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Thomas Piketty’s capital idea

The French economist with a celebrated theory of inequality is back—this time with a theory of everything in 1,100 pages. But is he, Paul Krugman asks Prospect, sufficient a polymath to pull it off?

By Tom Clark   April 2020

ERIC PIERMONT/AFP via Getty Images

Can a book change the world? Thomas Piketty looked as startled as anyone when his first doorstopper on inequality was greeted with this question six years ago. I remember the scholarly statistician’s transformation into a media sensation vividly, because the Guardian had me take a taxi with him around London to make a (possibly) comic video billed as “on tour with the rock-star economist.”

Now the Frenchman…

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