Amazon's Top Seller: a 685-Page Economics Book
Thomas Piketty addresses income inequality
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 26, 2014 6:57 AM CDT
The book.   (Amazon.com)

(Newser) – Thomas Piketty's book Capital in the Twenty-First Century may not be a quick read, but it's flying off the (digital) shelves. What makes a 685-page book on economic history, translated from French, Amazon's bestseller? Well, the reviews have been great; Paul Krugman calls it "truly superb" in the New York Review of Books. And it deals with an issue that speaks to Americans, writes Aimee Picchi at CBS News: income inequality. Piketty argues that the problem is tied to return on capital surpassing the economy's growth rate.

In other words, as Jordan Weissmann writes at Slate, "as economic growth slows in a country, the income generated by wealth balloons compared with income generated by work, and inequality skyrockets." Piketty, Weissmann notes, "has been perhaps the most important thinker on inequality of the past decade or so." His work has been instrumental in documenting the oft-discussed wealthiest 1%. While the book has been a sales success, however, it hasn't generated many Amazon reviews, Picchi points out; that could mean the readers who are buying it aren't actually getting around to reading the giant thing. (Another weird recent bestseller: Mein Kampf.)

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Showing 3 of 29 comments
Toon
Apr 26, 2014 1:57 PM CDT
How about this - it's a 700 page book that's a bit more dense then a Steven king novel and will take longer to read.
orlandojon
Apr 26, 2014 8:01 AM CDT
Too bad the book flying off the shelves isn't the one that correctly predicted the financial collapse back in 1999 and also claimed the Fed's response would be to double down on printing money to the point we push the Dollar off it's status as the world's premier currency.
janelanejones
Apr 26, 2014 7:33 AM CDT
"could mean the readers who are buying it aren't actually getting around to reading the giant thing" or it means what it usually means: the critics will always bitch more than those who agree with it. it's been that way forever. i can have seven customers be totally happy with my work but it only takes one to throw that all off