Kuttner, Robert (Louis) 1943-

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KUTTNER, Robert (Louis) 1943-

PERSONAL: Born April 17, 1943, in New York, NY; son of Arthur Paul Kuttner and Pauline M. Levy; married Sharland Grace Trotter (a psychologist and author), December 19, 1971 (deceased, 1997); married Joan Fitzgerald, May 7, 2000; children: (first marriage) Gabriel A., Jessica A. Education: Oberlin College, A.B., 1965; University of California, Berkeley, M.A., 1966; London School of Economics, certification, 1963-64. Hobbies and other interests: Tennis, photography, writing poetry.

ADDRESSES: Office—American Prospect, 5 Broad St., Boston, MA 02109-2901. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Pacifica Radio, correspondent and program director, New York, NY, 1968-71; Village Voice, Washington, DC, editor, 1971-1973; Washington Post, Washington, DC, national staff writer, 1974-75; U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Washington, DC, chief investigator, 1975-1978; Working Papers, MA, editor, 1980-83; New Republic, economics writer and editor, 1983-1991; Business Week, columnist, 1984; Boston Globe, Boston, MA, and Washington Post Syndicate, Washington, DC, columnist, 1985—; American Prospect: A Journal for the Liberal Imagination, founder and coeditor, c. 1989—; Village Voice, New York, NY, editor, Washington, DC; Working Papers for a New Society, editor-in-chief; New Republic, economics editor; Business Week, contributing columnist; also worked as a syndicated columnist. Has worked in noncommercial radio and television in California, including KQEDTV, San Francisco, CA; visiting professor at Boston University, 1980-82, and Brandeis University, 1991-1992, 2003, both Boston, MA, University of Massachusetts, 1987-88, and Harvard University's John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics, Cambridge, MA. Served as assistant to I. F. Stone, Washington, DC, 1966; legal assistant to Congressman W. F. Ryan, Washington, DC, 1967-68; the executive director of U.S. president Jimmy Carter's National Commission on Neighborhoods, 1978, founder and board member of the Economic Policy Institute, 1986, member of the board of directors of Families USA, Boston, MA, 1989-96, and Florence Fund, 1999. Has made appearances on National Public Radio (NPR), and on television programs, including Firing Line, syndicated and Public Broadcasting Systems (PBS), Crossfire, Cable Network News (CNN), American Broadcasting Co. (ABC) News Nightline, ABC, and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, PBS.

MEMBER: National Academy of Social Institutions.

AWARDS, HONORS: Woodrow Wilson fellow, University of California, 1965-66; Paul Hoffman award, UN Development Program, 1966; Kennedy fellow, Harvard University, 1979; Jack London award for labor journalism, United Steelworkers of America, 1982; John Hancock Award for excellence in business and financial journalism, 1988; Sidney Hillman award, Sidney Hillman Foundation, 1998; fellow, McCormack Institute, 1978-1988, John Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1988, Radcliffe Public Policy Center, 1988-2000; L.L.D., Swarthmore College, 1999

WRITINGS:

Revolt of the Haves: Tax Rebellions and Hard Times, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1980.

The Economic Illusion: False Choices between Prosperity and Social Justice, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1984.

The Life of the Party: Democratic Prospects in 1988 and Beyond, Viking (New York, NY), 1987.

Managed Trade and Economic Sovereignty, Economic Policy Institute (Washington, DC), 1989.

Export Controls: Industrial Policy in Reverse, Economic Policy Institute (Washington, DC), 1991.

The End of Laissez Faire: National Purpose and the Global Economy after the Cold War, Knopf (New York, NY), 1991.

(Editor) Ticking Time Bombs: The New Conservative Assaults on Democracy, New Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Everything for Sale: The Virtues and Limits of Markets, Knopf (New York, NY), 1997.

(Editor) Making Work Pay: America after Welfare, Free Press (New York, NY), 2002.

(With wife, Sharland Trotter) Family Re-Union: Reconnecting Parents and Children in Adulthood, Free Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Contributing editor, More, Washington, DC, 1973-78. Also contributor of articles to periodicals, including the American Prospect: A Journal for the Liberal Imagination, Atlantic Monthly, Boston Globe, Business Week, Dissent, Harvard Business Review, New Republic, New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Village Voice, Washington Post, and Working Papers for a New Society.

SIDELIGHTS: Columnist, editor and commentator Robert Kuttner is one of the most prominent advocates of a liberal vision for American politics. According to Washington Post Book World critic James K. Glassman, "In the first one hundred pages of Revolt of the Haves, Robert Kuttner tells the entertaining tale of the passage of Proposition 13, the California initiative that cut the state's property taxes by six billion dollars." Kuttner then goes on to discuss subsequent tax initiatives in states such as Michigan and Idaho, but, unlike many contemporary pundits, argues that tax revolts like these initiatives are not part of a conservative, antigovernment trend but rather a protest that the wrong people—i.e., the working and middle classes—are bearing a tax burden which should be reserved for the wealthy and large corporations. Glassman described Revolt of the Haves as "a call to arms for liberals to lead the tax revolt." Though the critic did not agree completely with the author's analysis of the situation, he felt Kuttner "presents his case lucidly." Though Jack Clark in Commonweal noted that "something remains unsatisfying in Kuttner's conclusion" in Revolt of the Haves, he nevertheless remarked that the author "meticulously analyzes the welfare state, American-style, and concludes, correctly in my view, that its purposes are structurally undermined by subservience to the corporate rich."

