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Robert Reich

Are there any American lessons for New Labour in government? Stephanie Flanders considers the rise and fall of Robert Reich, President Clinton's first Labour secretary and the intellectual force behind the New Democrats' thinking on jobs and education

Imagine you are an academic-the kind who writes widely-cited books and op-ed pieces. You have spent years thinking about the forces driving modern capitalism; the risks and opportunities it presents, and how a new kind of progressive politics should respond. Then imagine that an old friend wins the election, the first time the left has won since the 1970s. He asks you to join the cabinet to help put your ideas into practice.

Meet Bob Reich: former US Secretary of Labour. When Bill Clinton became president in 1992 Reich was the closest thing to the “guru behind the man,” having…

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