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The Populist Temptation: Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Populism of the right and left has spread like wildfire throughout the world. The impulse reached its apogee in the United States with the election of Trump, but it was a force in Europe ever since the Great Recession sent the European economy into a prolonged tailspin. In the simplest terms, populism is a political ideology that vilifies economic and political elites and ...more
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published June 4th 2018 by Oxford University Press, USA
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Claire
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school-history
The Populist Temptation is a thoroughly researched, clearly reasoned, evidence based analysis of the role of economic grievance/insecurity in creating environments vulnerable to populism. Eichengreen’s claim is clear, and the comparative case studies of the US and Europe are effectively traced across history to illustrate this. For my purposes, there was a bit too much present focus, but this is a valuable perspective which will have application in my programme.
Greg
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book discusses the interrelationship between the economic causes underlying populist resentment and loss, or fear of loss, of status and identity in both the United States and England. When governments do little to satisfactorily address substantial economic or social problems, it is not surprising that aggrieved citizens will turn to those who promise that they will respond to the will of the people.

Dr. Eichengreen deftly points out how the economic policies of the US and Great Britain s
...more
Ietrio
Dec 18, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk
Barry Eichengreen is a governmental bureaucrat who has specialized in climbing the academic ladder and that is his only specialization. Hence, for him the same act is called politics if it is done by one of the gangs he approves and populism if it is done by a gang he wants forbidden by law. The text itself is the tantrums of a 6 year old embedded in bureaucratic language.
Bob H
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an in-depth, well-researched explanation, and history, of populism -- a phenomenon now in fullness in the Trump era, but one, the author shows us, has a long and recurring history in the West. He traces it, country, by country, notably in the U.S., where economics -- shifts in technology, agriculture and industry, and the resulting shocks -- would intertwine with politics to energize populist movements of left and right, be they the Know-Nothing and Progressive/Populist parties of the 19 ...more
Pierre Franckx
Jun 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Maybe I should read the book again, as other very thorough and sensible reviews are very positive (I read them too), and I was rather disappointed. I don't know what to think of 'his' definition of populism. I looks convincing at first sight, but upon inspection it seems incomplete or even inappropriate - to me it seems a bit more complicated. I actually don't know if a better definition exists... I learned a lot on historical level, but really don't know what to do about his analysis of the fac ...more
Rachel Barr
Apr 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Informative and non-ideological analysis of the inflammatory surge of new populisms. Any perspective grounded in an analogy of times past with the present will likely be a good guide for the future, though this piece was lacking in critical analysis and detail.
Brandon Furey
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good explanation of the rise of populism in today's governments from an economic perspective. ...more
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Barry Eichengreen* is the George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1987. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (London, England). In 1997-98 he was Senior ...more

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“Today is not the 1930s. By acknowledging differences and considering instances where a populist reaction was contained as well as those where populist leaders and movements usurped power, I hope to avoid the worst pitfalls.” 0 likes
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