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The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century

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3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,411 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
No one has more authority to call the shots the way they really are than award-winning economist Paul Krugman, whose provocative New York Times columns are keenly followed by millions. One of the world's most respected economists, Krugman has been named America's most important columnist by the Washington Monthly and columnist of the year by Editor and Publisher magazine. ...more
ebook, 560 pages
Published August 17th 2004 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,682)
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Dean Moberly
Dec 28, 2007 Dean Moberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americans and others
I tend to be very cautious when reading anything current about politics... especially when it comes from a writer who shares my feelings and views (e.g. Dick Cheney eats babies for breakfast). Krugman is an economist and Op Ed columnist for The New York Times who approaches the state of our country without the hysteria of a Fox News host or any number of Vanity Fair contributors. Occasionally confessing where his theories and forecasts on the economy have gone wrong, he earns points for an open ...more
Jim
I like Paul Krugman, and this collection of his op-ed pieces for the NY Times written between 2000 and 2003 has stimulated me to follow him closer at his blog. There is no doubt that he makes a strong case in this book for his contention (with which I agree) that there is a right-wing movement in this country that is taking control of our politics and our economy. This was his contention in 2003, and I don't think it has changed since then.

As much as I agree with and commiserate with Paul Krugm
...more
Paul W
You might think this refers to the GFC (aka the Great Recession in the US). You'd be wrong. It is actually a series of newspaper articles written in 2001 and 2002. Krugman's articles were challenging so many of the US policies that were ultimately to result in the GFC in 2008/9. The recession in 2001 turns out to have been a trial run of the much deeper malaise of 2008, but with many of the same underlying causes. In 1998 when commenting on the debt build up in the US he presciently noted: "ther ...more
Larry
Oct 28, 2008 Larry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Recommended to Larry by: NYT book review
A penetrating look at the partisanship and elitism of the Bush administration by an economist with a rapier like wit (hard to believe, eh?) The mendacity and self aggrandizement of the Bush crew is apparent to all. The sheer hubris is breath taking, something the world hasn't seen since Joseph Goebbels. Alas we all are to blame as we had two chances to stop all this and we did not do it. Let's not make that mistake again, ever.
Reid
Dec 20, 2008 Reid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Krugman is just right on over and over again. The financial mess we find ourselves in was pretty much predicted by him in 2002 to 2004 where he says over and over, the mendacity and malfeasance, the shirking and ducking of accountability, oversight, regulation will lead to a loss of investor confidence, market collapse, etc.

Now he has a Nobel Prize and the satisfaction of watching all he said would likely happen, happen.
Raghu oddiraju
Dec 18, 2012 Raghu oddiraju rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading this book and the timing could not have been better. With all the talk going about "Fiscal Cliff" etc,. Paul really lays it out to you how policies are made at the highest level. It is always interesting to know about power, money and how they go hand-in-hand.
Though you don't have to believe everything he says, it is still a good read.
I plan on reading his other works after this.
Dan
Apr 22, 2007 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: liberals, conservatives open to logic
Krugman is brilliant, his topics are wide-ranging, and his grounding as an economist means that his ideas are supported in such a way that whatever your political views, you can engage with this book in a useful way (unlike, say, Bill O'Reilly's or Al Franken's books). Note of caution to those left of center, and therefore more apt to agree with Krugman: You will be completely outraged.
Irene
His columns written while the events of the Bush adminstration were happening were enlightening and explained the mistakes and the consequences of the foolish war in Iraq. Trying to turn Iraq into a Haliburton gas station has blown up and caused this country dearly and we will continue to pay for this terrible mistake for many more years to come.
Kathleen
Jan 20, 2016 Kathleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Top notch writing, insightful, compelling analysis of the economic debacle of the Bush administration, the effects of which we are painfully feeling now and will continue to feel for years to come. Paul Krugman is articulate, well-informed, with a keen eye for seeing through BS. A must-read and still as meaningful today as when it was written.
Benjamin
May 07, 2007 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The format of this book, a collection of newspaper columns, makes it excellent for reading on the bus or the subway. It's also interesting to see what Krugman was writing as events unfolded compared to the conventional wisdom then and now. I wish more of what Krugman predicted so many years ago had not turned out to be right.
Dv Prasad
Sep 20, 2014 Dv Prasad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It scares me a lot. If all this is true and US of A can elect such a president twice, what else is that country capable(sic) of?

