Book Reviews

Giving priority to "purposeful and dignified work" for all - but how?

In her new short book, Rachel Reeves reflects that the economic winners of globalisation “are asset rich elites and the metropolitan professional class of creative, media, knowledge and finance workers, and opinion formers.” Her major concern is for Britain’s “old established working class, many of whom are now excluded from high-skilled sectors”.

“Purposeful and dignified work defines what the Labour Party stands for, whilst good wages are the principal means of distributing the rewards of economic prosperity,” she writes.

Is capitalism “mutating” into an infotech utopia?

I was privileged to be invited by the St. Paul’s Institute to discuss (on the 3rd November, 2015) the thesis in Paul Mason's recent book PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future with a keynote speech from the author.

Mason’s book is both a riveting and intellectually exhilarating read. It challenged me at a range of levels, and has added considerably to my list of must-read books. However, I have strong disagreements with Mason, and these are outlined in my review, published here as a PRIME e-publication.

Twenty Two Days that Changed the World

In this carefully researched book, Ed Conway tells a gripping human tale about the July 1944 Bretton Woods Conference - “the biggest battle of the Second World War – fought behind closed doors”. He provides remarkable insights into the personal, geopolitical and intellectual dynamics that played out that summer within the confines of the Mount Washington Hotel, nestled within New Hampshire’s Bretton Woods.

The power to create money 'out of thin air'

Happy New Year to all PRIME readers, and welcome to my latest PRIME publication, The power to create money out of thin air.  At first sight, this is a long-delayed review of Geoffrey Ingham’s book, Capitalism (Polity Press, first published 2008).  However like all the best reviews, it has become a hook on which to hang discussion of the author’s contemporary pet themes. Here, these include primarily, capitalism’s ‘elastic production of money’. However, I also take the opportunity of explaining why misunderstanding about the creation of money out of thin air is so widespread, and why orthodox economists are mainly responsible for the confusion.

Review of "The Irreconcilable Inconsistencies of Neoclassical Macroeconomics: A False Paradigm" by John Weeks

I’ve just received a copy of John Weeks’ new book, The Irreconcilable Inconsistencies of Neoclassical Economics: A False Paradigm (Routledge).  Especially in the light of the current economic crisis, this book challenges the fundamental premises of mainstream neoclassical economics and appeals to economists to formulate an alternative based on the thinking of Marx and Keynes.  We need to challenge the dominance of neoclassical economics, with its emphasis on speculation, the delusion of easy financial gain, and perpetual, unsustainable growth