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Matthew Yglesias Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Heads in the Sand: How the Republicans Screw Up Foreign Policy and Foreign Policy Screws Up the Democrats (2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Rent Is Too Damn High: What To Do About It, And Why It Matters More Than You Think (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Matthew Yglesias is a fast rising blogger and political commentator that is best known as the cofounder of Vox alongside Melissa Bell and Ezra Klein way back in 2014. He is currently a commentator and host on the “Weeds” podcast where he hosts a Friday and Tuesday weekly podcast. He is also working with Substack as a senior correspondent on economic policy and politics. Before he founded Vox, he worked for “Slate” where he penned the “Moneybag” column. Before that he was a blogger and writer for the likes of “The American Prospect,” “Think Progress,” “TPM”, and “The Atlantic.” He is also an author of several books including his debut work “One Billion Americans” that argues that America should seek to get its population to a billion people. His second novel “The Rent is Too Damn High” chronicles the housing affordability crisis that afflict the United States. Yglesias was born and raised in New York City and knows all about the struggles of the middle class even though he spent much time since graduating in 2003 living in Washington DC.

Yglesias is known for combining analytic rigor with humor to some of the most tedious and superficial matter that range from monetary policy to parking regulations to senate procedures. He has a gift for showcasing the most esoteric components of economics and politics in an easy to understand way without making things too simple. His articles for Vox have received more than 2 million views every month and have been cited by the likes of Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders. He has also been a hugely influential figure on a range of topics such as the rewriting of boarding procedures on Amtrak trains and the moving of federal agencies to areas far away from the Beltway. In addition to his writing, his podcasts are known for illuminating the deep components of mundane things we may not understand in the world around us. Quartz wrote that one of his 2018 podcasts on “Weeds” was one of the best in the year. In it, Matthew Iglesias propped Kanye West as the best example of a Trojan horse that made it possible to discuss criminal justice reform, Trumpism, the contemporary crises of truth, political messaging and optics, pop culture celebrities and their role in politics, black political activism and black conservative politics.
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Outside of his writing on blog he is also active on social media and has more than 425,000 followers on Twitter. On his social media, he usually writes long essays on a variety of subjects from the transformation of the understanding of race into a more radical perspective, the public health problem posed by lead, and the slow but sure decay of the American political system. He is also a regular guest on the politics roundtable “All Things Considered” as well as on other television and radio programs. In addition to broadcasting and writing, he also given public talks and has been invited to speak at many schools and institutes across the United States. He has spoken at Yale, Harvard, Tennessee State University, the National Multifamily Housing Council and the Urban Land Institute among many others. Similar to his audio and written work, Yglesias’ speaking is primarily focused on the intersection of the economic and political systems in America though he also talks about other wide ranging issues.

Matthew Yglesias’s debut work “One Billion Americans” asserts that America has lost the means and will to lead. It has been unable to compete with countries that have huge populations such as China and India since its population has largely been diminishing or static. This coupled with unaffordable housing and a deteriorating transit system means that America may be totally out of the race in coming years. According to the author, the answer to this is more utilization of resources, more ambition, and more ideas which can only be achieved with more people. According to Yglesias, the US needs one billion people to compete and win again. It is a provocative but logical argument that says that the lack of American progress means that America is losing. Americans need to take the problem of regression seriously and think bigger. He asserts that there should be no controversy when it comes to issues of national prosperity. According to him, the US needs to aggressively welcome immigrants, support parents and explore policies that result in growth. These include climate change mitigation, revitalized welfare, more housing, improved education and better transportation. He draws from innovative solutions and examples across the globe and shows why we can and have to do this.

“The Rent is Too Damn High” by Matthew Yglesias is a convincing argument for how American inequality is fueled by rabid low density residential zoning. The American economy is made up of capitalists and a small number of skilled people making a ton of money while the rest are stuck supporting them. Most of the US has laws prohibiting high density living, making it almost impossible for people working in support jobs to live near their places of work. This increases costs of transit for the workers and makes everyone involved worse off, though the worst effect is most felt by the poor. For instance, Silicon Valley has a robust tech industry but not that many people can live close enough to it to benefit. This has resulted in high prices and shortages of essential services. For example many professional couples living in the area have young children but childcare is hard to come by and very expensive when it is available. The main reason for this is that the people that could have offered the service at a good price cannot live in the valley since there are no high density cheap housing available due to zoning restrictions.

Matthew Yglesias’s novel “Heads in the Sand” argues that democrats could come up with an effective foreign policy if they looked to the past. He goes on to refute the most popular myth about American foreign policy in the recent past. He refutes the idea that Bush was an idealist as he sees him as a nationalist who preferred to bulldoze his ideas and agenda and never took into account any other ideology. Another is the misconception that Democrats lack a coherent foreign policy tradition. According to the Yglesias, pursuing international liberalism through stable institutions and international law may not be perfect or exciting but it has resulted in more prosperity and peace than communism, isolationism and imperialism. Over the years, the democrats have been pushing for bold and big new ideas out of political opportunism when liberal internationalism has worked just fine in the past. Their current strategy has failed to give a head start on issues security even in the face of the nationalism espoused by George W Bush. As such, there is a need to change strategy to make the world safer rather than default to what is politically safe.

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