In This Review

The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century
The Great Unraveling: Losing Our Way in the New Century
By Paul Krugman
W.W. Norton, 2003, 320 pp

A Princeton economist turned New York Times columnist, Krugman combines colorful writing with astute economic analysis. This book is a collection of his columns from 2000 to 2003 (plus some earlier articles written for non-economists) with new introductory commentary. Krugman is a self-conscious outsider, an iconoclast who offers trenchant commentary on bad policy and bad business behavior, and much of the material here concerns what he considers the Bush administration's systematic deception of the public. In the introduction, he posits the existence of a revolutionary right-wing conspiracy -- a term he does not use lightly. His commentary ranges from developments in Japan and Europe to financial crises and foreign trade policy, areas in which Krugman has made important contributions as an economist. He emerges as a strong, insightful critic of an unqualified "market-knows-best" world view.