"In An Extraordinary Time, acclaimed economic historian Marc Levinson recounts the global collapse of the postwar economy in the 1970s. While economists struggle to return us to the high economic growth rates of the past, Levinson counterintuitively argues that the boom years of the 1950s and 1960s were an anomaly; slow economic growth is the norm-no matter what economists and politicians may say. Yet these atypical years left the public with unreasonable expectations of what government can achieve. When the economy failed to revive, suspicion of government and liberal institutions rose sharply, laying the groundwork for the political and economic polarization that we're still grappling with today. A sweeping reappraisal of the last sixty years of world history, An Extraordinary Time describes how the postwar economic boom dissipated, undermining faith in government, destabilizing the global financial system, and forcing us to come to terms with how tumultuous our economy really is"-- Provided by publisher. "AFTER World War II, the global economy experienced a golden age. As the rubble in cities like Berlin and Tokyo gave way to millions of new homes and businesses, incomes skyrocketed, and consumers rushed to purchase cars, electricity, indoor plumbing, and higher education. Between 1950 and 1973, Japan's per capita income rose nearly 600 percent; Germany's economy quadrupled during the same period. And in steel towns and manufacturing centers across the United States, people discovered a new freedom of mobility--social and physical--that had long eluded them. In An Extraordinary Time, acclaimed economic historian Marc Levinson describes how this age of miraculous growth and prosperity suddenly evaporated in the early 1970s, giving way to an era of anxietY and political extremism. Levinson argues that the boom years were really just that: a anomaly, and not one likely to be repeated. Slow economic growth is actually the norm, and the economy simply cannot be controlled in the ways that we would like--no matter what economists and politicians may say. The forces that had driven a quarter-century of rapid economic growth had simply played themselves out, while at the same time the Bretton Woods system of fixed international exchange rates--a structure that had been in place since 1944--collapsed, leaving exchange rates in the hands of traders and speculators who had no obligation to use them to promote stability. A sweeping reappraisal of the last sixty years of world history from an acclaimed economist, historian, and business reporter, An Extraordinary Time describes how the postwar economic boom dissipated in the early 1970s"-- Provided by publisher.