The Story behind ‘Turning to Stone’ by Gabriel Valjan

The Story Behind the Book

TurningtoStone_FlatforeBooks (1)Several streams flowed into the river for Turning To Stone. Roberto Saviano’s Gomorrah was influential for giving me a sociological portrait of the Camorra and Naples, although I’ve been to Naples. The Financial Crises of 2007 and 2008 also inspired me. While I’m not paranoid or susceptible to conspiracy theories, I never subscribed to the analyses that American media outlets offered the public.

Journalist Andrew Sorkin’s corpulent Too Big To Fail, at 500-plus pages, is considered the definitive post-mortem on the Fiscal Crisis of 2008. While I was writing Turning, UMass Amherst graduate student Thomas Herndon and Professors Michael Ash and Robert Pollin came along and exploded Harvard duo Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff’s pro-austerity argument. R & R said that a country would collapse when its public debt hits 90% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Herndon et al. proved that the hypothesis and the methodology were specious…

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