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Review Essay: Thomas Piketty and His Discontents



To say that Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century has become a sensation would be a bit of a cliché by now. The French economist’s sevenhundred-page analysis of wealth and inequality over the past three centuries has dominated not merely the financial press but the popular press as well since its March 2014 appearance in English translation. By late April, the book had rocketed to #1 on Amazon (of all genres) and was sold out (my own copy took three weeks to arrive); a month later, it seized the coveted #1 spot on the relevant New York Times best-seller list, a position it held for several weeks. For months, the blogosphere was buzzing with reviews, critiques, rebuttals, praise, slanders, and occasionally bewilderment—all of this for an academic work of economics, an almost unheard-of feat.

W. Bradford Littlejohn, "Review Essay: Thomas Piketty and His Discontents," Journal of Markets & Morality 17, no. 2 (Fall 2014): 505-514.

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