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The last 100 years have seen dramatic experiments in economic policy, from the Bolshevik Revolution to the World Trade Organization. All the while government’s role in the economy has steadily grown. The recent global housing bubble and its subsequent burst — with ensuing bailouts, budget deficits, and sovereign debt crises — has rekindled old debates over fundamental policy issues: the monetary regime, the business cycle, state regulation and ownership of enterprises, and taxes and spending. In his new book, The Clash of Economic Ideas, Lawrence H. White examines the intellectual roots of today’s debates, tying the development of economic ideas to the key events in economic history. Along the way we learn why economists so often disagree about the kinds of government policies required for economic prosperity.