Historians Examine Thomas Piketty’s "Capital and Ideology"


Andrew Popp, a professor of history at Copenhagen Business School, and Jonathan Coopersmith, a professor (retired) of history at Texas A&M, talk about a recent special issue they edited in the journal History Compass with Peoples & Things host, Lee Vinsel. The special issue brought together a number of business historians to assess the historical arguments of Thomas Piketty’s 2019 book, Capital and Ideology, which argues that societies have developed a number of ideologies to justify inequality. While largely sympathetic to Piketty’s aims, the historians involved prod and criticize aspects of his argument and evidence. Popp, Coopersmith, and Vinsel also discuss the need for more historians, particularly business historians, to focus on the history of inequality.

Your Host

Lee Vinsel

Lee Vinsel is an associate professor in the Department of Science, Technology and Society at Virginia Tech. He studies human life with technology, with particular focus on the relationship between government, business, and technological change. His first book, Moving Violations: Automobiles, Experts, and Regulations in the United States, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in July 2019.

View Profile