Simon Head is an Associate Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford and a Scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. His most recent book is The New Ruthless Economy: Work and Power in the Digital Age. (January 2011)

IN THE REVIEW

The Grim Threat to British Universities

A memorial service for Harold Macmillan, Oxford University, 1987

Strategic Plan, 2006–2011

by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)

The American Faculty: The Restructuring of Academic Work and Careers

by Jack Schuster and Martin Finkelstein
The British universities, Oxford and Cambridge included, are under siege from a system of state control that is undermining the one thing upon which their worldwide reputation depends: the caliber of their scholarship. The theories and practices that are driving this assault are mostly American in origin, conceived in American business schools and management consulting firms. This alliance between the public and private sector has become a threat to academic freedom in the UK, and a warning to the American academy about how its own freedoms can be threatened.

They’re Micromanaging Your Every Move

The Social Life of Information

by John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid

Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream

by Barbara Ehrenreich
The digital revolution of the 1990s seemed to mark a definitive break with the manufacturing economy that had thrived in the United States since the late-nineteenth century. With the pervasive use of information technology (IT) by banks, insurance companies, hospitals, clinics, even warehouses and retail stores, the era of industrial …

Inside the Leviathan

Wal-Mart: Template for 21st Century Capitalism?

edited by Nelson Lichtenstein

US Productivity Growth, 1995–2000, Section VI: Retail Trade

a report by the McKinsey Global Institute
Throughout the recent history of American capitalism there has always been one giant corporation whose size dwarfs that of all others, and whose power conveys to the world the strength and confidence of American capitalism itself. At mid-century General Motors was the undisputed occupant of this corporate throne. But from …

The New, Ruthless Economy

The US economy is about to enter its sixth year of recovery from the recession of 1990–1991. Even though the economy’s many “restructurings” and “downsizings” have been a cause of great anxiety for Americans, the economy’s leading indicators between 1992 and 1995 showed strength rarely seen since the 1950s. Investment …

NYR DAILY

Clinton and Goldman: Why It Matters

Hillary Clinton and Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), New York, September 24, 2014

To understand the significance of Hillary Clinton’s repeated dealings with Goldman Sachs and its top executives since the financial crisis, we have to bring together two strands of history. One concerns Bill and Hillary Clinton’s long-running connections to Goldman, among their closest with any US corporation. The second concerns Goldman’s activities leading up to and during the Wall Street crash of 2007–2008, including its deceptive marketing of contaminated mortgage derivatives.

The Clinton System

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bill Clinton during the seventh annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), New York City, September 22, 2011

What stands out about the Clinton System of big money politics is the scale and complexity of the connections involved, the length of time they have been in operation, the presence of former president Bill Clinton alongside Hillary as an equal partner in the enterprise, and the sheer magnitude of the funds involved.

Bernie Sanders: The Quiet Revolt

Though he continues to receive far less attention in the national media than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, Sanders is posing a powerful challenge not only to the Democratic establishment aligned with Hillary Clinton, but also the school of thought that assumes that the Democrats need an establishment candidate like Clinton to run a viable campaign for president. Why this should be happening right now is a mystery for historians to unravel.