New Book Explains Right Turn in US Politics Since 1980

April 3, 2007

New Book Explains Right Turn in U.S. Politics Since 1980

Economist Dean Baker Provides an Insightful Narrative of U.S. Economic and Political History

For Immediate Release: April 3, 2007

Contact: Lynn Erskine, 202-293-5380 x115

In his new book, The United States Since 1980 (Cambridge University Press), economist Dean Baker describes the sharp right turn the United States has taken since Ronald Reagan became president in 1980. Baker explains how Reagan's policies were a break from both the policies pursued by prior administrations and those pursued in other wealthy countries. They had the effect of redistributing both before- and after-tax income upward, so that the bulk of the economic gains over the last quarter century were directed to a small segment of the population.

The author's analysis explains how both political parties have largely come to accept the main tenets of Reaganism, putting the United States on an unsustainable path that is at odds with the rest of the world.

    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Available in hardback and paperback
    ISBN-13: 9780521677554
    Pages: 274

Available online at: Powell's, Amazon and Cambridge University Press


"Dean Baker superbly narrates the great right turn in American politics over the past 25 years and explains the profound economic consequences with clarity. The conservative era has generated enormous vulnerabilities and inequalities that are now bearing down on American life."   
    — William Greider, correspondent for The Nation and author of The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy

"In a vividly written, remarkably inclusive narrative, Dean Baker makes sense of contemporary history. He is particularly insightful about America's changing political economy in global context. There is no better book on this vital topic."

    — Michael Kazin, Professor of History, Georgetown University 

About the Author

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. He is the author of Social Security: The Phony Crisis (with Mark Weisbrot); The Benefits of Full Employment (with Jared Bernstein); Getting Prices Right: The Battle Over the Consumer Price Index; and The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer. Baker is a frequent guest on TV and radio programs across the country. His blog, Beat the Press, features commentary on economic reporting. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.