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Book Reviews

“Both Together, They Made a Very Good Book”

The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Left and Right by Yuval Levin (Basic Books 2014), 235 pages. Yuval Levin’s well-written Great Debate is full of useful material, understandable explanation, and interesting reflections. It flows along smoothly and even entertainingly, unless that is a cuss word in serious circles. Levin goes through the Burke-Paine controversy ...

Ignoring the Difference between Free markets and State Capitalism

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, translated by Arthur Goldhammer (Belknap 2014), 696 pages. The basic phenomenon that Thomas Piketty devotes this book to describing is simple: “When the rate of return on capital significantly exceeds the growth rate of the economy..., then it logically follows that inherited wealth grows faster than output and income.” His historical account ...

A Conservative Dissents from the Corporate Status Quo

The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America by David A. Stockman, (Public Affairs 2013), 768 pages. Most leftist critiques of libertarianism focus on an alleged blind defense of corporate power. Indeed, left-libertarian Kevin Carson has helpfully criticized the very real problem of “vulgar libertarianism,” the working assumption that current economic realities are a product of free-market dynamics ...