The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age

The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age

by Tim Wu


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"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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780999745465
Publisher: Columbia Global Reports
Publication date: 11/13/2018
Pages: 154
Sales rank: 203,050
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Tim Wu is a policy advocate, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He is best known for coining the phrase "net neutrality." He worked on competition policy in the Obama White House and the Federal Trade Commission, served as senior enforcement counsel at the New York Office of the Attorney General, and worked at the Supreme Court for Justice Stephen Breyer. His previous books are The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires and The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside our Heads.

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The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Macondarlene More than 1 year ago
This book brings to a conscious level and issue that seems to have been forgotten. it certainly has by our courts and legislators. the way to change this is to ask your representatives what if anything is being done? Are there groups within congress and the senate who have this on their mind? if the answer is no, try to give them some facts, and if there is no interest try to find someone running for office who cares. this concentration is limiting innovation. the fact that facebook is free makes us complacent. but breaking it up would create new things we have not seen. phone service from ATT seemed fine before we broke it up. one company owned the network down to the equipment on your desk or wall. look at where telecom is today. the US led the innovation because we went from 2 wireless companies to dozens. now we are back to two. Time to split and drive new innovation
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anyone who flies on commercial airlines or buys pharmaceutical drugs knows that the U.S. economy is pervaded by abusive oligopolies. And anyone who still reads a newspaper knows that these oligopolies have great political power. "The Curse of Bigness" is a breezy but learned book on the history and politics of antitrust law explains why judges and law enforcement officials have allowed this to happen. (Short answer: The judges and officials have abandoned the original intent of the antitrust laws and have substituted in its place a narrow view of antitrust advocated by Robert Bork and other right-wing scholars.) Private economic power corrodes democracy. Get this book and read it before the election in 2020.