On a side note, India is not even mentioned once. That's how relevant India is to USA.
Chris Brimmer
Lucid writing that the layman should understand. It is an excellent collection with great organization. It is the intelligent answer to the Republican assertion that no one saw the "great recession" coming.
Gary Turner
Sep 02, 2015 Gary Turner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An accurate chronicle of the greedy takeover of our democracy with the help of the regressive Republican party and their cocotte leaders George Bush and Dick Cheney and many others.
Hawkgirl
Still good stuff in here even though some of his compiled columns are more than 15 years old.
Kai Palchikoff
...losing our way in the new century...; Bush policies = right wing try to reverse New Deal.
Mark
This book was written several years ago but I just read it. It was chilling reading Krugman's economic post-mordems of the Asian financial crisis of the '90s - in hindsight it seems downright prophetic!

Krugman is a rare breed, a partisan that is cerebral and makes one think. He's not a knee jerk, mouth foaming, raging partisan that is easy to dismiss. Rather, he is a cool headed economist turned political columnist that has proven to be a particularly sharp and prescient voice in the wilderness
...more
Jack
With a name like "the great unraveling," an author like Paul Krugman, and promises to address the financial crisis, I was expecting a thoughtful meditation on the fundamental causes of the crisis. What was delivered however, was a clever money-making ploy, in which Krugman culled together his NYtimes articles from recent years, with tangential connections to the current financial situation. His articles mostly address instead his thoughts on a vast right-wing conspiracy against rationalism, mode ...more
James
Apr 27, 2009 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was clearly a relic from the flaming catastrophe that was the Bush Administration, and it showed. I don't think it will stand the test of time. Already, I was struggling to recall the details of our 43rd President's assaults on the economy, the environment, education, and the mental faculties, reason first among them. Still I liked it.

I decided to learn as much as I can about Finance, because it seems very critically important, and I don't know anything about it. The more I learn, the
...more
Stan Murai
Dec 16, 2013 Stan Murai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paul Krugman, a Nobel prize winner and one of the world's
most respected economists, draws on his New York Times
columns to chronicle the how the boom economy of the
late 1990's and early 2000's become unraveled. He describes
how exuberance succumbed to pessimism, how corporate
heroes were exposed as perpetrators of corporate scandals,
and how how fiscal responsibility in government collapsed
only to enrich the already wealthy. Much of this book is
an account of the energy crisis in California cau
...more
Yves Gounin
Prix Nobel d'économie en 2008, Paul Krugman est probablement l'un des économistes contemporains les plus connus. Il a enseigné à Yale, au MIT, à Stanford et aujourd'hui à Princeton. Pourtant il doit moins sa célébrité à ses travaux sur l'économie internationale qu'à ses éditoriaux bi-hebdomadaires dans le "New York Times". Le recueil publié par Norton en 2003 sous le titre "The Great Unraveling" (qu'on aurait pu traduire par "La vérité dévoilée") fut un succès de librairie outre-Atantique. A la ...more
Geoff
Oct 05, 2012 Geoff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A collection of Paul Krugmans NYT articles from 2001-2003. Mostly
criticizing President Bush. Since these are articles of the current
news, the reading these articles 10 years later allows for a
historical look, but the issues and details of the article get lost.
Mr. Krugman views president Bush and Administration as a
‘revolutionary’ power that normal reasoning cannot be used. A
revolutionary power in Krugman’s view shuts down all criticism and is
paranoid of any dissenting thought.


