FT Business Book of the Year

Best business books

All the books listed for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

Slouching Towards Utopia by J. Bradford DeLong

Slouching Towards Utopia

With Slouching Towards Utopia, DeLong, Berkeley economics professor, former Clinton-era Treasury official and pioneering economics blogger, tries his hand at a grand narrative of the last century. — Read the complete FT review



From one of the world’s leading economists, a sweeping new history of the twentieth century - a century that left us vastly richer, yet still profoundly dissatisfied.

Before 1870, most people lived in dire poverty, the benefits of the slow crawl of invention continually offset by a growing population. Then came a great shift: invention sprinted forward, doubling our technological capabilities each generation, and creatively destroying the economy again and again.

Slouching Towards Utopia tells the story of the major economic and technological shifts of the 20th century in a bold and ambitious, grand narrative. In vivid and compelling detail, DeLong charts the unprecedented explosion of material wealth after 1870 which transformed living standards around the world, freeing humanity from centuries of poverty, but paradoxically has left us now with unprecedented inequality, global warming, and widespread dissatisfaction with the status quo.

How did the long twentieth century fail to deliver the utopia our ancestors believed would be the inevitable result of such material wellbeing? How did humanity end up less on a march to progress than a slouch in the right direction? And what can we learn from the past in pursuit of a better world?