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Christian Lorentzen: Paul Krugman

19 July 2012
... He left Washington after a year and enjoyed a moment in the limelight during the 1992 campaign, testifying to Congress about income inequality, then was excluded from the Clinton administration by RobertReich, the leader of the economic transition team whom Krugman had attacked in a paper nine years earlier. ‘Luckily for my sanity and future productivity,’ he also wrote in 1995, ‘I did not ...

Who is the villain?

Paul Seabright: The new economy

22 August 2002
The Future of Success 
by Robert Reich.
Vintage, 289 pp., £8.99, April 2002, 0 09 942906 3
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... creepier than the vision of a world in which every relationship can be dissolved at the click of a mouse. Yet the click might also seem liberating, empowering even, to the person doing the clicking. RobertReich’s book is about the consequences, for our work and our lives, of the so-called new economy and – more subtly – the habits of mind and values encouraged by its supporting technologies ...
25 May 1995
The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy 
by Christopher Lasch.
Norton, 276 pp., £16.95, March 1995, 0 393 03699 5
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... is a lament for the middling sort and an assault on those who threaten them. Lasch’s case will be familiar to anyone who has kept up with some lugubrious recent works in popular social science. RobertReich, President Clinton’s Secretary of Labour, earned the post with his 1991 bestseller The Work of Nations. Reich anatomised the familiar fact of increasing income inequality in the United States ...
2 November 1995
... physicists, accountants and clericals, as well as of the unskilled or semi-skilled workers whose utter uselessness in a ‘high-tech’ economy is by now proverbial. Clinton’s Secretary of labour RobertReich, for example, has made an entire career out of mourning their fate, while at every turn disclaiming any intention of interfering with the divine processes of the economy – he takes it for ...

It looks so charming

Tom Vanderbilt: Sweatshops

29 October 1998
No Sweat: Fashion, Free Trade, and the Rights of Garment Workers 
edited by Andrew Ross.
Verso, 256 pp., £14, September 1997, 1 85984 172 4
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... cockroaches’ in the garment industry. Cockroaches, as everyone knows, can survive nuclear war – so, despite the succeeding flurry of anti-sweatshop publicity, in which Clinton Labor Secretary RobertReich also took part, it came as no surprise that, a year later, New York labour officials raided a sweatshop (producing Kathie Lee Gifford and other lines) that was paying workers less than the ...
6 August 1992
Fatherland 
by Robert​ Harris.
Hutchinson, 372 pp., £14.99, May 1992, 0 09 174827 5
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... A useful maxim for reviewers would be one that encouraged them to relate art to life rather than art to art, or fiction to fiction. In two respects, unfortunately, Fatherland by Robert Harris makes artistic comparisons inescapable. It belongs, first, to that select genre of fiction which deals in the Alternative Present, or in this case an alternative recent past. It is set in 1964 ...

Britain takes the biscuit

Gordon Brown and Geoff Mulgan

25 October 1990
The Competitive Advantage of Nations 
by Michael Porter.
Macmillan, 855 pp., £25, May 1990, 0 333 51804 7
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... Europe have had to change to reflect the reality of more global markets and greater regional disparities, not to mention new EC rules on such things as competition and public purchasing. Moreover, as RobertReich has argued, capital is now so international and cosmopolitan that it is meaningless for governments to concentrate solely on supporting national capital. There is no obvious reason why the US ...

The Vision Thing

Eyal Press: Paul Krugman

19 June 2008
The Conscience of a Liberal: Reclaiming America from the Right 
by Paul Krugman.
Allen Lane, 296 pp., £20, March 2008, 978 1 84614 107 2
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... Advisers. The job went instead to Laura D’Andrea Tyson, and in Pop Internationalism and Peddling Prosperity Krugman dismissed Tyson and other Clinton advisors, including the labour secretary RobertReich, as mere ‘policy entrepreneurs’, not real economists. His writing from this period betrays the prickly tone of one who has been spurned. But, when compared with Bush, Clinton didn’t seem ...

