Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century: Setting the scene

Timothy Shenk, a doctoral candidate in history at Columbia University, has a great review piece up on the Nation website about Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century and other books and periodicals interested in the relationship between capital (and capitalism) and social inequality. Piketty, in fact, isn't even mentioned until two-thirds of the way through Shenk's review. I didn't mind a bit--actually, I quite appreciated it. What so many reviews of Piketty's book lack is any sense of the political and economic context in which inequality operates, why it matters, and why now. Shenk does a fine job of connecting the dots. Check it out.