“None of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers,” Mr. Stockman told Mr. Greider in one of several damning passages.
The essay won the George Polk Award for magazine writing and was reprinted as part of Mr. Greider’s subsequent book, “The Education of David Stockman and Other Americans” (1982), a broader indictment of Reaganomics and its shortcomings.
Before Reagan named him his vice-presidential running mate, George H.W. Bush had called this approach “voodoo economics,” saying Reagan’s policies would greatly increase the national debt. Mr. Greider’s account was one of the first to explain what was actually going on behind the administration’s curtain.
“Greider’s narrative is now a piece of history,” the historian Bruce Mazlish wrote in The New Republic. Mr. Greider’s essay, he said, was “destined to appear in future anthologies of politics, for it raises fundamental issues of faith, loyalty, betrayal, morality and personality.”
William Harold Greider was born on Aug. 6, 1936, in Cincinnati. His father, Harold William Greider, was a research chemist, and his mother, Gladys (McClure) Greider, was a teacher.
He was raised in Wyoming, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb, and went on to study at Princeton, where he majored in English and served as associate editor of The Daily Princetonian, the campus newspaper. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1958.
Asked in a 2009 interview with Princeton Alumni Weekly if the university had shaped his political philosophy, Mr. Greider said no.
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