On the Via Dolorosa

Neal Ascherson: Remarque’s Fiction

6 May 2015
The Promised Land 
by Erich Maria Remarque, translated by Michael Hofmann.
Vintage, 423 pp., £16.99, February 2015, 978 0 09 957708 9
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... refugees before and during the Second World War: Flotsam, Arch of Triumph and The Night in Lisbon. Next, though not exactly last chronologically, come his two shattering novels about the Third Reich: Spark of Life (as appalling and detailed as any fiction about a concentration camp) and A Time to Love and a Time to Die (a young German soldier’s experiences on the Eastern Front). The Promised ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Hitler’s Last Day

6 May 2015
... apart from all the sweating Nazis there were several dogs living in the bathroom). Italicised flashbacks help with context: ‘Hitler’s favourite architect, Albert Speer, designed the massive new Reich Chancellery, which has been used from 1939.’ Meanwhile, ‘at the Kanoya Naval Air Base in the south of Japan, 23-year-old Yasuo Ichijima is in his room updating his daily diary.’ He’s a ...

Videonazis

Philip Purser

13 June 1991
Hitler’s State Archltecture: The Impact of Classical Antiquity 
by Alex Scoble.
Pennsylvania State, 152 pp., £28.50, October 1990, 0 271 00691 9
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Totalitarian Art 
by Igor Golomstock, translated by Robert​ Chandler.
Collins Harvill, 416 pp., £30, September 1990, 0 00 272806 0
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... As a young soldier in Germany at the end of the war I was dropped head first into two manifestations of the Third Reich which half a century later continue to exert a peculiar fascination. After two months in what became the Russian occupied zone, the field company to which I belonged was moved back to the Harz ...

The Rat Line

Christopher Driver

6 December 1984
The Fourth Reich 
by Magnus Linklater, Isabel Hilton and Neal Ascherson.
Hodder, 352 pp., £9.95, November 1984, 0 340 34443 1
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I didn’t say goodbye 
by Claudine Vegh.
Caliban, 179 pp., £7.95, October 1984, 0 904573 93 1
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... t have a youth, I no longer have a mother, I have a sister who needs treatment, a father who hasn’t been able to lead a normal life since he came back. An entire existence ruined.’ The Fourth Reich has not, however, been written to sear the sensibilities. A few notorious atrocities – in 1944, the massacres of Jewish and Resistance prisoners at Montluc, the emptying of the Jewish orphanage at ...

Coma-Friendly

Stephen Walsh: Philip Glass

6 May 2015
Words without Music: A Memoir 
by Philip Glass.
Faber, 416 pp., £22.50, April 2015, 978 0 571 32372 2
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... Satyagraha and Akhnaten. He was marginally less well-known as a practising musician with his own ensemble, and a repertoire recognisably connected with the minimalist and process music of Steve Reich, Terry Riley, La Monte Young and others. In Europe, on the other hand, he was famous almost exclusively for his operas: the most recent two had been commissioned in the Netherlands and Stuttgart, and ...

More Reconciliation than Truth

David Blackbourn: Germany’s Postwar Amnesties

31 October 2002
Adenauer’s Germany and the Nazi Past: The Politics of Amnesty and Integration 
by Norbert Frei, translated by Joel Golb.
Columbia, 479 pp., £24.50, September 2002, 0 231 11882 1
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... Over the long term, Germans have made a good job of confronting the criminal, genocidal character of the Third Reich. Historical writing, schoolbooks, literary works, public and political debate all point to an engagement with the years 1933-45 that came earlier and was more intense than anything we find in Japan ...
25 October 2012
Age of Fracture 
by Daniel Rodgers.
Harvard, 360 pp., £14.95, September 2012, 978 0 674 06436 2
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... but also on the squishy left (Stephen Breyer), who made economic efficiency the measure of all things and provided much of the rationale for deregulation; the second wave of free-market economists (Robert Lucas, for example, or Gary Becker), who took apart the field of macroeconomics in favour of game theory, behavioural economics, rational expectations and other individualist approaches; and ...

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