Feature

Book of the week: Aftershock by Robert B. Reich

In Reich’s opinion, income inequality fueled the financial crisis and is now hindering recovery.

(Alfred A. Knopf, $25)

In Aftershock, former Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich “steers our attention” to America’s eroding middle class, said Sebastian Mallaby in The New York Times. Income inequality, a hot topic until the financial crisis stole the spotlight in 2008, has “arguably become more urgent” now. While the top 25 earners at hedge funds “bagged a combined $25 billion,” middle-class Americans have exhausted their resources—going into debt, working longer hours, and putting off retirement. In Reich’s opinion, income inequality fueled the financial crisis and is now hindering recovery. “Reich’s solution: Redistribute wealth” by increasing taxes on the very rich and creating programs to help the middle class, said Robert Gavin in The Boston Globe. If you’re a liberal “who can’t get enough eat-the-rich populism, this book is for you.” Yet, tellingly, the Tea Party movement consists not primarily of the rich but of the very middle-class Americans whom Reich wants to help.

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