The Urbanist is giving away two copies of Battlers and Billionaires



The author of the acclaimed Disconnected, Andrew Leigh, is releasing a new book on 1 July. Thanks to publisher Black Inc., there are two copies of Battlers & Billionaires to give away to readers of The Urbanist.

See below for information on how to enter the giveaway. The two winners will be selected at random, so it’s no effort to enter. And as befits the subject, everyone has an equal chance of winning, whether battler, billionaire or somewhere in between!

Here’s what the publisher says about Battlers & Billionaires:

Andrew Leigh weaves together vivid stories, interesting history and powerful statistics to discuss why inequality matters – both why it can be good, and why it can be harmful. This is economics writing at its best. For much of the twentieth century economic inequality fell in Australia, yet now it is returning to levels last seen in the 1920s. But this time it is not so much a case of the bottom falling back, as the top accelerating away. Many people argue that inequality at the top end doesn’t matter – and it turns out that countries with more inequality do grow a little faster. Yet on the whole, Leigh shows, growing inequality is a problem for society. Envy is a real human emotion, and more envy is bad for us as a nation. The super-rich can pollute the polity with excessive donations – from the Australian moguls of the 1920s to the Clive Palmers and Gina Rineharts of today. And the bigger the gap between rich and poor, the harder it is for a kid born into a dirt-poor family to make it into the middle class – what some have called ‘the Great Gatsby effect’. Battlers and Billionaires sheds fresh light on what makes Australia distinctive, and what it means to have – and keep – a fair go.

Andrew Leigh’s previous book, Disconnected, explored the issue of social capital and was the prize in a giveaway offered by The Urbanist last year.

He is the federal MP for Fraser and a former economics professor at the Australian National University. He holds a PhD from Harvard where he worked closely with renowned social capital researcher and author of Bowling AloneRobert Putnam. In 2011 he received the Economics Society of Australia’s award for the best Australian economist under forty. He is the author of Disconnected, co-author of Imagining Australia and co-editor of The Prince’s New Clothes.

And here’s what the pundits are saying about Battlers & Billionaires:

‘This is required reading for every Australian who seriously cares about the fair go enduring.’ – Peter FitzSimons

‘Be warned: this book will open your eyes and prick your conscience.’ – Ross Gittins

‘A thought-provoking book which emphasises how far we have strayed from confidently discussing public policies that seek to give meaning to our egalitarian spirit.’ – Laura Tingle

‘This short book is the first in what promises to be a great new series from Black Inc. called “Redbacks”. Leigh makes no bones about the fact that he is writing from a particular political standpoint, but his arguments are lucid, detailed and well-balanced. This book will appeal to readers of quality political commentary such as the Quarterly Essay and it is especially pertinent in an election year.’ – Books+Publishing

To be in the running to win one of the two copies on offer, all you have to do is answer this simple question: If you were a super-billionaire donating $10 billion to the city you live in, what would you want to see it spent on?

Post your answer in the Comments section below. Entries close midnight, Friday 28 June. One entry per person and the books will only be posted within Australia. The publisher will post the prizes direct to the two winners. 

As always, the quality of your nomination has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on whether or not you’ll win. There’s no correct answer – you just can’t be in the running unless you offer an answer of some sort.

The winner will be determined strictly at random. Of course, a little explanation and even a modicum of wit would be appreciated, but isn’t necessary. If you can’t think of an answer, your entry will be valid if you put “I’d ask the nearest politician to distribute my donation as he or she sees fit”.