The Age of Austerity and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.01
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Like New | Details
Sold by ToyBurg
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Eligible for FREE Super Saving Shipping! Fast Amazon shipping plus a hassle free return policy mean your satisfaction is guaranteed! Tracking number provided in your Amazon account with every order. Crisp, clean pages; like new. Has a remainder mark.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics Hardcover – January 10, 2012


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$4.11 $0.01
Best%20Books%20of%202014
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; First Edition edition (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385535198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385535199
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #942,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Age of Austerity:


"[T]his book makes for timely reading
, given the acrimonious partisanship that has animated the 2012 campaign.... [Edsall uses] his chops as a political reporter (he spent 25 years covering politics for The Washington Post and is currently writing an online column on the 2012 election for The New York Times) to put these developments in historical perspective and to assess how they might affect this year’s elections."Michiko Kakutani, New York Times


"The economic collapse that began in 2008 and its aftermath…has mired us in what Thomas Edsall rightly calls “the age of austerity.’’ What this means, the former Washington Post reporter argues in his eye-opening and hugely important account, is a transformation of US politics into “a dog-eat-dog political competition over diminishing resources.’’ Edsall’s point is powerfully argued…. [H]is book is essential…reading for anyone seeking to understand our broken politics."Chuck Leddy, Boston Globe


"The Age of Austerity is an impressive synthesis of reporting and political science. Eschewing the kind of personality-driven trivia that constitutes so much campaign reporting, Edsall digs deep into the underlying social, economic, and even psychological drivers of America's increasingly polarized political coalitions."Matthew Yglesias, Slate


"[A] serious work…that repay[s] close attention….. Edsall’s book really comes alive…when it turns to the political effects of austerity. He believes that US politics will increasingly be characterised by a struggle for resources…. [S]ober and precise."—Gideon Rachman, Financial Times


"Provide[s] much-needed information and analysis.... Like other overleveraged nations, the US may well be facing Thomas Edsall's 'age of austerity'."—Andrew Hacker, New York Review of Books


"In this erudite primer on the conditions that have brought us to this moment of economic crisis, journalist and Columbia University professor Edsall argues that the U.S. faces a future of diminished resources, and, as a result of partisan intractability, the possibility that we won't overcome current challenges to long-term prosperity.... Providing ample sociological and economic evidence via descriptive graphs and in-depth analysis, Edsall...illuminates hard but necessary truths."—Publishers Weekly


 "I strongly recommend that every sensible, intelligent voter read this book before the fall elections."—Ed Fisher, Morning Sun


Advance Praise for The Age of Austerity:


“Thomas Edsall has written some of the most important and lasting political books of the last 25 years. Here, he deftly places the debates and controversies of the current moment in a broader historical and policy context. And he explains clearly why our economic woes have political causes—a fact that most people don't quite believe, but one that urgently needs to be understood.”
Michael Tomasky, political columnist for Newsweek and the Daily Beast


“Tom Edsall is a tough realist with a large conscience and a brilliant mind. That's why he's one of the country’s most important political writers: he faces difficult truths that others try to avoid and discerns important trends before they become trendy—and before most people even notice them. He's done that again with The Age of Austerity, exactly the right book asking the right questions for our moment.”
E. J. Dionne, Jr., author of Why Americans Hate Politics
 
 
“As economists handicap the odds of a new recession and speculate about a lost decade for the U.S. economy, Tom Edsall offers a troubling vision of American political and social conflict in circumstances of low growth and intense polarization.  To avoid what he dubs a “brutish future,” our divided leaders will have to come together around a plan for renewed growth that is bound to offend the core constituencies of both political parties.  If Edsall is right, the outlook for such an agreement is dim at best, and the alternative is the decline of the United States.”
William Galston, Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution and former policy advisor to President Clinton


The Age of Scarcity greatly clarifies the current frightening crisis in our politics. Thomas Edsall, one of our major political commentators, sees Republicans and Democrats as competing coalitions of haves and have-nots, locked in brutal battles over the fundamentals of modern American government at a time of severe economic duress.  The stakes for America's future are economic and moral as well as political, and they are as large as they have been since the Great Depression. Edsall's analysis—at once calm and insistent, upsetting and enlightening—is a singularly valuable account of these ugly times.”
Sean Wilentz, Sidney and Ruth Lapidus Professor of the American Revolutionary Era at Princeton University, author of The Rise of American Democracy and The Age of Reagan
 

About the Author

Thomas Edsall is an American journalist and academic, best known for his 25 years covering politics for the Washington Post.  He holds the Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professorship in Public Affairs Journalism at Columbia University, and writes an online 2012 election column for the New York Times. In addition, he is a correspondent for The New Republic, and the author of Chain Reaction, a Pulitzer Prize finalist (1992), The New Politics of Equality (1984), and Building Red America (2006), among other works.  Edsall is also the winner of the Carey McWilliams Award of the American Political Science Association.  Mr. Edsall lives in New York and Washington, D.C. with his wife, Mary.


More About the Author

Thomas Byrne Edsall is an online columnist for the New York Times and a correspondent for The New Republic. He holds the Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at Columbia University. He joined the full-time faculty at Columbia in 2006 after a twenty-five year career at The Washington Post. During that time, he covered all aspects of national politics, including presidential elections, the House and Senate, lobbying, tax policy, demographic trends, social welfare, and the politics of race and ethnicity.

Edsall served in 2006 as a guest columnist for the print edition of the New York Times. Before he came to the Washington Post he reported for The Baltimore Sun and The Providence Journal. He has covered politics for The National Journal, and has contributed TV and radio commentary to CNN, CSPAN, MSNBC, PBS, FOX, and NPR.

