KrugmanPaulRichardsAFPGetty


by Patrick Appel

Larissa MacFarquhar's excellent profile of Paul Krugman and his wife Robin Wells has been pinging around the blogs all week, but I just found time to sit down with it. A taste:

If he is writing his column, he will start it on the morning of the day it’s due, and, if the spirit is with him, he will be done soon after lunch. When he has a draft, he gives it to Wells to edit. Early on, she edited a lotshe had, they felt, a better sense than he did of how to communicate economics to the layperson. (She is also an economistthey met when she was a postdoc at M.I.T. and he was teaching there.) But he’s much better at that now, and these days she focusses on making him less dry, less abstract, angrier.

Recently, he gave her a draft of an article he’d done for Rolling Stone. He had written, “As Obama tries to deal with the crisis, he will get no help from Republican leaders,” and after this she inserted the sentence “Worse yet, he’ll get obstruction and lies.” Where he had written that the stimulus bill would at best “mitigate the slump, not cure it,” she crossed out that phrase and substituted “somewhat soften the economic hardship that we face for the next few years.” Here and there, she suggested things for him to add. “This would be a good place to flesh out the vehement objections from the G.O.P. and bankers to nationalization,” she wrote on page 9. “Show us all their huffing and puffing before you dismiss it as nonsense in the following graf.”

(Image: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

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