The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age

The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age Review

"Persuasive and brilliantly written, the book is especially timely given the rise of trillion-dollar tech companies."--Publishers Weekly

From the man who coined the term "net neutrality," author of The Master Switch and The Attention Merchants, comes a warning about the dangers of excessive corporate and industrial concentration for our economic and political future.

We live in an age of extreme corporate concentration, in which global industries are controlled by just a few giant firms -- big banks, big pharma, and big tech, just to name a few. But concern over what Louis Brandeis called the "curse of bigness" can no longer remain the province of specialist lawyers and economists, for it has spilled over into policy and politics, even threatening democracy itself. History suggests that tolerance of inequality and failing to control excessive corporate power may prompt the rise of populism, nationalism, extremist politicians, and fascist regimes. In short, as Wu warns, we are in grave danger of repeating the signature errors of the twentieth century.

In The Curse of Bigness, Columbia professor Tim Wu tells of how figures like Brandeis and Theodore Roosevelt first confronted the democratic threats posed by the great trusts of the Gilded Age--but the lessons of the Progressive Era were forgotten in the last 40 years. He calls for recovering the lost tenets of the trustbusting age as part of a broader revival of American progressive ideas as we confront the fallout of persistent and extreme economic inequality.

Title:The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Timothy Wu

    I learned an awful lot writing it....

  • Charles

    As the ideological tectonic plates shift in America, many apparently settled matters have become unsettled. This creates, at the same time, both conflict and strange bedfellows, though I suspect the l...

  • Athan Tolis

    Monopoly is a monster with many faces. You can think of it as a structural pillar of the kind of politics we rejected in the forties and the late eighties, you can look at it from the angle of the bus...

  • Mehrsa

    Such an important (and short) book on the necessity of reviving old school trust-busting. Wu does an excellent job showing what went wrong (basically, Chicago school econ and Bork). He's absolutely ri...

  • Charlie Cray

    I remember going to the House Judiciary Committee-created Antitrust Modernization Commission's sole public interest hearing in DC. There was hardly anyone who wasn't a lobbyist or industry-friendly re...

  • Peter Mcloughlin

    The second book in a week I have read about the necessity of Anti=trust and the danger of large Monopolies and oligopolies on our democracy. Again wisdom gained in the early twentieth century forgotte...

  • Daniel

    A very short book, it is nonetheless a very timely book. Wu is a law professor at Columbia University. He brought us back to the Gilded Age where monopolies such as Standard Oil use unscrupulous tacti...

  • kathy

    A few years back this book would not have captured my attention but after reading Wu's "The Attention Merchants", this was the next logical nonfiction selection. In high school, I didn't care about t...

  • Breno Ferreira

    This book provides some insights that can be extremely important for our generation to deal with some of our biggest challenges.The main idea is that, from the early 19th century, and throughout the e...

  • Barry

    This book traces the history and theory behind anti-trust regulations, and shows how and why these laws should be more vigorously applied. The necessity of breaking up monopolies is an idea that peopl...