But check out this fawning report by by Boris Kachka in New York Magazine. My highlights:
You’ve heard of Thomas Piketty, non? In just a few short weeks this spring, the French economist has gone from dismal scientist to intellectual superstar. This past weekend, his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, hit No. 1 on Amazon and came up in six New York Times articles. One hundred and eighty years after Alexis de Tocqueville came back to France with the news that he’d found true égalité in America, his countryman has arrived on our shores to deliver the opposite news: Not only is the U.S. doomed to accelerating inequality, but so are all capitalist societies, absent some fairly serious interventions — mostly taxes. The tough prognosis in Capital runs across nearly 700 graph-dappled pages and three centuries of economic history. No serious economist could afford to ignore its mountains of fresh data and analysis, but for the rest of us, it’s a heavier lift. Hence Piketty’s New York publicity push last week — a different kind of endurance test, involving midtown traffic, a publicist shouting “Short answers!,” and the unbridled fury of a WNYC producer facing 30 minutes of dead air.
After a flurry of pre-publication op-eds and blog discussions in January, Capital (Marx reference intentional) was printed a month early by Harvard University Press, selling close to 50,000 copies here so far — hardly Harry Potter numbers, but magnitudes more than the average academic book — and instantly turning Piketty into a more affable and telegenic Paul Krugman. The first leg of his American tour, in Washington, D.C., included meetings with the Council of Economic Advisers, the GAO, the IMF, and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. But New York was another beast — a two-day sprint that could have been fashioned by Torquemada. On Thursday, day two, there was Reuters TV, CNN Money, Yahoo’s “Daily Ticker,” MSNBC, The Leonard Lopate Show, the Times, Harvard Business Review, The Nation, and talks at NYU and Columbia. Read the rest here.
The word is obviously out to promote this guy and his capital-hating views.