The Best 6 Books on Thomas Piketty
Thomas Piketty―whose Capital in the Twenty-First Century pushed inequality to the forefront of public debate―wrote The Economics of Inequality as an introduction to the conceptual and factual background necessary for interpreting changes in economic inequality over time. This concise text has established itself as an indispensable guide for students and general readers in France, where it has been regularly updated and revised. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer, The Economics of Inequality now appears in English for the first time.
Piketty begins by explaining how inequality evolves and how economists measure it. In subsequent chapters, he explores variances in income and ownership of capital and the variety of policies used to reduce these gaps. Along the way, with characteristic clarity and precision, he introduces key ideas about the relationship between labor and capital, the effects of different systems of taxation, the distinction between “historical” and “political” time, the impact of education and technological change, the nature of capital markets, the role of unions, and apparent tensions between the pursuit of efficiency and the pursuit of fairness.
Succinct, accessible, and authoritative, this is the ideal place to start for those who want to understand the fundamental issues at the heart of one of the most pressing concerns in contemporary economics and politics.
Thomas Piketty’s work has proved that unfettered markets lead to increasing inequality, and that without meaningful regulation, capitalist economies will concentrate wealth in an ever smaller number of hands, threatening democracy. For years, his newspaper columns have pierced the surface of current events to reveal the economic forces underneath.
Why Save the Bankers? collects these columns from the period between the September 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers and the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. In crystalline prose, Piketty examines a wide range of topics, and along the way he decodes the European Union’s economic troubles, weighs in on oligarchy in the United States, wonders whether debts actually need to be paid back, and discovers surprising lessons about inequality by examining the career of Steve Jobs. Coursing with insight and flashes of wit, these brief essays offer a view of recent history through the eyes of one of the most influential economic thinkers of our time.
“Easy to follow for readers without much knowledge of economics, especially when [Piketty] picks apart topics that defy classical economic logic; in this he resembles Paul Krugman, who similarly writes clearly on complex topics . . . Helps make sense of recent financial history.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Anyone with an interest in politics, monetary policy, or international diplomacy will get a kick out of Piketty’s clear discussion.” —Shelf Awareness
“If you have been influenced by Piketty’s landmark work on inequality, make sure to read this next.” —Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything
A New York Times #1 Bestseller
An Amazon #1 Bestseller
A Wall Street Journal #1 Bestseller
A USA Today Bestseller
A Sunday Times Bestseller
Winner of the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award
Winner of the British Academy Medal
Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award
“It seems safe to say that Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the magnum opus of the French economist Thomas Piketty, will be the most important economics book of the year―and maybe of the decade.”
―Paul Krugman, New York Times
“The book aims to revolutionize the way people think about the economic history of the past two centuries. It may well manage the feat.”
“Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century is an intellectual tour de force, a triumph of economic history over the theoretical, mathematical modeling that has come to dominate the economics profession in recent years.”
―Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post
“Piketty has written an extraordinarily important book…In its scale and sweep it brings us back to the founders of political economy.”
―Martin Wolf, Financial Times
“A sweeping account of rising inequality…Piketty has written a book that nobody interested in a defining issue of our era can afford to ignore.”
―John Cassidy, New Yorker
“Stands a fair chance of becoming the most influential work of economics yet published in our young century. It is the most important study of inequality in over fifty years.”
―Timothy Shenk, The Nation
What are the grand dynamics that drive the accumulation and distribution of capital? Questions about the long-term evolution of inequality, the concentration of wealth, and the prospects for economic growth lie at the heart of political economy. But satisfactory answers have been hard to find for lack of adequate data and clear guiding theories. In Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty analyzes a unique collection of data from twenty countries, ranging as far back as the eighteenth century, to uncover key economic and social patterns. His findings will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.
Piketty shows that modern economic growth and the diffusion of knowledge have allowed us to avoid inequalities on the apocalyptic scale predicted by Karl Marx. But we have not modified the deep structures of capital and inequality as much as we thought in the optimistic decades following World War II. The main driver of inequality―the tendency of returns on capital to exceed the rate of economic growth―today threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic values. But economic trends are not acts of God. Political action has curbed dangerous inequalities in the past, Piketty says, and may do so again.
A work of extraordinary ambition, originality, and rigor, Capital in the Twenty-First Century reorients our understanding of economic history and confronts us with sobering lessons for today.