Piketty presents himself as politically engagé, so it would be natural to cut to the chase and announce my view of whether he is a good guy or a bad guy, a comrade or an enemy. That impulse is all the stronger because his title is a deliberate allusion to Marx’s great work, Das Kapital. The title, after all, is CAPITAL in the Twenty-First Century, not Capital in the Twenty-First Century. But I shall resist the temptation, because it would be a mistake. There is a great deal to learn from this book whether or not one situates oneself where Piketty does on the ideological spectrum [as I do not], and that must be the focus of my attention in the first part of this discussion.