Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century is all over the blogs and magazines in the US but Amazon UK is tantalising me by sending successive emails saying the shipping date over here has been delayed. It now won’t reach Enlightenment Towers until mid-April.
Capital in the Twenty-First Century
Meanwhile, there are other serious attacks on 21st century capitalism to divert the reader so inclined. I see that David Harvey’s Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism is available now. I just read George Packer’s The Unwinding, an epic account of the devastation of the American working class. And I’ve started Greg Clark’s The Son Also Rises, whose introduction got the hairs on the back of my neck to rise because of its radical implications for how we think about social mobility – we’ll see if the rest of the book delivers on that promise.
Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism The Unwinding: Thirty Years of American Decline The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World)
All of which raises the question – who, if anybody, is writing convincingly and interestingly in defence of 21st century capitalism? At the moment I can’t bring any books that would serve this purpose to mind, even in the technology literature where you’d most expect to find them. There are of course some optimists, like Charles Kenny in The Upside of Down, but that’s not quite the same thing as a rousing defence of the system. Any nominations?