Brink Lindsey is a senior scholar at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and former vice president for research at the Cato Institute. He is the author of "The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity Transformed America's Politics and Culture" (Collins) and "Against the Dead Hand: The Uncertain Struggle for Global Capitalism" (Wiley).
The motivation for asking that question should be clear enough to anyone who has been following the dreary economic news of the past few years. Since the Great Recession of 2008–2009, the U.S. economy has experienced the most stubbornly disappointing expansion since World War II.
Reviving Economic Growth offers a wide-ranging exploration of policy options from an eclectic group of contributors. Think of this collection as a brainstorming session, not a blueprint for political action. By bringing together thinkers one doesn’t often see in the same publication, the editor’s hope is to encourage fresh thinking about the daunting challenges facing the U.S. economy—and, with luck, to uncover surprising areas of agreement that can pave the way to constructive change.
In The Age of Abundance, Brink Lindsey offers a bold reinterpretation of the latter half of the twentieth century. In this sweeping history of postwar America, the tumult of racial and gender politics, the rise of the counterculture, and the conservative revolution of the 1980s and 1990s are portrayed in an entirely new light. Readers will learn how and why the contemporary ideologies of left and right emerged in response to the novel challenges of mass prosperity.
The political ideas that created the culture wars, however, have now grown obsolete. As the Washington Post aptly summarized Lindsey's take on the contradictions of American politics, "Republicans want to go home to the United States of the 1950s while Democrats want to work there." Struggling to replace today's stale conflicts is a new consensus that mixes the social freedom of the left with the economic freedom of the right into a potentially powerful ethos of libertarianism. The Age of Abundance reveals the secret formula of this remarkable alchemy. The book is a breathtaking reevaluation of our recent past—and will change the way we think about the future.