It's been interesting to watch the fortunes of French economist Thomas Piketty's Le capital au 21e siècle since its publication in France last September. I'm well placed to do so, since I'm the book's English translator. The French version has sold well from the start. For the past 78 days straight, it has been on the Top 100 list of amazon.fr. But today, for the first time, it hit no. 1 in France, as news of Piketty's astonishing success in the United States returned to French shores. It's as if France was awaiting validation of its latest intellectual superstar by the tough American audience.
In the United States, success came swiftly. Two Nobel prizewinners wrote glowing reviews: Paul Krugman and Robert Solow. A third Nobel laureate, Joseph Stiglitz, praised the book during a public appearance with Piketty at CUNY. Economist Brad DeLong sums up the burgeoning discussion of the book here. This is the first Harvard University Press book to make the New York Times bestseller list since the 1990s.
I'm pleased to be associated with this important book and congratulate Thomas on his well-deserved recognition.