The Curse of Bigness:
Antitrust in the New Gilded Age
in conversation with LAWRENCE LESSIG
This event includes a book signing
November 29, 2018
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes TIM WU—policy advocate, Columbia Law School professor, and opinion writer for the New York Times—for a discussion of his latest book, The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age. He will be joined in conversation by Harvard Law School professor LAWRENCE LESSIG.
About The Curse of Bigness
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.
"In this short but persuasive book, Wu (The Attention Merchants) connects the current political climate to a decline in antitrust enforcement . . . The book’s brevity is an asset—Wu skillfully avoids economic and legal rabbit holes, keeping the book laser-focused on his thesis: that antitrust enforcement must be restored “as a check on power as necessary in a functioning democracy before it’s too late.” Persuasive and brilliantly written, the book is especially timely given the rise of trillion-dollar tech companies." —Publishers Weekly
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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