Piketty-Mania Is Reaching Germany. Slowly. By 2015.

The English-language press has been all over the place on Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”. It is sold out on amazon.com. But if you are not patient enough to wait for the real thing, you can order an executive summary. Today.

The Washington Post even felt it had to help its readers: To those who do not want to feel any longer like they are the only person who hasn’t weighed in on Thomas Piketty’s book, the Post offered guidance: “How to write a Thomas Piketty think piece, in 10 easy steps.”

On a more serious, but equally helpful note, The Economist, in addition to reviewing the book and covering Piketty-mania around the world, provides a summary in four paragraphs. There was absolutely no way of escaping Piketty in the English-language media that I read.

And what about Germany? I had to actively look for reviews. There are some, Frankfurter Allgemeine’s are even available on their FAZIT blog. They appear to have been first, with a review in January 2014. Piketty’s German publishers, C.H. Beck, have announced that the German translation will be published in spring. In the spring of 2015, that is. Looks like they have been totally surprised by the raving success of a data-rich academic treatise authored by a leftish French economist. For C.H. Beck’s sake, lets hope that Piketty-mania has not faded away by then. Or they can speed up the translation process.

Somewhere I read that Germany isn’t getting as exited about Piketty, because inequality isn’t such a big issue here as it is in the United States. But if I understand Piketty, second-hand, correctly, than that argument shows this writer are not really getting his point. But then, how should he, before 2015?


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