The Value Of Nothing | Granta

  • Published: 06/01/2011
  • ISBN: 9781846272189
  • 129x20mm
  • 176 pages

The Value Of Nothing

Raj Patel

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.’

Credit has crunched, debt has turned toxic, the gears of the world economy have ground to a halt. Yet despite its failures, the same market-driven ideas are being applied to everything from famine to climate change. We need to ask again one of the most fundamental questions a society ever addresses: why do things cost what they do? Radical, original, nimbly argued, The Value of Nothing draws on ideas from history, philosophy, psychology and agriculture to show how we can build an economically and environmentally sound future.

A deeply thought-provoking book about the dramatic changes we must make to save the planet from financial madness - argued with so much humour and humanity that the enormous tasks ahead feel both doable and desirable. This is Raj Patel's great gift: he makes even the most radical ideas seem not only reasonable, but inevitable. Brilliant

Naomi Klein

Thought-provoking reading at a time when, as Oscar Wilde once said, we seem to know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Caroline Sanderson, Bookseller

A whirlwind tour through the current economic crisis with Patel asking: "Why do things cost what they do?" then providing the key to understanding the mess we're in and the radical changes that must be made to prepare the way for a better system

Sue Baker, Bookseller

The Author

RAJ PATEL is an award-winning author, film-maker and academic. He is a Research Professor in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin, and a Senior Research Associate at the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University (UHURU), South Africa. He has degrees from the University of Oxford, the London School of Economics and Cornell University, has worked for the World Bank and WTO, and protested against them around the world. In addition to his scholarly publications in economics, philosophy, politics and public health journals, he regularly writes for the Guardian, and has contributed to publications including the Financial Times and the New York Times. Stuffed and Starved is his first book and is published in eleven countries. He is also the author of The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy and co-author, with Jason W. Moore, of A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things.

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From the Same Author

Stuffed And Starved

Raj Patel

We have so much choice over what we eat today because rural communities all over the world have had their choices taken away. To understand how our supermarket shopping makes us complicit in a system that routinely denies freedom to the world’s poorest, and how we ourselves are poisoned by these choices, we need to think about the way our food comes to us.

Stuffed and Starved takes a long and wide view of food production, to show how we all suffer the consequences of a food system cooked to a corporate recipe. This is also the story of the fight against the unthinking commerce that brings it to us. In the wrecked paddy fields of India, in the soy deserts of Brazil, in the maize ejidos of Mexico, the supermarket aisles of California, French McDonald’s and Italian kitchens, there’s a worldwide resistance against unhealthy control of the food system.