In The Economic Illusion: False Choices between Prosperity and Social Justice, Kuttner argues that economic prosperity is best achieved through government guidance of business rather than through a free market policy with as few legal strictures upon it as possible. In Kuttner's words, "Societies with strong unions and highly refined social bargaining machinery do a much better job of maintaining full employment, promoting distributive justice, reconciling technological progress with social needs, and moderating inflation." A Booklist contributor labeled The Economic Illusion "an effectively stimulating volume in the equity-efficiency debate." Putting these things into more partisan terms, J. Holton Wilson in the Library Journal concluded that "liberals will find much to their liking in this work; conservatives will find little."

The Life of the Party: Democratic Prospects in 1988 and Beyond is Kuttner's attempt to steer the Democratic party back to its traditional roots. In the book, he expresses the opinion that rather than becoming more conservative to compete with the popular Reagan-era Republicans, Democrats should adopt what A. D. McNitt in Choice described as "a program that would emphasize economic reforms and social programs designed to benefit the broadest possible segment of society." To make such a program work, Kuttner claims the government "would have to combine our several disparate programs, each with its own bureaucracy, into a functioning, coherent system, with a clear set of goals." Though Eric B. Schnurer in the Los Angeles Times Book Review noted that Kuttner "spends the entire book attacking reliance on market solutions, failing to differentiate between the laissez faire of Reagannomics and progressive market regulating," he described The Life of the Party as "by far the best discussion that I have read in years of both the substance and politics of the Democratic Party's future."

The End of Laissez Faire presents Kuttner's theory that during the Cold War, the United States preached the doctrine of free market capitalism but involved a great deal of its national economy in military-related production in order to win the arms race against the then-Soviet Union. Kuttner asserts that since the Cold War has ended, the United States would do well to abandon even the pretense of belief in free markets in favor of adopting a national economic policy guided by the government. He also recommends developing a global defense alliance rather than having the United States shoulder most of the burden of policing international affairs. A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that "this closely argued book administers a potent dose of economic reality." Washington Post Book World critic Robert Skidelsky, however, was not so sure that Kuttner's proposed solutions would work. "The thesis is compelling," he stated, "but the question remains: Can a national ideology and government institutions fashioned for hegemony adapt to a nonhegemonic world?"

Kuttner edited Ticking Time Bombs: The New Conservative Assaults on Democracy in 1996. The pieces within the volume are reprinted from the American Prospect, the publication Kuttner helped to found. Contributing essayists include Robert Putnam, Theda Skocpol, Lester Thurow, Louis Lowenstein, Stanley Greenberg, and Marshall Ganz; these writers and others discuss topics such as the impact of money on politics and voter apathy. Booklist reviewer Mary Carroll described Ticking Time Bombs as a "lively collection of articles."

Kuttner returns to the task of arguing against a free-market economy in his 1997 volume, Everything for Sale. According to a Publishers Weekly contributor, the author maintains that "market norms drive out nonmarket norms such as civility, commitment to the public good, personal economic security, and liberty." According to other reviewers, Kuttner takes a more moderate view than he has in the past. As Washington Post Book World contributor Suzanne Garment observed, Kuttner writes that "America's choice has been not between capitalism and socialism but between a mixed economy and unfettered laissez faire." Library Journal contributor Steven J. Mayover praised Everything for Sale as a "thorough, scholarly approach to current economics relative to the political scene."

In 2002 Kuttner published two books. He edited Making Work Pay: America after Welfare. As the subtitle suggests, the volume contains essays by several authors on how various aspects of the welfare system in the United States have evolved since the large scale policy changes that took place during the administration of U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton. Kuttner also collaborated on a more personal project, however, with his late wife, Sharland Trotter. Before her death late in 1997, the couple penned most of Family Re-Union: Reconnecting Parents and Children in Adulthood. The book draws on both authors' personal experiences as parents and as adult children of their own parents, as well as Trotter's expertise as a psychologist. Family Re-Union also includes a discussion of how Trotter's diagnosis with and subsequent death from cancer affected the lives of her adult children.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Kuttner, Robert, The Economic Illusion: False Choices between Prosperity and Social Justice, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1984.

Kuttner, Robert, The Life of the Party: Democratic Prospects in 1988 and Beyond, Viking (New York, NY), 1987.

PERIODICALS

American Political Science Review, summer, 1998, review of The Life of the Party, p. 991.

Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, November, 1998, review of The Life of the Party, p. 151.

