ISBN: 978-0-465-02947-1
Basic Books, June 5, 2012

Matt Olsen
Manhattan Institute

Dori Gelb
Basic Books




"In A Capitalism for People, Luigi Zingales exposes the pernicious collusion of big business and big government - offering the sharp analytical perspective of a world-renowned economist and the unique personal perspective of an immigrant living the American Dream. This must-read for policymakers and citizens alike serves as a lucid call to action for rediscovering what makes America exceptional."
Paul Ryan, US Congressman, Wisconsin

"If I had to pick out one book…to explain what is going on right now to a popular audience of non-economists, this might well be it."
Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution


Lobbyists and political insiders make millions from their personal connections to an ever-expanding federal government, while members of a struggling middle class watch their life savings disappear with the burst of the housing bubble. Banks post record profits while costing taxpayers billions in bailouts. Americans on both ends of the political spectrum—from the Tea Party to the Occupy Wall Street movement—have come to the same conclusion: American capitalism is in crisis.

When the Italian-born economist Luigi Zingales first came to the United States to study economics in the 1980s, he embraced the American Dream: the belief that what brings you success is hard work, not luck or who you know. Our unique history and style of capitalism have made even our poor rich, by global standards.

But the economic events of the past decade, combined with the actions of politicians from both major political parties, have undermined capitalism’s reputation. Now, living in America’s heartland and teaching at one of the nation’s most free-market business schools, Zingales warns in A Capitalism for the People that the U.S. economy risks deteriorating into a Berlusconi-style crony-capitalist system—pro-business rather than pro-market, and run by corrupt politicians who are more concerned with lining the pockets of the connected elite than with improving opportunity for the people. If this perverted arrangement persists, can true capitalism ever gain the popular support it needs to survive?

Zingales combines his pro-market perspective and transatlantic vantage point to craft a blueprint for recovery. His real-world recommendations for restoring true competition to our economic system give hope that the U.S. can not only avoid the fate of Italy and Greece but rebound to greatness, transmitting the proven advantages of American-style capitalism to ordinary people at home, and around the world.



LUIGI ZINGALES is the Robert C. McCormack Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and the David G. Booth Faculty Fellow at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business. He serves as the director of the American Finance Association, a faculty research fellow for the National Bureau of Economic Research, a research fellow for the Center for Economic Policy Research and a fellow for the European Governance Institute. He is a contributing editor of City Journal and the coauthor of Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists. He lives in Chicago. Read full bio >