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Katrina Navickas: Tawney, Polanyi, Thompson

11 October 2018
The Moral Economists: R.H. Tawney, Karl Polanyi, E.P. Thompson and the Critique of Capitalism 
by Tim Rogan.
Princeton, 263 pp., £30, December 2017, 978 0 691 17300 9
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... economy. Through this lens, people can extrapolate to the macroeconomic from their own individual experiences. Widespread anxiety produces phenomena unthinkable in more prosperous times: for example, ThomasPiketty’s seven hundred-page volume of economic theory, Capital in the 21st Century, joining the bestseller lists. During crises of capitalism in the 20th century, the equivalent bestsellers were ...

Bristling Ermine

Jeremy Harding: R.W. Johnson

3 May 2017
Look Back in Laughter: Oxford’s Postwar Golden Age 
by R.W. Johnson.
Threshold, 272 pp., £14.50, May 2015, 978 1 903152 35 5
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How Long Will South Africa Survive? The Looming Crisis 
by R.W. Johnson.
Hurst, 288 pp., £12.99, July 2016, 978 1 84904 723 4
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... the approach is starved of nuance. The reason, perhaps, is that there is little room for contradiction in his model of decency and upstandingness. Even if he doesn’t mind a Marxist scholar such as Thomas Hodgkin (in fact, he loved Hodgkin and supplies a strong, sympathetic portrait), contradiction is by and large a failing, hard to distinguish from dishonesty, or moral blindness. What drives this ...
19 April 2017
... saints, miracles, blood, incense, cordite.Formally Kaczyński holds no office save a seat in parliament. Since his mother died he lives alone, with his cat Fiona, leaving him plenty of time to read ThomasPiketty and Carl Schmitt. He always wears black, in mourning for his twin brother, killed in a plane crash near Smolensk in 2010 that Kaczyński variously blames, without any evidence, on Russia and ...
8 November 2018
Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism 
by Melinda Cooper.
Zone, 447 pp., £24, March 2017, 978 1 935408 84 0
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... bouts of paid work. (Politicians from Blair onwards have been keen to celebrate British pop music, but none has ever acknowledged the indispensable role once played by the dole in seed-funding it.) ThomasPiketty’s Capital in the 21st Century (2014) was a wake-up call in this regard, showing that existential luck – what you inherit or are gifted with, as well as when you are born – plays a far ...

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