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About Amity Shlaes
Miss Shlaes is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, COOLIDGE, THE FORGOTTEN MAN, THE FORGOTTEN MAN/GRAPHIC and THE GREEDY HAND.
Miss Shlaes chairs the board of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation. She chairs the Hayek Prize, a prize for free market books given by the Manhattan Institute.
She is a presidential scholar at the Kings College/New York.
Miss Shlaes has been the recipient of the Hayek Prize, the Frederic Bastiat Prize of the International Policy Network, the Warren Brookes Prize (2008) of the American Legislative Exchange Council, as well as being a two-time finalist for the Loeb Prize (Anderson School/UCLA).
She is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale College and did graduate work at the Freie Universitaet Berlin on a DAAD fellowship. She and her husband, the editor and author Seth Lipsky, have four children.
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The New York Times bestselling author of The Forgotten Man and Coolidge offers a stunning revision of our last great period of idealism, the 1960s, with burning relevance for our contemporary challenges.
"Great Society is accurate history that reads like a novel, covering the high hopes and catastrophic missteps of our well-meaning leaders." —Alan Greenspan
Today, a battle rages in our country. Many Americans are attracted to socialism and economic redistribution while opponents of those ideas argue for purer capitalism. In the 1960s, Americans sought the same goals many seek now: an end to poverty, higher standards of living for the middle class, a better environment and more access to health care and education. Then, too, we debated socialism and capitalism, public sector reform versus private sector advancement. Time and again, whether under John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, or Richard Nixon, the country chose the public sector. Yet the targets of our idealism proved elusive. What’s more, Johnson’s and Nixon’s programs shackled millions of families in permanent government dependence. Ironically, Shlaes argues, the costs of entitlement commitments made a half century ago preclude the very reforms that Americans will need in coming decades.
In Great Society, Shlaes offers a powerful companion to her legendary history of the 1930s, The Forgotten Man, and shows that in fact there was scant difference between two presidents we consider opposites: Johnson and Nixon. Just as technocratic military planning by “the Best and the Brightest” made failure in Vietnam inevitable, so planning by a team of the domestic best and brightest guaranteed fiasco at home. At once history and biography, Great Society sketches moving portraits of the characters in this transformative period, from U.S. Presidents to the visionary UAW leader Walter Reuther, the founders of Intel, and Federal Reserve chairmen William McChesney Martin and Arthur Burns. Great Society casts new light on other figures too, from Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, to the socialist Michael Harrington and the protest movement leader Tom Hayden. Drawing on her classic economic expertise and deep historical knowledge, Shlaes upends the traditional narrative of the era, providing a damning indictment of the consequences of thoughtless idealism with striking relevance for today. Great Society captures a dramatic contest with lessons both dark and bright for our own time.
In The Forgotten Man, Amity Shlaes, one of the nation's most-respected economic commentators, offers a striking reinterpretation of the Great Depression. She traces the mounting agony of the New Dealers and the moving stories of individual citizens who through their brave perseverance helped establish the steadfast character we recognize as American today.
The father of the modern American state was an obscure Macy's department store executive named Beardsley Ruml. During World War II, he devised the plan for withholding taxes from your paycheck, thereby laying in place a system that allows the hand of government to reach into your wallet and take what it wants.
Today, taxes make up more than a third of our economy, the highest level in history outside war. We live in the nation revolutionary father Thomas Paine foresaw when he wrote of "the Greedy Hand of government thrusting itself into every corner of industry." This book is a cultural examination of the way taxes influence our behavior, how they force us into an arbitrary system that punishes families and individual enterprise.
Amity Shlaes unveils the hidden perversities of our lifelong tax experience: how family tax breaks do little to help the family, and can even hurt it. She demonstrates how married women pay a special women's tax rate, higher than anybody else's. She shows how problems that engage and enrage us--Social Security problems, or the things we don't like about schools--are, at heart, tax problems. And she explains why the solutions Washington offers merely accelerate a vicious cycle.
Finally, Amity Shlaes shows us a way out of this madness, endorsing a number of common-sense reforms that will give all Americans a fairer and simpler tax system. Written with eloquent compassion for working Americans and their families, The Greedy Hand makes the best case yet for rethinking our tax code. It is a book no tax-paying citizen can afford to ignore.
An illustrated edition of Amity Shlaes's bestseller The Forgotten Man, featuring vivid black-and-white illustrations that capture this dark period in American history and the men and women, from all walks of life, whose character and ideas helped them persevere
It's difficult today to imagine how America survived the Great Depression. Only through the stories of the common people who struggled during that era—the ones with rock-solid values that helped them through the toughest of times—can we really understand how the nation endured.
These are the people at the heart of The Forgotten Man. This imaginative illustrated edition highlights one of the most devastating periods in our nation's history through the lives of American people, from politicians and workers to businessmen, farmers, and ordinary citizens. Smart and stylish black-and-white art from acclaimed illustrator Paul Rivoche provides an utterly original vision of the coexistence of despair and hope that characterized Depression-era America. Shlaes's narrative and Rivoche's art illuminate key economic concepts, showing how government intervention helped to make the Depression great by overlooking the men and women who were trying to help themselves.
The Forgotten Man Graphic Edition captures the spirit of this crucial moment in American history and the steadfast character and ingenuity of those who lived it.