Paul Krugman is a public intellectual of the first order. It’s good to see that the type isn’t lost to us the way it seemed it might be in the late ninties. (It bothers me that our new public intellectual is an economist and not a belles lettres-ist, but we don’t live it that kind of world anymore. So much the worse for us.)
I’ve been reading Krugman’s columns since arriving in Montreal and his blog since he started it. These writings–along with the other blogs I’ve picked up along the way through links and pointers–have provided me with a basic education in economics. Without that, I’m not sure what I’d make of (or even how I’d make something of) the mess that is the world today. Together this amounts to a kind of intellectual debt. And I’m grateful to him for it.
Now this book comes out–a blook really in that it transforms the blog of the last few years into book form. (In this it’s like You Are Not a Gadget but different in that I suspect he consciously used the blog as a space to draft and work through presentations of ideas.) It’s well done and readable. I suspect that many people won’t read it though and when they do, they’ll read it like something they know they are supposed to disagree with and will. Such is the world we live in. So much the worse for us.