What We Are Reading Today: Democracy and Prosperity by Torben Iversen and David Soskice

Updated 17 January 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Democracy and Prosperity by Torben Iversen and David Soskice

It is a widespread view that democracy and the advanced nation-state are in crisis, weakened by globalization and undermined by global capitalism, in turn explaining rising inequality and mounting populism. 

This book, written by two of the world’s leading political economists, argues this view is wrong: Advanced democracies are resilient, and their enduring historical relationship with capitalism has been mutually beneficial, says a review on the Princeton University Press website.

For all the chaos and upheaval over the past century — major wars, economic crises, massive social change, and technological revolutions — Torben Iversen and David Soskice show how democratic states continuously reinvent their economies through massive public investment in research and education, by imposing competitive product markets and cooperation in the workplace, and by securing macroeconomic discipline as the preconditions for innovation and the promotion of the advanced sectors of the economy. 


What We Are Reading Today: Busted in New York by Darryl Pinckney

Updated 47 min 7 sec ago

What We Are Reading Today: Busted in New York by Darryl Pinckney

This is a collection of essays that blend the personal and the social, from the celebrated literary critic and novelist.

Author Darryl Pinckney has written for The New York Review of Books for decades, and most of the 25 essays here appeared there first.

“In his two novels, Pinckney focused on the interior lives of his black characters in settings including Berlin, Chicago and Indianapolis, where Pinckney was raised. Here, he reveals himself to be a skillful chronicler of black experience in literary criticism, reportage and biography,” Lauretta Charlton said in a review for The New York Times.

“The crown jewel of this book is ‘Banjo,’ an essay that first appeared last year in the literary magazine Salmagundi. In it, Pinckney pinpoints a devastating irony of growing up in a privileged, intellectual milieu like his.

“The pressure to live up to his parents’ expectations led to its own kind of oppression, one he sought to escape by traveling to Europe but addresses head on in this essay, which captures his journey toward self-discovery.

Through race, Pinckney implies, we hide from each other and ourselves,” the review added.

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