For my money William Greider is alone in the top class of writers on the interaction of politics, economics, and society. He produces big-picture analysis from detailed understandings of the consequences to individuals and communities.
Bill Moyers interviewed him last Friday, and I found it both enlightening and uplifting. He likes to quote Wendell Berry, “Be joyful though you have considered all the facts.” He knows the details, the how and why, and he tries to use that knowledge to figure out what will happen and what to do. History must provide useful information about the near future or it’s just antiquarianism; Greider shows the way.
His overall image is kind of quiet: a grandfatherly white guy in a suit, talking with animation and gestures but not at all in your face. But if you listen to what he’s saying, it’s actually pretty radical. Much of his analysis corresponds with far-left people like Chomsky. I once asked him about that in an email. He replied that he thought he might get more notice if he were angrier, but that’s not what he’s going for.