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The Seven Fat Years and How to Do It Again, by Robert L. Bartley

- Abstract

Robert L. Bartley’s book could hardly have arrived at a more appropriate time—his intention, surely, in getting out this pugnacious, opinionated, and entertaining volume before the 1992 election campaign entered its home stretch. As the editor of the Wall Street Journal’s, editorial and op-ed pages, Bartley has been one of the country’s most adept and ardent practitioners of the art of getting conservative ideas—not necessarily orthodox ones—off broadsheets and into minds. Now, as the Reagan-era political coalition that supported so many of those ideas is threatened with meltdown, the crusader has saddled up his war-horse, strapped on the greaves, and sallied forth to battle again. Someone, after all, must defend the Reagan era, and Bartley has a better claim to being that champion than does the current occupant of the White House.

Unlike George Bush, Bartley is aware that the legacy of the 1980′s is intellectual as well as political, social, and economic. Ideas were what bound together the policies of the Reagan era, policies which in turn made possible the kind of coalition politics that persisted to give Bush his own first presidential term. To help us understand the ideas that fueled the “Seven Fat Years” of his title, Bartley takes us back to the Wall Street eatery where in the late 1970′s he and Jude Wanniski, Arthur Laffer, Robert Mundell, and others hammered out their critique of Keynesian economics as that dismal science had been practiced by recent American Presidents.

About the Author

George Russell is the executive editor of Fox New Channel.