War, kidnapping, and data theft:  Is it some fiction pot-boiler that’s come over the transom? No, it’s the chapter on how the gross domestic product (GDP) came into being in Germany. Today’s excerpt comes from pages 117-8 of the book The Power of a Single Number: A Political History of GDP by Philipp Lepenies, translated by Jeremy Gaines (Columbia University Press, 2016). “[John Kenneth] Galbraith was surprised by the results of his calculations and surveys because they, for the first time, provided a clear picture of the Nazi economy. Because no set of tools comparable to gross national product calculation existed on […]