Thomas Piketty: The newest version of a familiar specimenSubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Tue, 04/29/2014 - 23:57
By SAM TANENHAUS - APRIL 25, 2014
It is unclear how many people have actually read Thomas Piketty’s treatise “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” — 577 pages of text and graphs plus 78 pages of notes and, for added clarity, an appendage called “Contents in Detail.”
But there is little doubt that Mr. Piketty has written the big-think book of the moment. Sped into production in February, “Capital” has jumped onto the New York Times best-seller list. Last week, Amazon notified readers its cavernous cupboards were bare. Mr. Piketty’s publisher, Harvard University Press, plainly caught off-guard, scurried to meet the demand.
“We have six printings on the way,” the book’s publicist said — two each in the United States, England and India.
Meanwhile, Mr. Piketty, fresh from a triumphant visit to Washington (where he met with members the Obama administration) was in New York, being shuttled from MSNBC to NPR. One devoted fan had even set up a Twitter feed, consisting of images of Mr. Piketty, boyishly handsome at 42, and inviting the verdict “hot or not.”