the housing collapse. I don’t agree with all points in the book, as blaming the other side is shallow. But I think any reader can get a sense of arguments made especially on healthcare and how it dramatically effects inequality. Good book.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
5Should be required reading.
By Mary Ann
Haven't had time to finish it yet, but at about 60% through, finding I not only agree, but have come across things that make me conclude that Paul Krugman is not only highly intelligent, but a really fine human being as well. I don't see how anyone could read this and disagree with anything he has to say.

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