Booklist, November 15, 1984, review of The Economic Illusion, pp. 404, 406; January 4, 1987, review of The Economic Illusion, p. 12; January 15, 1991, review of The End of Laissez Faire: National Purpose and the Global Economy after the Cold War, p. 986; September 1, 1996, p. 43; May 1, 2002, Vanessa Bush, review of Family Re-Union: Reconnecting Parents and Children in Adulthood, p. 1486.

Book World, November 9, 1980, review of Revolt of the Haves: Tax Rebellions and Hard Times, p. 7; July 10, 1988, review of The Life of the Party, p. 12; March 3, 1991, review of The End of Laissez-Faire, p. 1; February 2, 1997, review of Everything for Sale: The Virtues and Limits of Markets, p. 8.

Business Week, October 21, 1996, p. 19.

Choice, April, 1981, review of Revolt of the Haves, p. 1161; March, 1988, review of The Life of the Party, p. 1176.

Commonweal, March 27, 1981, review of Revolt of the Haves, p. 180; February 12, 1998, review of The Life of the Party, p. 89; February 28, 1997, review of Everything for Sale, p. 21.

Dissent, spring, 1985, review of The Economic Illusion, p. 240; spring, 1988, review of The Life of the Party, p. 237; summer, 1991, review of The End of Laisez-Faire, p. 432; spring, 1998, review of Everything for Sale, p. 97.

Economist, April 13, 1991, review of The End of Laissez-Faire, p. 83l; February 15, 1997, review of Everything for Sale, p. 3.

Journal of Politics, February 1982, review of Revolt of the Haves, p. 277.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 1980, review of Revolt of the Haves, p. 1210; August 1, 1984, review of The Economic Illusion, p. 734; October 1, 1987, review of The Life of the Party, p. 1438.

Kliatt Young Adult Paperback Book Guide, summer, 1988, review of The Life of the Party, p. 40.

Library Journal, October 1, 1980, review of Revolt of the Haves, p. 2066; January, 1985, review of The Economic Illusion, p. 83; December, 1987, review of The Life of the Party, p. 100; October 1, 1990, p. 124; February 15, 1991, review of The End of Laissez-Faire, p. 205; January, 1997, pp. 115-116; March 15, 2002, Pam Matthews, review of Family Re-Union, p. 97.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, December 6, 1987, review of The Life of the Party, p. 2; March 10, 1991, review of The End of Laissez-Faire, p. 8; January 26, 1997, review of Everything for Sale, p. 9; December 6, 1987, p. 2.

National Review, May 5, 1997, review of Everything for Sale, p. 52.

New Leader, September 17, 1984, review of The Economic Illusion, p. 18; December 16, 1996, review of Everything for Sale, p. 34.

Newsweek, February 10, 1997, review of Everything for Sale, p. 67.

New Yorker, November 19, 1984, review of The Economic Illusion, p. 190; May 20, 1991, review of The End of Laissez-Faire, p. 108.

New York Review of Books, February 28, 1985, review of The Economic Illusion, p. 37; November 7, 1991, review of The End of Laissez-Faire, p. 46.

New York Times Book Review, October 19, 1980, review of Revolt of the Haves, p. 7; October 21, 1984, review of The Economic Illusion, p. 44; November 15, 1987, review of The Life of the Party, p. 9; July 10, 1988, review of The Life of the Party, p. 32; March 10, 1991, review of The End of Laissez-Faire, p. 3; June 9, 1991, review of The End of Laissez-Faire, p. 22; January 26, 1997, review of Everything for Sale, p. 11.

Progressive, September, 1991, review of The End of Laissez-Faire, p. 41; March, 1997, review of Everything for Sale, p. 39.

Public Administration Review, May, 1993, review of The End of Laissez-Faire, p. 268.

Publishers Weekly, September 19, 1980, review of Revolt of the Haves, p. 152; August 17, 1984, review of The Economic Illusion, p. 50; October 16, 1987, review of The Life of the Party, p. 75; December 21, 1990, review of The End of Laissez-Faire, p. 40; November 25, 1996, p. 65; April 15, 2002, review of Family Re-Union, p. 57.

Rapport, February, 1997, review of Everything for Sale, p. 36.

Reason, June, 1997, review of Everything for Sale, p. 56.

Times Literary Supplement, May 31, 1991, review of The End of Laissez-Faire, p. 10; November 21, 1997, review of Everything for Sale, p. 21.

Wall Street Journal, November 6, 1980, review of Revolt of the Haves, p. 32; November 12, 1987, review of The Life of the Party, p. 36; April 9, 1991, review of The End of Laissez-Faire, p. A20; January 22, 1997, review of Everything for Sale, p. A12.

Washington Monthly, October, 1984, review of The Economic Illusion, p. 52; March, 1988, review of The Life of the Party, p. 48; March, 1991, review of The End of Laissez-Faire, p. 59.

Washington Post Book World, November 9, 1980, p. 7; March 3, 1991, pp. 1, 10; February 2, 1997, p. 8.

Wilson Library Journal, October, 1990, pp. 114.

Wilson Quarterly, January, 1985, review of The Economic Illusion, p. 150; Volume 2, 1988, review of The Life of the Party, p. 145.*

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Kuttner, Robert (Louis) 1943-

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