Posted inBook Review

A blue wave in 2020?

DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS encouraged (or alarmed) by Democratic gains in Virginia and Kentucky in November will want to read the new book by Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg to see if those results, and the previous outcome of the 2018 midterm election, are a harbinger of what’s to come next year. After reading RIP GOP: How […]

Posted inBook Review

Reforming capitalism to save it

IN THE FIVE YEARS since the publication of Thomas Piketty’s runaway bestseller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, rising inequality has yet to force any consensus on what to do about it, while the macro trends of globalization and automation continue to make America unequal. Now, at the start of the 2020 election cycle, actors of […]

Posted inEconomy, Opinion

James Fallows and Jimmy Carter

JAMES FALLOWS WAS President Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter in the 1970s. Two generations before him, FDR’s advisor and speechwriter Samuel Rosenman (who coined the term “New Deal”) declared that aides to a president should serve with a “passion for anonymity.” Fallows helped to break that mold, leaving the White House to become a public critic […]

Posted inEconomy

Civic grit

BOOK REVIEW — Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America, by James Fallows and Deborah Fallows (Pantheon Books, 413 pages) PEOPLE WHO LIVE in cosmopolitan Boston and only venture beyond the metropolis to visit the Cape in summer or ski in the north in winter might assume that nothing much of interest […]

Posted inEconomy

The death and life of American cities

The Boston Renaissance: Race, Space and Economic Change in an American Metropolis By Barry Bluestone and Mary Huff Stevenson Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 2000, 461 pages Comeback Cities: A Blueprint for Urban Neighborhood Revival By Paul S. Grogan and Tony Proscio Westview Press, Boulder, 2000, 285 pages OVER THE PAST half-century, America grew into […]

Posted inUncategorized


Home builders, highway planners, and hamburger vendors who have catered to America’s appetite for sprawl for half a century can’t seem to acknowledge why a growing number of their customers now demand more livable places. The sprawl builders note that America has a bounty of open land from sea to shining sea. But a lack […]