PRAISE FOR THE GREAT DIVERGENCE
The Great Divergence, the journalist Timothy Noah gives us as fair and com-
prehensive a summary as we are likely to get of what economists have
learned about our growing inequality....Along the way, he enlivens what might
otherwise be a dry recounting of research findings with fast-paced historical
vignettes featuring colorful characters like the novelist Horatio Alger, the
labor leader Walter Reuther, and the business lobbyist Bryce Harlow."
(On May 31 The Great Divergence led the NYTBR "Editor's Choice" column.)
Joe Nocera, New York Times: "If you’re thinking, 'Do we really need another book about income inequality?' the answer is yes. We need this one."
Andrew Hacker, New York Review of Books: "Timothy Noah’s The Great Divergence is a welcome antidote [to Charles Murray's Coming Apart] ... much needed and a delight to read."
William Julius Wilson, The Nation: "A very impressive and important book."
Walter Rusell Mead, Foreign Affairs: "An excellent guide to the emerging center-left economic policy consensus likely to inform Democratic Party thinking and policymaking for some time to come."
Charles Morris, America: "A model of concise, fairminded exposition ... Noah’s account of the whys and hows
of this groundshift is the most complete and cogent I have seen."
Dana Stevens, Slate Culture Gabfest: "It's a really good overvew. Unlike the Piketty, it's not particularly technical .... It's much shorter than 'Capital,' it's much more readable, it's very funny..."
Nicholas Lemann, The New Yorker: "A good general guide to the subject."
Arianna Huffington (via Twitter): " An instant classic ... essential reading.."
Isabel Sawhill, Huffington Post: "A highly readable, fact-based narrative of the huge divide in the U.S. between rich and poor, what has caused it, and what we should do about it."
Nolan McCarty, The American Interest: "The best place for a general reader to get acquainted with these discussions ... a lucid account of the often dry and technical economic debates ... very accessible."
Rich Yeselson, The American Prospect: “Superb … Throughout, Noah reminds us—in a good way—that he’s not a social scientist or academic but a journalist who can synthesize reams of complex material (and even write wittily about it). A lot of the pleasure here comes from his mini-biographies of figures in what might be called the history of American struggles over money and power … Noah tells his stories in pithy prose.”
E.J. Dionne, The Washington Post: "[An] excellent new book."
George Irvin, Cambridge Journal of Social Policy: "An important and superbly lucid book on on one of the key issues of our time."
Felix Salmon, New York Times (daily review): "Full of eye-opening data points and some very smart history."
Financial Times: "A thoughtful book on a thorny topic."
The Charleston (Va.) Gazette (editorial): "An important new book."
Hamilton Nolan, Gawker: "Timothy Noah, the best extant writer on income inequality in America."
Karen R. Long, Cleveland Plain Dealer: "A timely, cogent and fair-minded book ... Economic studies freckle every page ... but the sentences are graceful, and the points are clear."
Chris Matthews MSNBC's Morning Joe: “This is the 50th anniversary of Michael Harrington’s The Other America, which was … a great book that really influenced the Great Society, influenced the New Frontier even, and now [Timothy Noah] may do it again.”
Charles Peters, Washington Monthly: "A brilliant account of how and why the nation has become more and more unequal."
Dan Gross, Yahoo! Finance: "Well-reasoned ... highly readable."
Jordan Michael Smith, Christian Science Monitor: "[An] essential new book ... convincing, balanced and thoughtful ... accessible [and] erudite."
Brad DeLong, Project Syndicate column: "On my desk right now are reporter Timothy Noah’s new book The Great Divergence ... and Milton and Rose Director Friedman’s classic Free to Choose.... Considering them together, my overwhelming thought is that the Friedmans would find their task of justifying and advocating small-government libertarianism much harder today than they did in 1979."
Richard Kahlenberg, Chronicle Of Higher Education: "There is a lot of buzz around New Republic journalist Timothy Noah’s new book, The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It, which persuasively documents the nation’s burgeoning economic divide."
Ed Kilgore, The Washington Monthly: "One of 2012’s most important books ... a landmark analysis of the subject."
