Bloombury is to publish the first major work by 27-year-old economist Grace Blakeley, after winning a 10-way auction.
Associate publisher Alexis Kirschbaum acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Chris Wellbelove at Aitken Alexander Associates. North American rights were pre-empted by Stephanie Hitchcock at Atria, and there are offers in Germany and Italy.
The as-yet-untitled book will make the case that it is "capitalism, rather than populism and authoritarian strongmen, that is responsible for the crisis in democracy we see today".
According to the publisher, Blakeley will argue that free market competition has been replaced by an economy run by a few large organisations, "intent on promoting their interests over those of society as a whole – meaning that the decisions made by a tiny elite, propped up by the financial system and the state itself, now determine the life conditions for everyone else. Only by overhauling our current economic system can we move towards a better, fairer society for everyone, she argues, and navigate our way out of the inevitable crises to come."
Blakeley is a staff writer for Tribune and a frequent contributor to Vice. She appears regularly on "BBC Question Time", "BBC This Week", "Good Morning Britain", "BBC Daily Politics" and "BBC Breakfast", and has made numerous appearances on the "Today" programme and LBC. Her recently launched podcast, "A World to Win", has featured guests including Jeremy Corbyn and Naomi Klein and surpassed 100,000 downloads in its first month.
She said: "I’m delighted to be working with Alexis and the brilliant team at Bloomsbury. From the financial crisis to the current pandemic, it has become abundantly clear that our economy is run in the interests of a tiny elite who bail each other out when things get tough and leave working people to pick up the tab when the crisis is over. We can’t let the same people who gave us the financial crisis, austerity and climate breakdown determine the response to Covid-19. We need a democratic revolution that puts ordinary people – not oligarchs – at the heart of our economy so that we can work together to plan our way out of this crisis, and all the others that our planet will face in the years to come."
Kirschbaum said: "Grace Blakeley is a writer and thinker I have long admired for her originality of thought, compelling political and economic diagnoses and her rousing, articulate anger. Her book will give people a better language to explain why our current form of decadent capitalism isn’t working and will show us what better choices we could make instead as a society. Her book could not feel more urgent or necessary, and we are thrilled to welcome her to Bloomsbury."
The title will be published as a superlead in 2022.