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.
‘To see what is in front of one’s nose is a constant struggle,’ wrote George Orwell. In Ill Fares the Land, leading European historian Tony Judt demonstrates a sharp ability to negotiate that struggle and present the bigger picture. Drawing on the giants of political and economic writing such as Adam Smith, Keynes, Hobbes and Burke, Judt provides a solid historical framework before going on to lament the dismantling of the state in the late