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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Stockman, veteran of the Reagan White House and Wall Street, offers his self-described polemic, a wide-ranging indictment of the American government-economic complex; free markets and democracy have been under long-term attack, and the author explains why we have myriad problems, perhaps intractable. He indicates the book contains much original interpretation of financial and public policy events and trends of the last century, even a revisionist framework. Stockman concludes his lengthy controversial argument with: the cure . . . is to return to sound money and fiscal rectitude and to correct the great error initiated during the New Deal . . . . In pursuing humanitarian purposes the state cannot and need not attempt to manage the business cycle or goose the free market with stimulants for more growth and jobs; nor can it afford the universal entitlements of social insurance. Its job is to be a trustee for citizens left behind, maintaining a sturdy, fair and efficient safety net. This thought-provoking book will contribute to important debates on these issues.--Whaley, Mary Copyright 2010 Booklist