King Capital

I’ve been wanting to shout this from the rooftops, and now I can. I’ve just signed a contract for my next book, which is called King Capital, with Random House, where I’ll be working with Molly Turpin, who edited one of my favorite books of the last decade. After floundering around for a few years, with one false start after another, I’m thrilled to be writing this book and working with Molly. I feel more than lucky that Sarah Chalfant (The Wylie Agency), who did so much for this shidduch, is my agent.

Now to write the book. In the meantime here’s a brief article on the sale, which was reported in yesterday’s Publishers Marketplace.


  1. Donald Pruden, Jr., a/k/a The Enemy Combatant March 9, 2023 at 2:02 pm | #

    Too soon for an ETA?

  2. Jonnybutter March 9, 2023 at 2:07 pm | #

    Congrats! Looking forward

  3. Larry Houghteling March 9, 2023 at 2:45 pm | #

    You go, boy!

  4. Barbara Haugstatter March 9, 2023 at 3:07 pm | #

    Congratulations Corey. I’m so happy for you.

  5. Daniel Mandell March 9, 2023 at 5:34 pm | #

    Excellent topic. You’ll want to take a look at this book, especially chapters 5 and 6:

  6. John Maclean March 10, 2023 at 8:30 am | #

    When I read the phrase “capitalism subsumes ancient power politics” I think of Karl Polanyi? I’m getting through a biography of his life right now by Gareth Dale. I think that it better helped me to understand his book “The Great Transformation”. He wrote the book in Vermont, but the idea for it first came to him while serving in Galicia in World War One. Is this what he means by the economy being embedded in social relations, or disembedded from them. He was friendly with many Christian socialists, while exiled in England, and knew the Labour leader R. H. Tawney, and was influenced by the histories of Arnold J. Toynbee. He was critical of Keynes particularly at Bretton Woods, and was against what would become NATO. Sounds like a great subject for a book.

  7. William Neil March 10, 2023 at 10:31 am | #

    Wonderful title. Soon Burger King and the descendants of the “Kingfisher” will be sending you their legal notices.
    Seriously, good luck. Because many needed major changes seem stalled, it’s a good time to write the longer works with historical and theoretical perspectives.

  8. userfriendlyyy March 12, 2023 at 1:38 pm | #

    How exciting! I do hope Kalecki gets at least a mention. The Political aspects of Full Employment is quite possibly the best thing I have ever read.

  9. Benjamin David Steele June 11, 2023 at 8:29 pm | #

    @Corey Robin – Have you thought of focusing in on the Catholic influence within the otherwise WASPish identity of Anglo-American reactionaries?

    Edmund Burke, of course, was raised Catholic. But consider the Machiavellian mastermind Paul Weyrich. As Evangelical leaders took the spotlight, his Catholicism was ever in the background of the religious right.

    Other influential Catholics include Charles Coughlin, Antonin Scalia, and Stephen Bannon. Your thesis of the the reactionary outsider would be bolstered by the pivotal role played by Catholics, parallel to that of Jews.

    That is a component of your theory that gets overlooked the most because you haven’t emphasized it as much. But for some reason, it’s stood out in my mind since reading your book on the reactionary mind.

    That could even be tied into the larger history of Catholicism’s close alliance with fascism. Many fascist leaders were Catholic clergy. Yet, when we think of reactionaries, we almost always think of Evangelicals.

  10. Kate MCclintic June 30, 2023 at 11:40 am | #

    Can capitalism ever be reckoned with when its roots reach so deeply and densely into the human psyche, where it eagerly feeds on the competitive stimulation of the profit motive, whether land, money, or power? Hasn’t the preoccupation of men throughout history been as warriors in order to procure and defend these ends? As the moderating force of morality and he common welfare weakens, evidenced in religion and public institutions like the Supreme Court, the banality of evil to effectuate this compelling, excessive, and rewarding self-profit–has become institutionalized.

    To my mind, the biggest culprit–hiding in plain site– is the generative and enabling grip of the US Legal System which has become the resource and endgame for profit. In all honesty, the Constitution and US law are ideologies. While maybe noble in intent, the dilusion that they are the arbiter of a just society is now working against the public good with the legal system’s appropriation of the controls. Think of the Federalist Society.

    A famous adage is “law school shapes one’s thinking by limiting it.” Just consider the lunacy of expecting anything such as a just resolution of a common dispute between neighbors to the timely indictment of an absurd president–the process is interminable, unaffordable, and ultimately futile as true justice.

    Who profits? The lawyers and judges who are “self regulating”–none more ludicrously than the Supreme Court. They, in turn, represent only those who can afford them. And then there is the media industry it has spawned, as if all modern news hovers around a flip-of-the-coin legal opinion, as illustrated in the group legal masturbation on MSNBC. One can see the consensual fire of ideology in their eyes. How removed is their rarefied air from the real lives of everyday citizens, who sit and watch this porno fest? As usual, the taxpayer loses.

    Perhaps as more women and mothers, most of whom were not warriors throughout history, enter the legal profession, the tide will turn toward improved societal welfare. We don’t need to be always at war.

    • Benjamin David Steele January 1, 2024 at 1:07 pm | #

      You’re making a complaint resonant of Anti-Federalist ideology. The Anti-Federalists were suspicious of any form of distant, centralized, concentrated, monopolistic, and undemocratic ownership, wealth, power, and authority. They felt this way about standing armies, national banks, state churches, the executive, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. The great enemy was the corrupting force of elitism in all forms: monarchy, imperialism, aristocracy, plutocracy, corporatism, oligarchy, etc.

      Some Anti-Federalists, from Jefferson to Paine, went so far as to advocate not just democratic self-governance but as direct and majoritarian as possible. Jefferson worried that even county governments were too distant to maintain the necessary civic participation to ensure freedom. If freedom requires eternal vigilance, that is problematic since vigilance isn’t possible from far away. But about the legal system, some Anti-Federalists specifically warned about letting the Supreme Court make any constitutional decisions.

      The very legalistic worldview would’ve been deemed dangerous to many of these early American radicals. They seem to have inherited not only the ideology of the Real or Radical Whigs and Country Party but also Quaker living constitutionalism. This can be heard in the constant refrain about the dead hand of the law and of written legal documents. There is no binding magic of paper, precedent, or tradition that can alter the fact that every living generation is free to choose their own constitutions, laws, and governments.

  11. Baslow November 27, 2023 at 2:37 pm | #

    If you haven’t already, may I recommend that you take a look at this book by Stephen Marglin ” The Dismal Science: How Thinking Like an Economist Undermines Community”:

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