In "Creative Destruction vs. the New Industrial State" (page 58), Deirdre McCloskey reviews two books, one about the pro-market Harvard economist Joseph Schumpeter, and one by the interventionist Harvard economist John K. Galbraith. She says she was uniquely suited to review the pair, since she traces her own intellectual trajectory "from Galbraith to Schumpeter, with an odd pause on Friedman and Hayek in between." McCloskey, who teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is the author of Crossing, a memoir of her gender change, says she has "been everything. Marxist, folksinger, Keynesian, socialist. I was even a man. All of these things I've outgrown." McCloskey is now writing the second volume in a series of four that will form "a full-scale defense of capitalism—what the Greeks and early Christians called an apology, which is to say a defense aimed at non-believers."
George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan describes his first lesson in economics in his new book The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies (Princeton University Press), excerpted in this issue of reason (page 24): While the young Caplan was shopping for groceries with his mother, the high-priced vegetables prompted a discussion of farm subsidies. Caplan's next book is tentatively titled The Case Against Education: A Professional Student Explains Why Our Educational System Is a Big Waste of Time and Money.
David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, reviews Wolfgang Schivelbusch's Three New Deals in "Hitler, Mussolini, Roosevelt" (page 65). Even as he was reading a book about the similarities between the three charismatic collectivists of the 1930s, Boaz says he became convinced that "America was not on the verge" of becoming another Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy. "It probably couldn't have gone the other way here. Americans have a much deeper anti-statist impulse. Roosevelt was the exception to our generally individualist sense of life."