The epic successor to one of the most important books of the century: at once a retelling of global history, a scathing critique of contemporary politics, and a bold proposal for a new and fairer economic system
Thomas Piketty's bestselling Capital in the Twenty-First Century galvanized global debate about inequality. In this audacious follow-up, Piketty challenges us to revolutionize how we think about politics, ideology, and history. He exposes the ideas that have sustained inequality for the past millennium, reveals why the shallow politics of right and left are failing us today, and outlines the structure of a fairer economic system.
Our economy, Piketty observes, is not a natural fact. Markets, profits, and capital are all historical constructs that depend on choices. Piketty explores the material and ideological interactions of conflicting social groups that have given us slavery, serfdom, colonialism, communism, and hypercapitalism, shaping the lives of billions. He concludes that the great driver of human progress over the centuries has been the struggle for equality and education, and not, as often argued, the assertion of property rights or the pursuit of stability. The new era of extreme inequality that has derailed that progress since the 1980s, he shows, is partly a reaction against communism, but it is also the fruit of ignorance, intellectual specialization, and our drift toward the dead-end politics of identity.
Once we understand this, we can begin to envision a more balanced approach to economics and politics. Piketty argues for a new "participatory" socialism, a system founded on an ideology of equality, social property, education, and the sharing of knowledge and power. Capital and Ideology is destined to be one of the indispensable books of our time, a work that will not only help us understand the world, but that will change it.
Earn by promoting books
Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.Become an affiliate
About the Author
Thomas Piketty is director of studies at L'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and professor at the Paris School of Economics. He is the author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century.
Rick Adamson is an award-winning voice artist with more than twenty years' experience in voiceovers, spoken word events, event announcing, and children's media, as well as commercials for well-known international corporations. He has narrated numerous television and film documentaries, including Croatia, co-narrated with Martin Sheen. His audiobook narration includes more than two dozen major books, as well as dozens of early-reader titles for juveniles. He won the prestigious Audie Award in 2011 for Best Inspirational/Faith-Based Fiction for In a Heartbeat, and he was among the finalists for the 2006 Audie Award for Best Personal Development/Motivational Work for Younger Next Year. He earned an AudioFile Earphones Award for the ensemble narration of Rough Water.
"Thomas Piketty's magisterial global and connected history takes us on a whirlwind journey across the world during the past 500 years to show how shifting ideas and politics have shaped a wide variety of inequality regimes. Fully embracing the power of historical analysis, Capital and Ideology emboldens us to reimagine what is possible today. Enormously rich in argument and evidence, this tour de force by one of the most influential thinkers of our age is a must-read for anyone grappling with the dilemmas of our present."-- "Sven Beckert, author of Empire of Cotton: A Global History"
"A book of remarkable clarity and dynamism. Drawing lessons from a breathtaking survey of different historical experiences, it teaches us that nothing is inevitable, that there exist a whole range of possibilities between hypercapitalism and the disasters of the communist experience. It's up to us to make our future. Let's roll up our sleeves."-- "Esther Duflo, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences"
"Piketty explains why this could be the moment for a turn to equality, and which policies could make that happen."-- "Financial Times (London)"
"The world's most famous economist sets out the case for socialism. Thomas Piketty's new book may prove as famous--and controversial--as its predecessor."-- "The Economist (London)"
"Outlines a fairer economic system for the world."-- "Management Today"
"[A] wide-ranging historical survey of 'inequality regimes'―dogmas that justify hierarchies of wealth and power...This ambitious manifesto will stir controversy but also cement Piketty's position as the Left's leading economic theorist."-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
"A significant work...A deftly argued case for a new kind of socialism that, while sure to inspire controversy, bears widespread discussion."-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"