The business and economic world's most visible book award was announced today.
Picketty's tome is at or near the top of just about everyone's list, including lists from strategy+business and Amazon, but it's at least mildly surprising that Capital was chosen, not because the award is not deserved - it certainly is - but because over the summer FT itself has some issues with the book... a fact that FT even mentioned in their announcement of the award:
The FT has in the past questioned some of the French economist's research for Capital, but the book has provoked a fierce debate about growing inequality and the means to tackle it. "While not everyone agreed on the policy prescriptions, we recognised the quality of the scholarship," Mr. Barber (Lionel Barber, FT editor and chairman of judges) said on behalf of the judges. He called it "a challenging, but ultimately important book".Furthermore:
Weighing the merits of the six finalists during an intense discussion on Tuesday, the seven judges praised Mr. Piketty's book, which runs to nearly 700 pages, for its depth of research, ambition and influence. "The issue of inequality touches everything, from CEO pay to political unrest," one judge pointed out.Also announced by Financial Times and McKinsey was the winner of the inaugural 15,000 Bracken Bower Prize to the "best proposal for a business book by an author aged under 35." The winning proposal was titled Womenomics in the Muslim World, written by a senior director of the World Economic Forum, Saadia Zahidi, about the advancement of women in Islamic countries. No doubt that we'll keep our eye on this one.
Capital in the Twenty-First Century beat out the following five shortlisted books:
- Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillanceby Julia Angwin, Times Books
- The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson & Andrew McAfee, W. W. Norton & Company
- Creativity, Inc. Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull, Random House
- Hack Attack: How the Truth Caught up with Rupert Murdoch by Nick Davies, Faber & Faber
- House of Debt: How They (and You) Caused the Great Recession, and How We Can Prevent It from Happening Again by Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, University of Chicago Press