Amity Shlaes, author of The Forgotten Man, delivers a brilliant and provocative reexamination of America's thirtieth president, Calvin Coolidge, and the decade of unparalleled growth that the nation enjoyed under his leadership. In this riveting biography, Shlaes traces Coolidge's improbable rise from a tiny town in New England to a youth so unpopular he was shut out of college fraternities at Amherst College up through Massachusetts politics. After a divisive period of government excess and corruption, Coolidge restored national trust in Washington and achieved what few other peacetime presidents have: He left office with a federal budget smaller than the one he inherited. A man of calm discipline, he lived by example, renting half of a two-family house for his entire political career rather than compromise his political work by taking on debt. Renowned as a throwback, Coolidge was in fact strikingly modern -- an advocate of women's suffrage and a radio pioneer. At once a revision of man and economics, Coolidge gestures to the country we once were and reminds us of qualities we had forgotten and can use today.
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The Forgotten Man
Campaign 2008 is in its way a campaign of despair, at least when it comes to domestic policy. Democrat or Republican, candidates must address the same problem: on the one hand, voters have enormous faith in the private sector; on the other, they expect government to provide them with ever more generous entitlements. In The Forgotten Man, Amity Shlaes takes us back to show us how the roots of our disillusionment can be found in a single election year, 1936. In that year, Franklin Roosevelt systematically established the modern political constituency, from unions to artists, to senior citizens. Roosevelt's solution was to spend for these groups, so extensively that federal spending that year outpaced state and local spending, for the first time ever in peacetime. The consequence was the Roosevelt landslide of 1936 --but also the modern entitlement trap. Roosevelt often spoke of the Forgotten Man, the man "at the bottom of the economic pyramid." Yet, Miss Shlaes shows, his New Deal created a new forgotten man, the man who subsidizes the funding of other constituencies -- and who haunts politics in all developed nations today.
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Turning Intellect Into Influence
For twenty five years, the Manhattan Institute has been one of America's leading think tanks, providing an ongoing source of new ideas about how a society based on freedom and individual responsibility can flourish. In Turning Intellect into Influence, nine leading writers and commentators give in-depth assessments of the institute's intellectual achievement over the last quarter century.
Reading these essays, one is brought to the heart of some of today's most pressing public policy debates: What is the proper role and responsibility of government? How does one define racial equality? How do economies-and cities-prosper? What measures are needed to ensure that every American child receives a good education?
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The Greedy Hand
"THE GREEDY HAND is the economic bible for those who believe in growth."
The Greedy Hand was a national bestseller in the U.S. It came out of my work editing and writing tax material in the 1990s at the Wall Street Journal. It was published by Random House and also appeared in paperback (Harvest). It was number one on "amazon.com"'s list, but for less than a day. It made the New York Times' extended bestseller list. I like it because it focused not only on tax rates but on the problems with the income tax structure. Writing it was one of the first times I thought seriously about public choice theory.
Here's what some others have said about The Greedy Hand:
"Finally, someone has given us a common-sense guide to America's worst regulatory mess: the tax system. Vividly told with stories from around America, THE GREEDY HAND builds a compelling case that the largest loser is democracy itself. The tax system is so complex that we no longer have any link between what we pay for and what we get."
--Philip K. Howard, author of THE DEATH OF COMMON SENSE
"Amity Shlaes has written a book on taxes in America that ought to arouse every taxpayer to a new indignation about a system that takes too much of every citizen's money...Shlaes takes "the system" apart...Shlaes has written a thoughtful, useful and practical appraisal of the tax dilemma."
--Maine's ELLSWORTH AMERICAN
"Amity Shlaes is among the most brilliant of the young writers who are transforming American financial journalism. This important and timely book outlines the problem which dominates the politics of the 21st century--how to reform the income tax fundamentally. And it provides a stunning solution."
--Paul Johnson, author of MODERN TIMES
"This is a terrific book on the history of politics and taxing in America. It is a must read--whether you come from the left, right, or mushy middle. Amity Shlaes takes us by the hand and leads us through the looking glass on a remarkable tour of our Mad Hatter tax system. Shlaes transcends taxes and peers into the soul of our twisted political process."
--Fred Goldberg, former IRS Commissioner, former Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, and Member of the National Commission on Restructuring the IRS
"Amity Shlaes is the Tocqueville of Tax."
--Lewis E. Lehrman, co-chairman of the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History
"I never thought I would enjoy a book about taxes. But I thoroughly enjoyed Amity Shlaes' THE GREEDY HAND, which makes sense of our unduly complicated tax system. In explaining how the tax structure got to be what it is and how it must change, her writing is delightful, and her logic is clear and persuasive."
"Finally, along comes the book that can break the political logjam on taxes. Amity Shlaes delivers a brilliant expose of what's wrong with our modern tax culture and why citizens are so disillusioned with lawmakers. THE GREEDY HAND is the compass for thinking about overhauling the entire tax system in America."
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Germany: The Empire Within
This book [Germany: The Empire Within] came out of my experiences studying and working in Germany starting in the fall of 1982. I planned it in the late 1980s, as the political change in East Europe was beginning, and finished it around the time the Wall came down. It appeared in the US (Farrar, Straus) and the UK (Jonathan Cape).
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