The Great Transformation

Karl Polanyi


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Penguin Books Ltd
20 June 2024
ISBN: 9780241685556
384 pages

From the publisher

A classic work of social science from 'the twentieth century's most prophetic critic of capitalism' Prospect

‘One of the most powerful books in the social sciences ever written. ... A must-read’ Thomas Piketty
'The twentieth century's most prophetic critic of capitalism' Prospect
‘Polanyi’s revolutionary work is a must-read’ Mariana Mazzucato

Karl Polanyi's landmark 1944 work is one of the earliest and most powerful critiques of unregulated markets. Tracing the history of capitalism from the great transformation of the industrial revolution onwards, he shows that there has been nothing 'natural' about the market state. Instead of reducing human relations and our environment to mere commodities, the economy must always be embedded in civil society. Describing the 'avalanche of social dislocation' of his time, Polanyi’s hugely influential work is a passionate call to protect our common humanity.

‘Polanyi's vision for an alternative economy re-embedded in politics and social relations offers a refreshing alternative’ Guardian

‘Polanyi exposes the myth of the free market’ Joseph E. Stiglitz

With a new introduction by Gareth Dale