Book Reviews

Our book reviews are designed to assist people in deciding what they should read. We aim to review about a dozen books each year.

These comprise a mix of recently published books and books published over the course of the last thirty years or so which we think should not be forgotten. We generally do not review books that may be regarded as “classics” (on the basis that they are already well known) or books that are aimed solely at an academic or other specialist audience (since our aim is to assist the non-specialist who want seriously to think through current issues).

We publish our book reviews on Substack which allows you to receive new reviews directly in your email inbox. 

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Andrew Studdert-Kennedy: ‘God’s Good Economy: Doing Economic Justice in Today’s World’ by Andrew Hartropp

Andrew Hartropp, an Anglican Minister with doctorates in both theology and economics, has written this introductory book to help equip people to ‘live and speak for Jesus Christ in today’s world’ with the underlying conviction that doing economic justice is indeed part of this living and speaking for Christ. Its arguments are laid out clearly […]

Neil Jordan: 'Homo Numericus: The Coming 'Civilization'' by Daniel Cohen

Homo Numericus: The Coming ‘Civilization’ offers a critique of the tendency towards digitisation and our trust in algorithmic intelligence, whilst making an argument about the reality of human societies and that which is of fundamental importance in them.

Patrick Riordan: ‘The Political Economy of Distributism: Property, Liberty, and the Common Good’ by Alexander William Salter

Considering distributist thinking as a tradition in political economy and its relevance to twenty-first century concerns, The Political Economy of Distributism outlines the distributist thought of Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton as exemplifying the themes of Catholic social teaching.

Catherine Cowley: ‘Sustainable Investing: What Everyone Needs to Know’ by H. Kent Baker, Hunter M. Holzhauer and John R. Nofsinger

Through detailed examination of the possible forms of investment investment might take, the provision of on-line resources for investigating possibilities and the use of ‘takeaways’ at the end of each chapter, Sustainable Investing aims to demystify sustainable investing for the ‘average’ individual retail investor, who is motivated to achieve the dual goals of profit and purpose.

Clara Piano: ‘Catholic Social Thought, the Market and Public Policy: Twenty-First-Century Challenges’ edited by Philip Booth and André Azevedo Alves

Catholic Social Thought, the Market and Public Policy offers a powerful combination of insights from economics and Catholic social thought to contribute to today’s most challenging policy discussions.

Richard Godden: ‘Capitalism and Christianity: Origins, Spirit and Betrayal of the Market Economy’, by Luigino Bruni

In Capitalism and Christianity, Luigino Bruni provides a sweeping overview of various strands of Christian thinking about economic and, to some extent, social matters over the past 2000 years and seeks to assess their impact.

John Kroencke: ‘Not the End of the World: How We Can Be the First Generation to Build a Sustainable Planet’, by Hannah Ritchie

In Not the End of the World, Hannah Ritchie offers empirical data and nuanced argument in the discussion of a range of environmental issues, considering some of the more apocalyptic statements often made about them and the manner in which individual misunderstandings can lead to unintentional environmental harm, whilst also considering what kinds of individual actions can have a positive impact. ividual actions can have a positive impact.

Jan Bentz: ‘Neoliberal Social Justice: Rawls Unveiled’, by Nick Cowen

In Neoliberal Social Justice, Nick Cowen considers the policy implications of Rawls’s theory of ‘justice as fairness’ when realistic assumptions about human behaviour and social theory are introduced, arguing in favour of classical liberal or neoliberal democratic policies, albeit without abandoning central aspects of the Rawlsian framework.

Neil Jordan: ‘Contemporary Monastic Economy’ by Isabelle Jonveaux

Contemporary Monastic Economy presents a richly illustrated study of how monastics reconcile the tension between their consecrated life and economic activity, which, though fascinating in its own right, can also be read with a view to contributing to our understanding of value and purpose in work and business.

Andrew Packman: "Capitalism: The Story Behind the Word" by Michael Sonenscher

In Capitalism: The Story Behind the Word, Michael Sonenscher explains the origins of the term ‘capitalism’, exploring the historic tension between capitalism and capital and considering the ways in which the political challenges that emerge in a commercial society were addressed by a range of political economists.