David Graeber

People who write good books, songs and stuff

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Self-described anarchist anthropologist who had a very good idea, wrote a short article in Strike! magazine about it that went viral and then turned it into a slightly disappointing book called Bullshit Jobs: A Theory.

Graeber has written three much better books: Debt: The First 5,000 Years, which is one of the best books about finance we have ever read, and The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy, which isn’t quite as much fun as it sounds, but still makes some important points, and the posthumously published The Dawn of Everything, co-written with David Wengrow, which may go down as his masterwork, but we personally think wasn’t quite as good as Debt: The First 5,000 Years.

Rest in peace

David Graeber died unexpectedly in Venice in 2020. The JC doesn’t subscribe wholesale to Graeber’s total theory and nor his general political outlook, but he was still a formidable intellect and a fabulous contrarian to boot, and we laud the spot-on insight that propels Bullshit Jobs: A Theory all the same, and the brio with which Mr. Graeber articulated it. We also think everyone in the financial markets should read Debt: The First 5,000 Years. The world is a far less interesting place without David Graeber in it. Well played, sir.

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