Among the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature, this Old English epic poem, written sometime between the eighth and eleventh centuries, describes the adventures of a sixth-century Scandinavian warrior. Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, travels vast distances to prove his strength at impossible odds against supernatural demons and beasts, including Grendel, Grendel’s mother and a dragon. The stuff of heroism, the tale builds up to a final battle after Beowulf’s return to Geatland, where he has become king.
You might think books about inequality could err on the ideological side...
‘Today, many things indicate that we are going through a transitional period, when it seems that something is on the way out and something else is painfully being born. It is as if something were crumbling, decaying and exhausting itself, while something else, still indistinct, were arising from the rubble.’ - Vaclav Havel
In The Value of Nothing, Raj Patel recalls how his favourite thing in his father’s shop when growing up was the pricing gun. He goes on to show how, since the 1970s, free-market gurus such as Friedman, Volcker and Greenspan have held sway.
When Paul Collier brings out a book, people tend to take notice. His previous work, The Bottom Billion, has been influential to neo-liberal economists and, as Oxford Professor of Economics and former Head of Research at the World Bank, Collier comes with a formidable reputation – as demonstrated by the fact that he currently advises the UN and the British government.