Martin Wolf is the author of The Shifts and the Shocks: What We've Learned—and Have Still to Learn—from the Financial Crisis. Full Bio
Preface: Why I Wrote this Book
Can ‘It’–a Great Depression–happen again? And if ‘It’ can happen why didn’t ‘It’ occur in the years since World War II? These are questions that naturally follow from both the historical record and the comparative success of the past thirty-five years. To answer these questions it is necessary to have an economic theory which makes great depressions one of the possible states in which our type of capitalist economy can find itself. –Hyman Minsky, 1982 (1)
This book is about the way in which the financial and economic crises that hit the high-income countries after August 2007 have altered our world. But its analysis is rooted in how these shocks originated in prior shifts–the interactions between changes in the global economy and the financial system. It asks how these disturbing events will–and should–change the ways we think about economics. It also asks how they will–and should–change the policies followed by the affected countries and the rest of the world. More…
Henry Kissinger is a German-born American political scientist, diplomat, former U.S. Secretary of State, and the author of On China and World Order, among many other books. Full Bio
The Question of World Order
In 1961, as a young academic, I called on President Harry S. Truman when I found myself in Kansas City delivering a speech. To the question of what in his presidency had made him most proud, Truman replied, “That we totally defeated our enemies and then brought them back to the community of nations. I would like to think that only America would have done this.” Conscious of America’s vast power, Truman took pride above all in its humane and democratic values. He wanted to be remembered not so much for America’s victories as for its conciliations. More…
Betty Halbreich is the author of I'll Drink to That: A Life in Style, With A Twist. Full Bio
In the 1930s, the South Side of Chicago was filled with good things: a dubonnet dress trimmed in white piqué; snowballs made from the inside of angel food cake hand-scooped out and rolled in homemade marshmallow and fresh coconut; the dining-room table set by Mother with china, silverware, starched linens, and an abundance of fruit and flowers; shopping at Kiddy Kicks, where an X-ray machine was used to fit shoes and make sure you were getting your money’s worth; the vegetable peddler’s heavily accented song floating up from his horse-drawn wagon to the third floor and through the window of my bedroom, where, awake but still, I dared not move until my nursemaid let me know it was time to rise.
Morning was easy, particularly because I always laid my clothes out the night before. They were a cheery greeting. My Best & Co. blouse hanging from the wardrobe was ironed using a special small board for the puff sleeves alone, so that they wouldn’t get creases. Its Peter Pan collar, which came on and off with fasteners for easy washing, was a snowy white. The topstitched knife pleats of a brown gingham skirt I chose as a well-suited companion had been pressed to razor sharpness. My patent-leather Mary Janes, the ones that required a buttonhook to fasten, had been treated with Vaseline, then buffed to a high shine with a cloth. More…
Mark Edmundson is the author of Why Football Matters: My Education in the Game. Full Bio
SONS AND FATHERS
I grew up watching football with my father. Starting when I was six years old, maybe seven, I watched Sunday games with him in our cramped apartment on Main Street in Malden, Massachusetts. It was 1958, 1959. We rooted for the New York Giants.
My father loved getting ready for the game. He pushed his king-dad’s chair into the middle of the living room, sat down, and tested it. Fine! Then he was up to work his hassock into place and to get his side table where he wanted it. He placed his smokes—Camels, non-filters—on the tabletop along with his matches and his ashtray. “My cigareets,” “my asheltray,” he called them. Who could say why? More…
Vanessa Manko is the author of the novel The Invention of Exile. Full Bio
Connecticut, 1913– 1920
He arrived in the United States in 1913 on a boat named Trieste. His face open, the brow smooth, eyes with the at once earnest, at once insecure gaze of hopeful, wanting youth. He began work fast. First at the Remington Arms Company, making ammunition for the Russian Imperial Army, rising up the ranks to become an inspector of the Mosin-Nagant rifle, and later working for the Hitchcock Gas Engine Company. In Bridgeport, Connecticut. His early mornings spent among the others. The hordes of men shuttling to and from factories in lines and masses of gray or black through the dim light of winter mornings and in the spring when the morning sun was like a secret, coy and sparkling, the water flashing on the sound.
They found each other, though. Through all of that, they, the Russians, found each other. They learned to spot each other through mannerisms, glances. This was later. In 1919. Then, the restrictions came at work and in the boardinghouse. More…
Who are these that fly like a cloud . . . ? —Isaiah 60:8
SATURDAY, JULY 16, 2011
On the morning that would make him famous, mountains upon mountains stretched to the horizon, and the air at seven thousand feet above sea level came cool and thin. An occasional gust bent thick grass on the ledge around his black boots. And more than a mile below, in a plush green valley, sun caught the waters of the Walensee and warmed cobblestones in a distant Swiss village along the lakeshore. It was one of those glorious days. The view, the sun and wind on your cheeks, made you grateful just to be alive.
“What do you reckon, ten miles an hour?” one of his companions asked Jeb about the wind. “Twelve?” Jeb was Jeb Corliss, a thirty-five-year-old stuntman and BASE jumper from California—“BASE” being an acronym for “buildings, antennas, spans (bridges), and earth (cliffs),” the primary objects that practitioners leap from. Jeb had plunged from the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Falls, in Venezuela, and the Petronas Towers, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; from countless mountainsides; and into a cave in Mexico more than a thousand feet deep. With a thousand jumps and counting, he was one of the leading lights in the most dangerous sport yet devised.
“More,” Jeb replied, not taking note of the scenery, his mouth hard-set, conveying the seriousness of what he was about to attempt.