Allen Lane has won a three-way auction for an “ambitious and uplifting” political intervention grounded in the thought of John Rawls by economist, philosopher and debut author Daniel Chandler.
Chloe Currens, senior commissioning editor at Penguin Press, bought UK and Commonwealth rights for Free and Equal from Georgina Capel at Georgina Capel Associates. Allen Lane will publish the book in spring 2022.
The publisher said: “In this ambitious and uplifting debut, Daniel Chandler argues that the ideas of John Rawls—the 20th century’s greatest political philosopher—have the potential to transform society for the better, ending years of escalating inequality, democratic erosion and culture wars. Taking Rawls’ egalitarian liberalism as his starting point, Chandler makes the case for a reinvigorated, broad-based progressive politics, and develops a bold and achievable vision for a freer, fairer society.”
Chandler is an economist and philosopher with degrees in economics, philosophy and history from Cambridge and LSE, and he was awarded a prestigious Henry Fellowship at Harvard, where he studied under Indian economist and philosopher Amartya Sen. Chandler has worked in public policy as an advisor in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and in the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office, and as a researcher at think tanks including the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Resolution Foundation.
He said: “Most of us want a better society but would struggle to articulate a coherent vision of what that would look like. And yet the ideas we need are hiding in plain sight: equipped with John Rawls’ humane, egalitarian liberalism, we can begin to imagine practical policies that would reinvigorate democracy and transform, or even transcend capitalism. Free and Equal makes the case for a new kind of progressive liberalism, which would bridge many of today’s political divides, and enable us to build the fairer society that we so urgently need. I feel enormously privileged to be working with the brilliant Chloe Currens, and to be publishing this book with Allen Lane”.
Currens added: “With his cross-disciplinary academic background and first-hand experience of policymaking, Daniel is uniquely well-positioned to write this book. His many gifts as a writer and a thinker mean he can translate John Rawls’ thought into a political programme with the power to galvanise us all. Free and Equal is a book brimming with hope and possibility, which should cement Rawls’ place in public political discourse, and firmly establish Daniel as a vital new voice for our time.”