Friday, December 26, 2008

The Great Unraveling or Danger Close

The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century

Author: Paul Krugman

In this long-awaited work, award-winning economist and columnist Paul Krugman challenges us to take on George Bush and the radical right. Drawing from his New York Times columns, he chronicles how the boom economy unraveled: how exuberance gave way to pessimism, how the age of corporate heroes gave way to corporate scandals, and how fiscal responsibility collapsed. Krugman asks how it was possible for a country with so much going for it to head downhill so fast and finds the answer in the agenda of the Bush Administration.

Krugman began writing his New York Times column in 2000, demonstrating that he is one of the most well-informed and trenchant commentators in America. From his account of the secret history of the California energy crisis to his devastating dissections of the Bush Administration's dishonesty on everything from tax cuts to the war on terrorism, Krugman tells the uncomfortable truth about how the United States lost its way amid economic disappointment, bad leadership, and deceit. This unprecedented work of social and political history sets the first years of the Twenty-first Century in a stark, new light.

New York Review of Books

....It seems slightly scandalous that Krugman has persisted in noting that the present administration has been moving the lion's share of the money to an array of corporate interests distinguished by the greed of their CEOs, an indifference toward their workers, and boardroom conviction that it is the welfare state that is ruining the country. Krugman has been strident. He has been shrill. He has lowered the dignity of the commentariat. How refreshing.
Russell Baker

The New York Times

Krugman's best columns showcase his fluency in economics, analytical power and willingness to go out on a limb.—Peter Beinart

Publishers Weekly

"This is not, I'm sorry to say, a happy book," says Krugman in the introduction to this collection of essays culled from his twice-weekly New York Times op-ed column, and indeed, the majority of these short pieces range from moderately bleak political punditry to full-on "the sky is falling" doom and gloom. A respected economist, Krugman dissects political and social events of the past decade by watching the dollars, and his ideas are emphatic if not always well argued. He has a somewhat boyish voice and a pleasingly enthusiastic tone, although his enthusiasm sometimes leads him to take liberties with punctuation. The essays are grouped thematically instead of chronologically, which gives this audio adaptation a scattershot feel. Since these pieces were written over a long stretch of time, certain key ideas recur quite often-political reporters don't pay enough attention to the real news, the Bush administration is dishonest, big corporations are inherently untrustworthy-and can become tedious. To his credit, Krugman is not entirely partisan-he reveals himself to be a free-market apologist-and even listeners who disagree with most of the things he says will likely be taken in by his warm and energetic delivery. Simultaneous release with the Norton hardcover (Forecasts, Aug. 18). (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Foreign Affairs

A Princeton economist turned New York Times columnist, Krugman combines colorful writing with astute economic analysis. This book is a collection of his columns from 2000 to 2003 (plus some earlier articles written for non-economists) with new introductory commentary. Krugman is a self-conscious outsider, an iconoclast who offers trenchant commentary on bad policy and bad business behavior, and much of the material here concerns what he considers the Bush administration's systematic deception of the public. In the introduction, he posits the existence of a revolutionary right-wing conspiracy — a term he does not use lightly. His commentary ranges from developments in Japan and Europe to financial crises and foreign trade policy, areas in which Krugman has made important contributions as an economist. He emerges as a strong, insightful critic of an unqualified "market-knows-best" world view.

Library Journal

Krugman, twice-weekly op-ed columnist for the New York Times and a Princeton economics teacher, shares his take on President Bush and the radical right and how the United States has "lost its way amid economic disappointment, bad leadership, and deceit." The book contains more than 100 of the author's Times columns published between January 2000 and January 2003 and a few extras published in Fortune magazine and at, plus his added commentary that freshens the material. The articles cover the gamut of national economic and political issues that dominated the period, including the California energy crisis, the Bush administration's tax cuts, and the war on terrorism. Krugman, who is adamantly anti-right-wing, draws on his solid economics training and experience in these credible pieces, which transcend the rant that sadly fills today's political commentaries. Highly recommended for university and larger public libraries.-Dale Farris, Groves, TX Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

What People Are Saying

Paul A. Samuelson
The new Krugman book documents why this top-drawer academic economist deserves at least one Pulitzer Prize for his accurate Times op-ed columns that are a lone voice, telling things as they are and debunking Washington policies that are neither compassionate nor conservative. Plutocratic democracy is in the saddle. Rx. Krugman twice a week and in this coherent sum-up on relevant 2003-2010 economics. Buy. Read. Ponder. Benefit.

