If you’re going to read one thing about Piketty’s book, read this.

April 28, 2014

The book is long and the commentary isn’t short. Here’s the rundown on the media storm over the English translation of Thomas Piketty’s 700 some page magnum opus, currently the number one best seller on Amazon in the US.

If you can read just one thing about Capital in the Twenty First Century I recommend Robert Solow’s very thorough review in The New Republic. (Krugman’s glowing review in the NYRB is perhaps more influential, but as a non-economist I appreciated Solow’s pedagogical attention to the technical aspects of the argument.)

If you’d prefer to skip the details altogether, in favor of experiencing a day in the life of an academic rock star, I’d point you to this wonderfully written article in New York Magazine.

And if you’re curious to know how the American left is engaging with the French economist, this extended interview by Chris Hayes on msnbc should give you a good feel for how the conversation in the US is playing out.

You may be wondering why I’m not recommending that you read the actual book. Unless you very wisely pre-ordered it, the first print run has already sold out!

 

8 Responses to “If you’re going to read one thing about Piketty’s book, read this.”


  1. Thanks for the pointers towards reviews of the book.

  2. Erra Smith Says:

    Really a very good reviews of book. Hope more people interesting here.

  3. marthapoon Says:

    The Brits still reign supreme in the art of the skeptical interview. Bring it on Jeremy Paxman! Guardian reading North London liberals don’t want a return to the Victorian Age? Gasp! Say what?

    Worth watching.

    UK locals can watch the full piece, complete with cartoon overview of the book, on BBC’s iPlayer.

  4. Philip Roscoe Says:

    Thanks Martha. A small additional sceptical Piketty piece is available in today’s Times Higher Education…
    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/books/capital-in-the-twenty-first-century-by-thomas-piketty/2012910.article

  5. marthapoon Says:

    A French friend has just pointed out to me that English speakers tend to naturally add a superfluous ‘c’ to Piketty if they’re not careful, and lo and behold I have done it!


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