Mark Schmitt, The Washington Monthly: "A reader might assume that he’s already read Tim’s award-winning series in Slate, and the beautiful slideshow that went with it, and wonder whether he needs to read the book as well. The answer is yes.... The series was about inequality itself; the book is more of a story--and really, in its way, a dramatic one. It’s a story of how we know what we know about inequality, and how various economists, political scientists, journalists and politicians evolved in their thinking about it. And it tells the story of the last thirty-plus years of American history through the lens of inequality."
James K. Galbraith, Salon: "Graceful ... well-timed ... a balanced treatment of many controversial questions ... fair and lucid ... a valuable book."
Nick Baumann, Bookforum: “Noah is a crack chronicler of Beltway history and culture, and makes a strong case that decision-makers in Washington aided the rise of income inequality nationwide.”
Scott Winship, National Review: “Noah is an engaging and informative writer….I learned a lot from Noah’s thoughtful mini-history of the labor movement, even as I marveled at his refusal to concede that there is any legitimacy in corporate concerns about the fairness of the regime that New Deal policy created. His chapter focusing on the unique factors behind the divergence of the top 1 percent from everyone else is particularly well done, but readers who are not inclined to view the top 1 percent as the ‘stinking rich’ will have to get past Noah’s demagogic chapter title.”
Too Much Online (Institute For Policy Studies): "Noah has written a book that we ... desperately need, a reasonable book. The Great Divergence ... is going to help Americans understand that no one willing to listen to reason should ever accept the level of inequality that currently afflicts the United States."
John Schmitt, Dissent: "An Impressive synthesis."
Matt Yglesias,Slate: "Anyone who’s gotten fired up about inequality thanks to Occupy or some of the more recent populist rhetoric from the president will find that this is the very best introduction to the subject that’s out there. And folks on the right who want to move beyond lazy caricatures of what’s bothering progressives will also find a lot of value here. That’s because the book is primarily a rigorous positive exploration of what the inequality trends are, not a polemic...."
Jim Cullen, History News Network: "“Noah … marshals a great deal of evidence and sculpts it into an impressively svelte book … I gained more clarity on which societal forces explain income inequality more credibly than others… The stories he tells … are compelling.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review): “Comprehensive, fair-minded, and lucid … Noah makes a convincing and passionate case for why rising inequality harms a working democracy." (Click here for a PW author interview.)
Kirkus Reviews: “Essential background reading for the coming elections.”
Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution: "Well-written and ... a useful survey."
"This book is profoundly fascinating and important. The growth of income inequality over the past three decades has caused a contentious partisan debate based more on ideology than on fact. Tim Noah provides a clear, dispassionate look at what has (and has not) caused this trend and what we can do about it. Everyone who cares about the future of America's middle class should read it."
--Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and president of the Aspen Institute.
"This is the book the 99 percent has been waiting for. Crisply lucid and brilliantly argued, The Great Divergence manages to entertain at the same time that it explains. Best of all, Noah offers some strikingly sensible steps to undo the economic polarization that is tearing America apart."
--Babara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed and Bright-Sided.
“A lucid, original, fascinating, and very useful guide to the biggest threat to America’s future as a democracy. Noah has pulled together a whole array of explanations for the increasing ThirdWorldization of America—and he has sorted them out for us, with a guide to which are the most important and what we can do about them. This is the book that should have been given out at the Occupy movement and—well, to everyone.”
--James Fallows, author of China Airborne.
"So you're busy and stressed and have time to read just one book on America's fault-line crisis of widening inequality This is the one. Tim Noah, a pro's pro among the nation's press corps, reveals why America has increasingly become a land of haves and have-nots--and how to reverse that soul-crushing trend-- with insight, verve, thoroughness and surprising passion. A must-read."
--Ron Suskind, author of Confidence Men.
"This may be the most important book of the year. Timothy Noah explores the most significant long-term trend in our country, and he writes with an ease and clarity that make reading this book a pleasure. Buy it now and read it. You'll probably end up buying more copies for your friends and colleagues."
--Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco and The Gamble.
“Timothy Noah has taken the most consequential domestic issue of this or any election and made us understand it in a completely new way. The Great Divergence is compelling, important, and hugely readable. I learned something new in almost every sentence.”
--Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise and The Defining Moment.