Edsall is the author of five books: The Age of Austerity (2012); Building Red America (2006); Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics (2005); Power and Money: Writing About Politics (1988); and The New Politics of Inequality (1984).

He is also the editor of or contributor to a number of other books: Red and Blue Nation? Characteristics and Causes of America's Polarized Politics, contributor (2006); Varieties of Progressivism in America, contributor, 2004; Deadlock: The Inside Story of America's Closest Election (2001); Present Discontents, contributor (1997); The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order 1930-1980, contributor, (1989); The Reagan Legacy, (co-editor and contributor) (1988).

Edsall has written extensively for magazines, with articles appearing in American Prospect, The Atlantic Monthly, Civilization, Dissent, Harper's, The Nation, The National Journal, The New Republic, The New York Review of Books, the Washington Monthly.

Edsall's 1992 book Chain Reaction was a Pulitzer finalist in general non-fiction. His awards include the Carey McWilliams Award of the American Political Science Association, the Bill Pryor Award and the Front Page Award of the Newspaper Guild, a yearlong fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and several Media Fellowships at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Edsall attended Brown University and received a B.A. from Boston University.



Customer Reviews

Can’t really “review” this book.
Rob Toth
The Republican Party did not disappear as the Democrats so confidently predicted, but neither did the Republicans succeed in dismantling the Democrats' Welfare State.
Alan F. Sewell
In the great expansion of the US economy in the decades following WWII, concerns about distribution of economic gains were largely relegated to the background.
J. Grattan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Alan F. Sewell on January 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If anything is clear at this time it is that the American people have been shell-shocked by the Great Recession. Among all other aspects of life we are confused about which political party to trust with the financial future of our country.

In 2008 we elected a Democrat President who followed through on his campaign promise to expand the government's role in providing healthcare. The very instant his agenda was enacted into law we voted the Democrats out of Congress, replacing them with "Tea Party" Republicans who vowed to reverse the Democrat agenda by repealing healthcare reform, lowering taxes, and reducing the reach of government! So now we have a government of two warring factions, anchored to diametrically opposing ideologies, without any sort of middle ground to build a compromise around.

Of course it's not entirely fair to blame the gridlock on our elected officials when "we the people" who elected them are so fickle in switching back and forth between diametrically opposing ideologies. Our representatives are certain to have a difficult time trying to figure out how to represent an electorate that can't make up its mind as to how it wants to be represented! This book is an attempt by political columnist Thomas Edsall to explain why the electorate is so confused and to try to guess which way it might lean when the 2012 votes are counted.

Let me say up front that if you're a Conservative / Republican the book will annoy you. Edsall tries to be fair-minded in analyzing our viewpoints; however, he does come across as a Democrat who subconsciously stereotypes Republicans as being somewhere in between Ebenezer Scrooge and Simon Legree.
Read more ›
21 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Crawford on October 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
With the current economic crisis, the polarization of American politics seems to have reached a nadar: the political process is stalled at an impasse, perhaps a dead end. Even our political institutions, unable to facilitate compromise and negotiation, may be breaking down. Whoever wins the 2012 presidential election, we are told, we face the same, if not worse, polarization. In this fascinating and useful book, Edsall attempts to explain why we find ourselves in this situation, what its implications are, and what we might reasonably expect.

His ideas are simple and straightforward: when we prosper, we think of others and are willing to help them; when we aren't, we don't. This explains, he argues, the direction that each party is taking. In one of the best sections of the book, Edsall looks at the "psychology" behind each of these ideological preferences. Democrats represent empathy as well as community-based solutions that involve the sharing of resources; they see society and the economy as having the ability to take many possible forms, the shape of which politicians control; they are open to new ideas and optimistic. In contrast, Republicans see individual responsibility as the key not only to prosperity, but to the moral development of individuals and hence, society; they put their faith in the "free market" as the most efficient arbiter of economic activity, viewing government actions as destructive interference; they tend to be closed to new ideas and deeply pessimistic.

The heyday of liberal politics, in this view, coincided with the post-war boom years, up until the early 1970s, when productivity was rising and everyone benefitted. Politics was a positive-sum game.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Larayne A. Holcomb on January 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just finished The Age of Austerity and found it to be a cogent and lucid examination of the current state of dysfunctional American politics. Edsall presents a persuasive argument on behalf of the impetus toward conservatism resulting from economic austerity. The author's analysis of the Tea Party phenomenon and the distinction its members often make between middle class govenment benefits and poorer citizens entitlement benefits seemed spot on to this reader. Also, Edsall makes the critical observation, backed with substantial data, demonstrating the centrality of race to the ideological battles of our time.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone seeking a greater understanding of the current political situation in the United States
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Sandra Rennie on March 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author has an ideological position well to the left of center and has a tendency to select his data and facts to fit his predetermined position. The topic is an important one and I wanted to learn more from an expert but don't feel I can uncritically trust his writing.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Kate on February 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Very excellent informative look at our collective responses to this latest recession. It seems that we as a population are more reactionary than banks, allowing fear to drive our economic, political and moral decisions: much against our future self interest.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Currently being use as background in lecture course at the LLI-Manasses. Great service -- good merchandise a should be reading requirement for all who teach high school and college Government.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jim Jordan on January 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Thomas B. Edsall has been one of the shining lights of U.S. political journalism for some four decades. This is the most recent of his superbly documented and argued books that have illuminated the political landscape since his classic "The New Politics Of Inequality". Edsall examines the tectonic shifts in political alignments and attitudes that are underway in the wake of the "Great Recession", the explosion of fiscal deficits and the national debt, the specter of financial insolvency, and epochal changes in population demographics, among other factors. It is hard to imagine a book that could serve as a better guide to the stark and divisive ideological and policy alternatives on offer by the two major political parties in the election contests of 2012. Highest recommendation.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?