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Books Editorial

briefhistoryofcap.jpg Talking to My Daughter About the Economy: A Brief History of Capitalism

Yanis Varoufaskis, Bodley Head

Even if you’re well versed in the ins and outs of economic theory, you’ll still find much to enjoy in Yanis Varoufakis’ punchy, 200-page answer to his 14-year-old daughter’s question: Why is there so much inequality? He discusses in a chatty manner how capitalism initially developed, or, given that he tries to steer clear of jargon, how a market society came into being. He takes things right back to brass tacks drawing, for instance, important distinctions between things that have a market value and those that have experiential value (such as a beautiful sunset), and illuminates his thesis by bringing in examples from his daughter’s own life, and, entertainingly, everything from Oedipus to Frankenstein to The Matrix. He even has convincing arguments to make about why the ending of Marlowe’s 16th century Faustus differs to Goethe’s 19th century version due to developments in the economy. Accessible with a strong thread of humanity running right through it, this is an education that truly sparkles.