It’s no longer a secret that only a small fraction of those who bought French economist Thomas Piketty’s bestseller – a very unusual word to describe an economics books – Capital in the Twenty-First Century did not read most of it. The thesis of the book, that economic inequality is growing alarmingly to constantly widen the gap between the rich and the rest, was one that appeals greatly to the social media generation. The book, published in French in 2013 and translated into English in 2014, established that this inequality is a feature of capitalism and not a bug.
But the attention span of the said generation not being anywhere near what it takes to read, analyse and understand the 696-page-plus book, it’s not a surprise that not many got beyond the first few pages, leave alone finish it.
For those who sniff at The Economist’s four-para summary of Piketty’s own video, here’s the pithy explainer. Swedish economics professor Jesper Roine’s Pocket Piketty provides the quickest summary in book form that you can find of the original. Yes, there are a few charts, but very few indeed, and it shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours even for the uninitiated to understand Piketty after reading this little book.
Especially since it has section that Piketty himself could not have included. It’s titled: Is Piketty Right?
Published in 2017.