Who is the richest person in the world, ever? Does where you were born affect how much money youll earn over a lifetime? How would we know? Why, beyond the idle curiosity, do these questions even matter? In The Haves and the Have-Nots, Branko Milanovic, one of the worlds leading experts on wealth, poverty, and the gap that separates them, explains these and other mysteries of how wealth is unevenly spread throughout our world, now and through time. Milanovic uses history, literature and stories straight out of todays newspapers, to discuss one of the major divisions in our social lives: between the haves and the have-nots.
He reveals just how rich Elizabeth Bennet's suitor Mr. Darcy really was; how much Anna Karenina gained by falling in love; how wealthy ancient Romans compare to todays super-rich; where in Kenyan income distribution was Obamas grandfather; how we should think about Marxism in a modern world; and how location where one is born determines his wealth. He goes beyond mere entertainment to explain why inequality matters, how it damages our economics prospects, and how it can threaten the foundations of the social order that we take for granted. Bold, engaging, and illuminating, The Haves and the Have-Nots teaches us not only how to think about inequality, but why we should.
"[A]n eclectic book on inequality…. [Milanovic’s] colorful vignettes…are almost uniformly delightful. No matter where you are on the income ladder, Milanovic’s examination of whether Bill Gates is richer than Nero makes for great cocktail party conversation." (The New York Times Book Review)
Milanovic defies the typical image of an economist by presenting research overlaid with humor, literary insights, and fully imagined portraits of daily life as he examines inequality across time and continents....Accessible and entertaining. (Booklist)
"[A] timely look at the inequality of income and wealth…. Authoritative." (Kirkus Reviews)
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Reading 'The Haves and the Have-Nots'
- Joshua Kim
Average at best