Coopers Cheery Christmas reading

Four Cheers for Christmas! Here are four recommended reads to add to your shopping list for Santa this Christmas.  If you’re looking for a theme, it is more like In the Bleak Midwinter than Tis the Season to be Merry this year I’m afraid.

The Cost of Inequality, Three decades of the super-rich and the economy.
Stuart Lansley, £17.99
Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the reasons behind the astonishing growth in inequality in the UK and US over the past 30 years – and why it helped to bring about the unprecedented economic crisis we are all now facing.   Readable, well-argued and a devastating critique of neo-liberal laissez-faire economics that has allowed the growth of a new generation of super-rich ‘Robber Barrons’ by economist and financial journalist Stuart Lansley.

Crisis and Recovery: Ethics, economics and justice
Rowan Williams and Larry Elliot (eds), £12.84
The financial crisis is about more than money: it is also about morality, casting an uncomfortable light on the links bewteen the activities of bankers and the wellbing of society as a whole.  A series of fascinating contributions from a range of perspectives, including Robert Skidelsky, Jon Cruddas, Phillip Blond, Zac Goldsmith and Will Hutton.  Note to authors: Do no women have anything to say about ethics and economics?

Chavs: The demonization of the working class
Owen Jones
, £14.99
The stereotyping and hatred of the working class in Britain, documented so clearly by Owen Jones in this important book, should cause all to flinch. Chavs is a damning indictment of the media and political establishment, and an illuminating, disturbing portrait of inequality and class hatred in modern Britain. According to Polly Toynbee it is ‘Superb and angry’: One guaranteed to get you going over your Christmas crackers.

Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who Stole the World
Nicholas Shaxson, £14.99

Shaxson brilliantly exposes the growing role of Tax Havens in the global economy, as key to the tax dodging activities of multi-million (or billion) dollar/pound corporations.  A great introduction for anyone interested in the subject – and why we recently launched our new Tax Gap campaign.  According to Richard Murphy, Director of Tax Research UK (and no mean expert on these matters himself): ‘Treasure Islands is the best book on tax havens, ever. It shines a light in some very dark places. It reads like a thriller. The shocking thing is, it’s all true. The world’s suppliers of corruption services – the bankers, lawyers and accountants working from tax havens – won’t want you to read this book. Which is exactly why you should’

Please note:  Copies of all books can frequently be found cheaper on-line – but beware buying them from shameful on-line retailers who ship orders via Jersey to avoid paying VAT. A tax loophole our Tax Gap campaign has helped to close – but not till April 2012… You have been warned!

Happy reading!

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