PositiveThe Irish Times (IRE)[Piketty] possesses the rarest of abilities to analyse staggering quantities of information and offer original insights into the structures that underpin our economies. Celebrity is not at the expense of scholarship. His works are testament to the belief that arguments are won through the weight of evidence and the power of reason ... If this volume offers familiar Piketty arguments, then the weaknesses are also familiar. An increase in global trade and integration also played a critical role in reducing inequality. This receives little acknowledgement in this and previous book ... Current levels of political integration, global and European, are excoriated. But the author gives no recognition to the immense development of the regulatory powers of the Commission of the European Union in areas from climate policy to the regulation of data ... But, at a time when the concept of objective truth is under assault and when the nuance of argument can be drowned out by the shouting of slogans, there is something glorious about the scale of the work of Thomas Piketty. His arguments are vast in their detail, ever ambitious and always hopeful ... This elegant and (by his standards) short book will allow any reader to understand the glory.
PositiveThe Irish Times (IRE)The language of British politics has changed. But it is a step too far to equate the voters and those committed to exit as authoritarian or participating in the \'twilight of democracy\' ... This points to a dilemma in assessing the health of democracies. A majority of voters have supported the regimes that are a cause of such concern in this book. Their voice, they may contend, is now vented and recognised by governments they elected after decades of exclusion. These voters and their leaders could declare that democracy is finally working ... This is where Twilight of Democracy is of real value. The author warns of the use of technologies that are fundamentally changing the practice of politics and advocacy ... The personal nature of this book does not always sit easily with the universal nature of its warnings and prophesies ... The risk of twilight of our western democratic model, the uncertainty of what may follow – a brighter dawn or a darker night – require that all warnings be urgently considered. This book demands such consideration.
MixedThe Irish TimesHardy attempts to open the door to the reader through two narrative strands. The first is the story of his work as an editor. The second is an analysis of his subject’s philosophy of pluralism and religious belief. Either will only be of interest to a reader already familiar with the philosophy of Berlin. A curious reader should start elsewhere ... But criticism that this book is too intricate to act as an introduction would be to judge it against a role that it never claims to fill. The intellectual thrill of the accuracy of a footnote is the stuff of this work ... The scaffolding of scholarship is the well referenced claim and the definitive footnote. This book is a testament to the unsung effort behind their creation.