An original history of ideas, and an unforgettable portrait of power, The
Economists' Hour by New York Times editorial writer Binyamin Appelbaum
tells the story of the people who sparked four decades of economic
revolution. Before the 1960s, American politicians had never paid much
attention to economists. But as the post-World War II boom began to
sputter, economists gained influence and power. In this original history of
ideas, and unforgettable portrait of a revolution, Binyamin Appelbaum
traces the rise of the economists, first in the United States and then
around the globe, as their ideas reshaped the modern world, curbing
government, unleashing corporations and hastening globalization. Some
leading figures are relatively well-known, like Milton Friedman, the elfin
libertarian who had a greater influence on American life than any other
economist of his generation, and Arthur Laffer, who sketched a curve on a
cocktail napkin that helped to make tax cuts a staple of conservative
economic policy. Others stayed out of the limelight, but left a lasting
impact on modern life: Walter Oi, a blind economist who dictated
calculations to his wife that helped to persuade President Nixon to end
military conscription; Alfred Kahn, who deregulated air travel and rejoiced
in the crowded cabins on commercial flights as the proof of his success;
and Thomas Schelling, who put a dollar value on human life. Their
fundamental belief? That government should stop trying to manage the
economy. Their guiding principle? That markets would deliver steady growth,
and ensure that all Americans shared in the benefits. But the Economists'
Hour failed to deliver on its promise of broad prosperity. And the single-
minded embrace of markets has come at the expense of economic equality, of
the health of liberal democracy, and of future generations. Timely,
engaging and expertly researched, The Economists' Hour is a reckoning - and
a call for people to rewrite the rules of the market.

Binyamin Appelbaum—The Economists' Hour - False Prophets, Free Markets, And The