It is interesting t
...more
Kurtbg
Oct 30, 2012 Kurtbg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, fiction-non
Imagine the chronicling of the Bush Jr. Administration and the US in his care being commentated on with prescience and collected in one tome. Well, that's exactly what you have here. Choice Op-ed/writings of NY Times economics writer P. K. are grouped into topics. What's interesting is that the author just doesn't jump right in. He sets the scene by establishing the reader with a familiarity with economics up to the 43's term. The articles are short 3-4 pages which makes portions digestible, eve ...more
Manderson
Mar 03, 2008 Manderson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who hasn't been reading the New York Times
Shelves: non-fiction
It was somewhat hard to push myself through this compilation of articles, simply because of the inevitable redundancy. I wish that the editors or Paul Krugman had taken the time to make a more contiguous experience out of the articles by editing them into one whole, rather than simply compiling them by topic. That said, however, I still enjoyed reading Krugman's clear-eyed refutation of every crooked action made by the Bush Administration. He gets down to the bottom of their thievery, revealing ...more
Sebastian Uribe
Uno de los mejores libros de no ficción que he leído este año. Un espaldarazo a la carrera de un economista, una profesión desde la cual es posible hacer mucho por tratar de cambiar las sociedades, entendiendola como una rama del conocimiento que no puede estar desligada de la realidad, menos aun de la política. La mayoría de columnas que escribió son una clara exigencia al público de indagar más sobre las acciones de la administración Bush, en la que la codicia, la impunidad, el cinismo y la me ...more
Spenser
Jul 13, 2009 Spenser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is one that everyone should read if they are interested on figuring out what went wrong in the bush administration. Republican or Democrat this book will open your eyes to the direction our country was in, with regards to the economy and civil rights. I was leaning toward becoming a liberal since the past election. Reading this book has just about turned me, i still want to read some critiques from the other side. I know there is little that can be said on behalf of the bush administra ...more
Theresa
Dec 26, 2008 Theresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of Paul Krugman's Op-Ed articles he wrote for The New York Times during Bush's first term. Though it is somewhat outdated, it is still interesting to read about predictions of an economic collapse. Perhaps I was too young to understand this market ten years ago, but I never suspected that we would have this real estate bubble and bust. I'd like to recommend this book to one of my ex-boyfriends who thought I was immature to not buy a house and "invest" more in the stock marke ...more
Jay Roberts
Sep 12, 2011 Jay Roberts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
The Great Unraveling is a collection of short essays penned between 1998 and 2002. While most of the work is looking towards the future, it is startling to see how many predictions Krugman made have come true. The political and economic history of the world do not always repeat themselves, but they do tend to rhyme. This book is worth reading mostly because it will lend weight to any future argument you read from Krugman. No crystal ball is involved, but it’s close enough for me.
Andrew
What I dig about Krugman in the articles I've read of his is his remarkable ability to convert dense, calculus-derived economic concepts into everyday language, while not losing the subtlety of those dense concepts. While this was an enjoyable read, I wish the articles included here were longer. Because they were originally pieces of journalism written during or immediately after the events they are describing, we don't get much extended commentary.
Quinton
Dec 14, 2009 Quinton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Krugman is a genius. This man is very smart, which explains the Nobel prize in economics... but he also has his own little political agenda, which was very clear in this book. If you can sort through his anti-Bushisms, (and even keeping some of them in) he has a lot of good things to say.
This book is a compilation of many of his articles for the New York Times, from 1998 to early 2004. It was a good read.
Rebecca
Its an obviously dated book, and I'm no fan of the politicians of this era, it was still grating at times - in particular those sections related to the economy - did we really not listen? I could only handle it in chuncks but I'm glad I stuck with it. I wonder if in 20 years time, when a new generation is reading it, will it still apear dated?
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Paul Robin Krugman is an American economist, liberal columnist and author. He is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, and an op-ed columnist for The New York Times. In 2008, Krugman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his contributions ...more
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