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The Inequality Engine

Geoff Mann, 4 June 2020

Capital and Ideology 
by Thomas Piketty, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Harvard, 1150 pp., £31.95, March, 978 0 674 98082 2
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... With​ Paris still vibrating in the aftermath of the Commune, Emile Boutmy and a group of intellectuals founded the École Libre des Sciences Politiques in 1872. The school was a direct response to the Commune, to France’s humiliation in the Franco-Prussian War, and to a sense that its ruling class was bereft of talent, industry and imagination, its imperial and cultural mission a shambles ...

Tempestuous Seasons

Adam Tooze: Keynes in China, 13 September 2018

In the Long Run We Are All Dead: Keynesianism, Political Economy and Revolution 
by Geoff Mann.
Verso, 432 pp., £20, January 2017, 978 1 78478 599 4
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... controls on banking and financial markets. Keynes is the godfather of policy activism, but, as Geoff Mann argues in his brilliant book In the Long Run We Are All Dead, he is also the best hope of those who want to keep the show on the road by whatever means necessary. He promised both the avoidance of disaster and the preservation of the status ...

How Dare He?

Jenny Turner: Geoff Dyer, 11 June 2009

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi 
by Geoff Dyer.
Canongate, 295 pp., £12.99, April 2009, 978 1 84767 270 4
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... I had envied them sometimes,’ Geoff Dyer writes in Out of Sheer Rage, his 1997 book about D.H. Lawrence. ‘Those in work, those with jobs. Especially on a Friday night when, relieved that it was over for another week, they could down tools and look forward to two days of uninterrupted idleness.’ He’s sitting in hot sunshine outside a café in Taormina, supposedly researching his subject’s ‘savage pilgrimage’ but actually getting on with what turns out to be the book’s real business, which is to obsess at length about what he himself, writer, flâneur, free-floating stoner, is supposedly doing with his life ...

The cow, the shoe, then you

Philip Oltermann: Hans Fallada, 8 March 2012

More Lives than One: A Biography of Hans Fallada 
by Jenny Williams.
Penguin, 320 pp., £12.99, February 2012, 978 0 241 95267 2
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A Small Circus 
by Hans Fallada, translated by Michael Hofmann.
Penguin, 577 pp., £20, February 2012, 978 0 14 119655 8
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... Then there’s Doctor Reichhardt, the artist imprisoned for his ideals, but he is more of a Thomas Mann-style grand bourgeois. Perhaps the multiple self-portraits make sense: there’s always more than one Hans Fallada. In Fallada’s 1942 memoir, Damals bei uns daheim (Our Home in Days Gone By), he describes himself as a Pechvogel, an unlucky devil, who fell ...

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