Capital in the Twenty-First Century: A Reading List

Were you hoping to read Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, but weren’t able to get a copy before we sold out of our first batch?

Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Rest assured, we expect more copies to be in stock as soon as they become available from Harvard University Press, probably around mid-May.




We know waiting is hard…especially for a book that riveting, so, in the meantime, our bookseller Jacob has created a list of recommended titles that are on our shelves now to read while we await the next printing of Thomas Piketty’s knockout debut:


Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Debt: The First 5,000 Years

 by David Graeber

“Anthropologist David Graeber casts a wide net, and this much longer view of human culture uncovers the moral and philosophical assumptions that are so deeply ingrained in our conceptions of debt that they usually remain invisible. By exploring the enormous variety of human relationships, exchanges, and economies throughout history and across cultures, Graeber clears a path toward crucial new possibilities for our future.”—Casey O.


Utopia or Bust: A Guide to the Present Crisis

Utopia or Bust: A Guide to the Present Crisis

by Benjamin Kunkel

From a founding editor of the magazine n+1, and the author of the novel Indecision, comes this exciting new overview of contemporary Marxist thought. Engaging with some of the left’s most demanding thinkers, and distilling their major arguments into clear, readable prose, Benjamin Kunkel provides the kind of introduction to prominent theories of contemporary Marxism we so badly need in these times of renewed interest in Marxist thought.


The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America

 by George Packer

Newly available in paperback, George Packer’s story of a nation in crisis is the 2013 National Book Award winner for nonfiction. Packer searches, in tightly knit detail, and in poignant biographical narratives, through the fraying fibers of post-2008 American society for the story of what, exactly, is happening to us, and what’s bound to follow. An heir to the work of Studs Terkel, or perhaps to David Simon’s celebrated television show The Wire, the Unwinding is as powerful a document of economic and social collapse as any to have come before it.


What Unions No Longer Do

What Unions No Longer Do

by Jake Rosenfeld


Who Stole the American Dream?

Who Stole the American Dream?

by Hedrick Smith

This is a two-for-one, as both Jake Rosenfeld and Hedrick Smith will be speaking at Town Hall Seattle, Monday, April 21, at 6:00 and 7:30 pm, respectively. Jake Rosenfeld, in his book, finds in the declining power and activity of labor unions throughout the second half of the 20th century a primary reason for the growing income inequality others, like Thomas Piketty, have documented. Pulitzer Prize winner Hedrick Smith, in his bestselling Who Stole the American Dream? charts the ways in which developments like rising income inequality, and corporate political influence, among others, are self-reinforcing cycles that only serve to exacerbate and deepen the crises we face.


NLR cover image

New Left Review, no. 85

A venerable, longstanding publication of global history, politics, economics, and philosophy, issue 85 features an interview with Thomas Piketty himself, discussing some of the main arguments found in Capital in the Twenty-First Century. If you can’t have the full text, yet, this will surely whet your appetite in the meantime!


– Jacob


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