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Short Synopsis
In The Populist Temptation, Barry Eichengreen places the global resurgence of populism in its historical context.

Full Synopsis
In The Populist Temptation, the eminent economic historian Barry Eichengreen focuses on the global resurgence of populism today and places it in a deep context. Alternating between the present and earlier populist waves from modern history, he argues that populists tend to thrive most in the wake of economic downturns, when it is easy to convince the masses of elite malfeasance. Yet while there is more than a grain of truth that bankers, financiers, and "bought" politicians are responsible for the mess, populists' own solutions tend to be simplistic and economically counterproductive. There is no one solution to addressing the concerns that populists raise, but Eichengreen argues that there is an obvious place to start: shoring up and improving the welfare state so that it is better able to act as a buffer for those who suffer most during economic slumps. For example, America's patchwork welfare state was not well equipped to deal with the economic fallout that attended globalization and the decline of manufacturing in America, and that played no small part in Trump's victory. Lucidly explaining both the appeals and dangers of populism across history, this book is a must-listen for anyone seeking to understand not just the populist phenomenon, but more generally the lasting political fallout that follows in the wake of major economic crises.

The Populist Temptation

Economic Grievance and Political Reaction in the Modern Era

Author Barry Eichengreen

Narrated by Rick Adamson

Publication date Jan 25, 2022

Running time 9 hrs

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