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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Future of Capitalism by Paul Collier, read by Peter Noble.   

Deep new rifts are tearing apart the fabric of Britain and other Western societies: thriving cities versus the provinces, the highly skilled elite versus the less educated, wealthy versus developing countries. As these divides deepen, we have lost the sense of ethical obligation to others that was crucial to the rise of post-war social democracy. So far these rifts have been answered only by the revivalist ideologies of populism and socialism, leading to the seismic upheavals of Trump, Brexit and the return of the far right in Germany. We have heard many critiques of capitalism but no one has laid out a realistic way to fix it, until now.   

In a passionate and polemical book, celebrated economist Paul Collier outlines brilliantly original and ethical ways of healing these rifts - economic, social and cultural - with the cool head of pragmatism, rather than the fervour of ideological revivalism. He reveals how he has personally lived across these three divides, moving from working-class Sheffield to hyper-competitive Oxford, and working between Britain and Africa, and acknowledges some of the failings of his profession.   

Drawing on his own solutions as well as ideas from some of the world's most distinguished social scientists, he shows us how to save capitalism from itself - and free ourselves from the intellectual baggage of the 20th century.     

©2018 Paul Collier (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic Reviews

"In this bold work of intellectual trespass, Paul Collier, a distinguished economist, ventures onto the terrain of ethics to explain what's gone wrong with capitalism, and how to fix it. To heal the divide between metropolitan elites and the left-behind, he argues, we need to rediscover an ethic of belonging, patriotism, and reciprocity. Offering inventive solutions to our current impasse, Collier shows how economics at its best is inseparable from moral and political philosophy." (Michael Sandel, author of What Money Can't Buy and Justice)

"The Future of Capitalism is the most revolutionary work of social science since Keynes. Let's hope it will also be the most influential. These times are in desperate need of Paul Collier's insights." (George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001) 

"For 30 years, the centre left of politics has been searching for a narrative that makes sense of the market economy. This book provides it.." (John Kay, Fellow of St John's College, Oxford and the author of Obliquity and Other People's Money)

What listeners say about The Future of Capitalism

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good content if you manage to keep awake.

I struggle to finish this one. content is good but narrator was a bit monotone making it harder to absorb already dry content.

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another great Booker from Collier

Thoroughly enjoyed Colliers ideas and solutions even without agreeing it's a spectacular change to hear a suggestion and not just a complaint.

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An intriguing book

Paul Collier provides a facinating insight into the human challenges facing capitalism and presents a number of possible possible solutions to address these challenges.

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  • Dr P
  • 18-05-2019

Opened my eyes

Really interesting analysis of where capitalism had let us down with suggestions to improve it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kristiyan
  • 22-07-2019

Insightful

The most insightful book I listened to in the past year, definitely recommend to anyone interested in politics, economics or business!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-04-2019

A great idea to repair our society.

The idea is unlikely be implemented because individual ambition is to beat the rest rather than to raise the achievement of everyone. It is well argued and presented but will it change business objectives and plans?

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-04-2019

We can do better, we once did so and we can do it again

So ends Paul Collier’s masterpiece.

It is a work filled with rational pragmatism. Answering the questions posed by the rhetoric and snake oil of the populists with hard headed common sense yet eschewing the disproven promise of Marxism as a failed experiment. Collier also suggests solutions. Not least the need for ethically informed firms, not as inefficient experiments but as economic value transfers for the good of more. Impressive. Inspiring.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-02-2021

A thought-provoking analysis of where we are.

I enjoyed reading The Future of Capitalism, not for what I learned from it, but for the fact that it managed to put into words pre-existing ideas that I have often otherwise struggled to organize in my own head. Yes, for me it was one of those books. I agree with roughly 80% of Collier's analysis, particularly his critique of our current political systems and political discourse insofar as they have a tendency to lead us down ideological cul-de-sacs. I agree that political discourse in (some of) the west requires a pragmatic turn and I loved what he had to say about returning politics and moral decision-making to communities and families.

However, what the author is really asking the reader to conceive is a new, ethically redirected form of capitalism based on communitarian principles; a vision that I often dream of myself. And this is a difficult vision to invest any faith into, since those of my generation were told, when we were children, that there is no such thing as society and that the invisible hand of the market doesn't do ethics. The Future of Capitalism, unfortunately, didn't convince me that markets with morals were something that we can look forward to in the near future. Although Collier comes up with several interesting ideas, the book doesn't (and explicitly isn't intended to) provide a concrete plan of action to achieve his vision. Such is the inherent disadvantage of pragmatic politics, I suppose.

Also, I found Paul Noble to be good at the start, but by the middle of the book he began to sound tired and croaky which was a bit of a distraction. I think also that his narration style is maybe a little bit too serious and that the book deserves a slightly more light-hearted tone.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-01-2021

Thought-provoking, but some glaring omissions!

Some great ideas, but no discussion of climate or colonialism, which made it feel incomplete.

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  • Chong Xu
  • 08-09-2020

Do not buy; do not waste your time and money

Worst book. I’m amazed how one could write a book without actually saying anything. Avoid if you can.

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  • harry
  • 24-07-2020

A must read coupled with the best narration

Paul Collier successfully diagnoses the illness that has so taken hold of the western world. An absolute must read for those on both ends of the political spectrum, offering pragmatic and easily understood solutions. Narration is simply top class from Peter Noble.

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  • Splisher
  • 11-05-2020

You will want to listen to this one again & again

This is such an interesting read on so many levels and perfect for understanding why certain things are happening across the developed world. The history, the stories and the concepts are something you want to revisit multiple times. Ended up ordering the paperback version as well.

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  • Conrad B
  • 12-09-2019

very very interesting

A detailed and pragmatic assessment of both the causes and potential solutions to some of societies most pressing problems

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