'In his admirable book The Economists' Hour, [Binyamin Appelbaum shows how] economists were treated as little more than backroom statisticians until the late 1960s [and] argues that their heyday ended on October 13, 2008, when the chief executives of America's largest banks were marched into the US Treasury for a crisis meeting. He is surely correct.' Edward Luce, Financial Times
'Fascinating . . . totally, totally fascinating.' Kai Ryssdal, 'Marketplace', US National Public Radio
'A kind of ur-text, revealing the destructive role of centering economists in shaping public policy. It's not that we don't need economists and economic theory, but The Economists' Hour patiently reveals the many times and multiple ways they've had an outsized influence at key times and have steered us wrong. It's a fascinating analysis.' Chicago Tribune
'The Economists' Hour is a work of journalism rather than polemic . . . 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
'Lively and entertaining . . . The Economists' Hour is a reminder of the power of ideas to shape the course of history' Liaquat Ahamed, New Yorker
'A marvel of popular historical writing, propelled by anecdotes and just the right amount of explanation but also impressively well grounded in the latest academic research by historians, sociologists and others' New York Times
Binyamin Appelbaum writes about economics and business for the editorial page of the New York Times. From 2010 to 2019, he was a Washington correspondent for the Times, covering economic policy in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis. He previously worked for the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and the Charlotte Observer, where his reporting on subprime lending won a George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives with his wife and children in Washington, DC.
This thoroughly researched, comprehensive, and critical account of the economic philosophies that have reigned for the past half century powerfully indicts them. * Publisher Weekly (starred) * The wider story of the market-centric worldview provides the meat of Appelbaum's narrative . . . The fact that such sophisticated people presided over a dangerous build-up in financial risk suggests that something larger was at work than a naive faith in markets. Appelbaum's strength is that he generally acknowledges these complexities. * Atlantic * Binyamin Appelbaum has written a powerful must-read for all those interested in reinvigorating the credibility of economics, especially in policymaking circles. -- Mohamed A. El-Erian Writing in accessible language of thorny fiscal matters, the author ventures into oddly fascinating corners of recent economic history . . . Anyone who wonders why government officials still take the Laffer curve seriously need go no further than this lucid book. * Kirkus * An entertaining and well-written look at how market-oriented ideas rose from the academy and transformed nations. -- Tyler Cowen The New York Times financial writer maps the advance of economists-from the Kennedy administration onward-out of the academy and into government, elevating free markets in the sausage-making of public policy and sparking the inequity that plagues us today. * O Magazine * Lively and entertaining . . . The Economists' Hour is a reminder of the power of ideas to shape the course of history. -- Liaquat Ahamed * New Yorker *