The story of the economists who championed the rise of free markets and fundamentally reshaped the modern world.
Before the 1960s, politicians had never paid much attention to economists. But as the post-World War II boom began, they gained in influence and power. Over time, their ideas curbed governments, unleashed corporations and hastened globalization.
Their fundamental belief? That governments should stop trying to manage the economy.
Their guiding principle? That markets would deliver steady growth, and ensure that all shared in the benefits.
The economists' hour fostered growth and brought millions out of poverty, but it also failed to deliver on its promise of broad prosperity. The single-minded embrace of markets has come at the expense of economic equality, of the health of liberal democracy, and of future generations. Across the world, from both right and left, the assumptions of the once-dominant school of free-market economic thought are being challenged, as we count the costs as well as the gains of its influence.
Both accessible and authoritative, exploring the impact of both ideas and individuals, Binyamin Appelbaum's The Economists' Hour provides both a reckoning with the past and a call for a different future.