Why Amy Klobuchar just wrote 600 pages on antitrust

A woman gestures during a presentation.

Enlarge / Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) (credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

To promote her new book, Antitrust: Taking on Monopoly Power from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota gave a series of interviews this week, one of which was with me. She told me outright that our session was not her favorite of the tour—that honor went to her comedic exchange with Stephen Colbert a few days earlier, which she recounted to me line by line.

Nonetheless, I welcomed the chance to speak with her. Klobuchar has enjoyed a heightened profile since her presidential run and quick pivot to the eventual winner, Joe Biden, so she had her choice of book subjects to focus on. Ultimately, she produced 600 pages on the relatively arcane topic of antitrust law, a telling choice. Her goal is to make the subject less arcane, in hopes that a grassroots movement will support her effort to fortify and enforce the laws more vigorously. In the book, Klobuchar attempts to inspire readers with a history of the field, which in her rendering sprang from a spirited populist movement that included her own coal-mining ancestors. That’s why her book is stuffed with vintage political cartoons, typically portraying Gilded Age barons as bloated giants, hovering over workers like top-hatted Macy’s balloons. (Obviously those were the days before billionaires had Peloton.)

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