Edsall, Thomas Byrne 1941-

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Edsall, Thomas Byrne 1941-


Born August 22, 1941, in Cambridge, MA; son of Richard Linn (a market research executive) and Katharine (a museum administrator) Edsall; married Mary Deutsch (a homemaker); children: Alexandra H.T. Education: Attended Brown University, 1959-61; Boston University, B.A., 1966. Politics: Independent.


Home—Washington, DC. Office—Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20071.


Providence Journal, Providence, RI, reporter, 1965; Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), Baltimore, MD, volunteer worker, 1966-67; Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, reporter, 1967-81; Washington Post, Washington, DC, reporter, 1981—. Chairman of Standing Committee of Correspondents at Congressional Press Gallery, 1981-83.


Bill Pryor Memorial Award and Front Page Award from Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, both 1981.


The New Politics of Inequality, W.W. Norton & Company (New York, NY), 1984.

Power and Money, W.W. Norton & Company (New York, NY), 1988.

(Editor, with Sidney Blumenthal) The Reagan Legacy, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1988.

(Contributor) Gary Gerstle and Steven Fraser, editors, The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1989.

Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics, W.W. Norton & Company (New York, NY), 1991.

Building Red America: The New Conservative Coalition and the Drive for Permanent Power, Basic Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to magazines and newspapers, including New York Review of Books, Atlantic, New Republic, Dissent, Washington Monthly, Nation, and Society.


In The New Politics of Inequality Thomas Byrne Edsall takes a critical look at Ronald Reagan's presidential administration. The author states that the political activities of the 1980s have resulted in a redistribution of political control from the poor and the middle classes to society's elite. According to Robert Lekachman in a Washington Post Book World review, Edsall blames the erosion of New Deal social reform policy on many factors, including a decrease in tax resources, a decline in union membership (and concomitant political activity), and a realignment of the voting constituencies from the urban working class to the growing, upwardly mobile, suburban professional elite. Lekachman called the study "a first-class book—the best single explanation of Reagan's success that I have encountered."



Washington Post Book World, June 10, 1984, Robert Lekachman, review of The New Politics of Inequality, p. 5.