|Business Week/JANUARY 23, 2006
THE BOOK BIZ
Making Nice To Make Sales
In his column in The New York Times (NYT ), Paul Krugman is one of
President George W. Bush's most outspoken foes. "Heck of a Job,
Bushie," the Princeton University economist taunted on Dec. 30,
accusing the President of breaking the law and misleading the public.
But Krugman is far more generous to the President in his introductory
textbook, Economics (Worth Publishers), which came out on Dec. 22.
There he praises Bush's advisers for supporting "aggressive" measures
to fight the 2001 recession. Photos contrast a confident Bush with a
squinting Herbert Hoover, whose policies worsened the Depression. Far
from picking fights with Republican academics, Krugman writes that
"media coverage tends to exaggerate the real differences in views
The homogenization of Paul Krugman may illustrate a basic principle of
economics: The customer is always right. Textbooks are chosen by
professors of all political stripes. Krugman says in an interview that
he and his wife and co-author, Robin Wells, were "extremely careful"
to be evenhanded.
So far, Krugman says, there's no evidence that buyers have been turned
off by his column. Good thing. His competition includes two of Bush's
former chief economic advisers: R. Glenn Hubbard of Columbia
University, who has a new textbook, and best-selling N. Gregory Mankiw
of Harvard University, whose fourth edition arrives in March.
By Peter Coy