The new book by French economist Piketty will be released on April 19

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French social economist Thomas Piketty is set to publish his new book, “A Brief History of Equality” on April 19. Published by Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, the book was first published in French under the title “Une breve Histoire de legalite” last year and was translated by Steven Rendall.

In his next book, Piketty offers a comparative history of inequalities between social classes in human societies by examining the great movements that have shaped the modern world for better and for worse: the growth of capitalism, revolutions, imperialism , slavery, wars and the construction of the welfare state.

“It’s easy to be pessimistic about inequality. We know it has increased dramatically in many parts of the world over the past two generations. No one has done more to expose the problem than Thomas Piketty,” said said a statement from the editors.

“Now, in this startling and powerful new work, Piketty reminds us that the great sweep of history gives us reason to be optimistic. Over the centuries, he shows, we have been moving towards a greater equality,” he added.

Furthermore, in the book, Piketty shows how human societies have moved in spurts toward a fairer distribution of income and assets, a reduction in racial and gender inequalities, and better access to health care, education and citizenship rights.

He said his book offers a “comparative history of inequalities between social classes in human societies. Or rather, it offers a history of equality, because, as we will see, there has been a long-term movement throughout history towards greater social, economic and political equality.

The author said one of the key takeaways from his new book is that inequality is first and foremost a social, historical and political construct.

“In other words, for the same level of economic or technological development, there are always several different ways of organizing a property system or a border system, a social and political system or a fiscal and educational system. These options are political in nature,” he writes.

Another lesson is that since the late 18th century there has been a long-term movement towards equality, he says.

With PTI entries

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