The Economists' Hour

Binyamin Appelbaum

03 September 2020
352 pages


‘A well-reported and researched history of the ways in which plucky economists helped rewrite policy in America and Europe and across emerging markets.’ The Economist

‘A highly readable, exhilaratingly detailed biographical account.’ Sunday Telegraph

As the post-World War II economic boom began to falter in the late 1960s, a new breed of economists gained influence and power. Over time, their ideas reshaped the modern world, curbing governments, unleashing corporations and hastening globalization.

Their fundamental belief? That governments should stop trying to manage the economy.

Their guiding principle? That markets would deliver steady growth and broad prosperity.

But the economists’ hour failed to deliver on its premise. The single-minded embrace of markets has come at the expense of economic equality, the health of liberal democracy and of future generations. Across the world, from both right and left, the assumptions of the once-dominant school of free-market economic thought are being challenged, as we count the costs as well as the gains of its influence.

In The Economists’ Hour, acclaimed New York Times writer Binyamin Appelbaum provides both a reckoning with the past and a call for a different future.

‘A reminder of the power of ideas to shape the course of history.’ New Yorker

This thoroughly researched, comprehensive, and critical account of the economic philosophies that have reigned for the past half century powerfully indicts them.
A marvel of popular historical writing.
A highly readable, exhilaratingly detailed biographical account.