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  1. Wealth
April 10, 2020

April books: four of the best reads out now

By Spear's

Looking for something to read this weekend? Here are three recommended reads from Spear’s 

Dark Towers By David Enrich (HarperCollins, £20)

What do Nazis, rogue states, laundered Russian money and Donald Trump all have in common? The answer, according to this blistering exposé, is connections to Deutsche Bank. New York Times finance editor David Enrich takes no prisoners as he dives into Deutsche’s history, uncovering corruption, recklessness and plenty of shadiness. At the human core of the story is Bill Broeksmit, a former Deutsche Bank executive regarded as the ‘unofficial conscience’ of the bank, who took his own life in 2014. Enrich follows the journey of Broeksmit’s son Val, who gains access to his father’s computer files and finds a bank with a very dark heart. Arun Kakar

Capital and Ideology By Thomas Piketty (Harvard University Press, £31.95)

‘Every human society must justify its inequalities: unless reasons for them are found, the whole political and social edifice stands in danger of collapse.’ So begins Thomas Piketty’s 1,093-page sequel to the bestselling Capital in the 21st Century. Inequality, runs the central argument, is a political choice: the struggle for equality and education is the fundamental driver of human progress. Reams of data are presented in enlightening ways, while criticisms of his previous book are absorbed. Some aspects – notably proposals for a new ‘participatory socialism’ – will be controversial. But this is a crucial read from a thinker at the top of his game. Arun Kakar 

Small Men on the Wrong Side of History By Ed West (Constable, £20)

According to Unherd deputy editor Ed West, conservatives have lost almost every political argument since 1945. The deep cultural shift across the Western world from the 1950s led to changes in public attitudes towards morality and sexuality. What we’re seeing today is a Second Reformation of sorts and conservatives are the pagans. Small Men benefits from West’s idiosyncratic and anti-dogmatic approach. He’s not afraid to criticise the peculiarities of the modern right (even those he sees in himself), but he also explains why he is on the political right, offering an argument for conservativism as a necessary bulwark to ‘runaway liberalism’. Arun Kakar 

The Restaurant By William Sitwell (Simon & Schuster, £20)

Spear’s contributor William Sitwell maps out a global history of dining, beginning in Pompeii and moving through medieval England, the Ottoman Empire and the French Revolution (when the aristocracy’s private chefs opened restaurants en masse after their masters were beheaded). He alights on the ‘Coffee House Revolution’, the popularisation of tacos in 1950s New York, and the inception of the sushi conveyor belt. The journey passes through some familiar territory, but this thoughtful potted history of one of humanity’s most ingrained social practices is the perfect read for foodies who are also hungry for trivia. Anna Solomon

Read more

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