Reference Materials - Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea - Oct 9th

Our focus is “Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea” by Mark Blyth, Brown U. Prof. Of Intl. Political Economy (Oxford U Press – 4/25/2013 – $18.96 Hardcover + Shipping or $9.50 Kindle from – 304 pages).

Ordinarily, we post in this “Reference Materials” section book reviews from the NY Times, Washington Post and other publications vis-à-vis particular topics (e.g., The Wall Street Journal for financial matters or the London Guardian-Observer for international matters).

However, “Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea” has NOT been reviewed by any of these publications.

Nevertheless, posted in this section are reviews of “Austerity” by two well-known American economists:

(1) Harvard Prof. Lawrence Summers – who is one of the two leading candidates* to be appointed by President Obama to succeed Ben Bernanke early next year as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Summers has taken leaves of absence from the Harvard Economics Department to serve as Director of President Obama’s National Economic Council 2009-2010, President of Harvard University 2001-2006, U.S. Treasury Secretary 1999-2001, Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary 1995-1999 and Chief Economist of the World Bank 1991-1993. [Prof. Summers was fired as President of Harvard University for making negative remarks about the ability of women in general to study mathematics and science; obviously Harvard had not done sufficient due diligence in selecting him as President because he had authored an extensive paper as Chief Economist for the World Bank arguing that industries which create extensive pollution should be located in third-world countries where life is cheap -- which should have alerted the Harvard search committee that Prof. Summers is prone to make impolitic statements.] [Movie buffs will also recall the scene in The Social Network where the Winklevoss twins complain to Harvard President Lawrence Summers that Mark Zuckerberg has violated the Harvard Student Handbook in allegedly stealing the Winklevoss’ idea which eventually developed into Facebook.]

(2) Princeton Prof. Paul Krugman – who is a Nobel Laureate and who is also a regular OpEd writer for the NY Times. [Prof. Krugman’s review actually covers “Austerity” and two other books.]


* Prof. Summers was thought by virtually all political commentators to be President Obama’s first choice to become Federal Reserve Chairman early next year -- however, Prof. Summers withdrew his name from consideration two days after the foregoing information was posted on this bulletin board.
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