Molly Ivins
You need to read this book, and when you do, you'll have only one response: it's time to get mad, for most of the media are in denial about how far the takeover of this country by the radical right has already progressed.

Anthony Lewis
Paul Krugman is the indispensable American columnist, a voice of truth in a political world of lies and calculated injustice. This book is even better. It makes the case, unrestrained by deference, that a revolutionary right-wing movement is out to transform the United States-and is succeeding, rolling over a supine press and political opposition.

James Carville
If I had a tenth of Paul Krugman's brain and a twentieth his courage, I'd be the happiest person on the face of the Earth!

Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.
Paul Krugman is the great discovery of recent American journalism. Lively, lucid, witty, superbly informed, his commentary on the state of the union is required reading for anyone concerned about the American future.

David Levering Lewis
The title of Paul Krugman's The Great Unraveling might well have been The Great Usurpation. In a republic hijacked by the radical right whose leaders reject the legitimacy of our current political system, Paul Krugman's coruscant book calls for a "great revulsion" across the land before it is too late.

Table of Contents:
Introduction : a revolutionary power3
IBubble trouble21
1Irrational exuberance27
2Portents abroad53
4Crony capitalism, U.S.A.101
IIFuzzy math131
5The bait ...137
6... And the switch165
72 - 1 = 4189
IIIVictors and spoils213
8Things pull apart219
9The private interest229
10Exploiting September 11245
11A vast conspiracy?269
IVWhen markets go bad293
12California screaming299
13Smog and mirrors327
14Foreign disasters349
VThe wider view363
15Global schmobal367
16Economics and economists391
VIOne year later409
17War and terror413
18Dollars and cents443
19Abuses of power469

New interesting textbook: Accounting or Microeconomics

Danger Close: Tactical Air Controllers in Afghanistan and Iraq

Author: Steve Call

"America had a secret weapon," writes Steve Call of the period immediately following September 11, 2001, as planners contemplated the invasion of Afghanistan. This weapon consisted of small teams of Special Forces operatives trained in close air support (CAS) who, in cooperation with the loose federation of Afghan rebels opposed to the Taliban regime, soon began achieving impressive—and unexpected—military victories over Taliban forces and the al-Qaeda terrorists they had sponsored. The astounding success of CAS tactics coupled with ground operations in Afghanistan soon drew the attention of military decision makers and would eventually factor into the planning for another campaign: Operation Iraqi Freedom.

But who, exactly, are these air power experts and what is the function of the TACPs (Tactical Air Control Parties) in which they operate? Danger Close provides a fascinating look at a dedicated, courageous, innovative, and often misunderstood and misused group of military professionals.

Drawing on the gripping first-hand accounts of their battlefield experiences, Steve Call allows the TACPs to speak for themselves. He accompanies their narratives with informed analysis of the development of CAS strategy, including potentially controversial aspects of the interservice rivalries between the air force and the army which have at times complicated and even obstructed the optimal employment of TACP assets. Danger Close makes clear, however, that the systematic coordination of air power and ground forces played an invaluable supporting role in the initial military victories in both Afghanistan and Iraq. This first-ever examination of the intense,life-and-death world of the close air support specialist will introduce readers to a crucial but little-known aspect of contemporary warfare and add a needed chapter in American military history studies.

What People Are Saying

Dennis E. Showalter
. . . explains one of the most important and least understood keys to success in conventional military operations—that is, actions against an organized enemy . . . Call catches the cadences and the mentality of today's professional soldiers . . . seeks to tell a straight story, presenting shortcomings and errors as well as positives. (Dennis E. Showalter, Colorado College)

Mark Buckman
Many of us watched the war on TV—or thought we did. This book brings forth previously untold and important accounts of airpower used to decimate Taliban and Iraqi forces, ahead of U.S. ground-force advances into enemy held terrain. . . . (Col. Mark Buckman, USAF, Council on Foreign Relations)

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