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And the Weak Suffer What They Must? Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,794 ratings  ·  208 reviews
A #1 Sunday Times bestseller [UK]

A titanic battle is being waged for Europe's integrity and soul, with the forces of reason and humanism losing out to growing irrationality, authoritarianism, and malice, promoting inequality and austerity. The whole world has a stake in a victory for rationality, liberty, democracy, and humanism.

In January 2015, Yanis Varoufakis, an econom
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Bold Type Books (first published January 5th 2016)
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4.14  · 
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 ·  1,794 ratings  ·  208 reviews

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Lubinka Dimitrova
Regardless of my personal opinion of Mr. Varoufakis (him being an arrogant, attention-seeking clown of a politician), this book was an insightful page-turner and a crash course in capitalist economics and global economy, clearly presented even for the layman with virtually no previous economic knowledge whatsoever.

The book is divided roughly in two parts. It begins with the post-war economic decisions America and Europe took, the role Bretton Woods played for the future of the world in general,
David M
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is essential reading. It should fill you with rage. Varoufakis shows very clearly how the powers-that-be of the EU, unelected 'experts' and technocrats, repeatedly destroyed the possibility of any humane solution to the economic crisis. They repeatedly sided with the French and German financial sector against the peoples of Europe, helping create the conditions for this neofascist shitshow that now seems to be sweeping western civilization.

At times as I read I couldn't help cheering on
MJ Nicholls
Money, the procurement of, the managing of, the retaining of, or the sharing of, has never been one of my strongest areas of comp. In fact, it is not a thick fat lie to say that economics, both personal and global, has induced violent terror and paranoia in me over my three decades of breathing. These coins and rectangular crinkles of paper are our true masters, and wield ultimate power over us, and steer the courses of our lives so strongly as to crush our free will completely, relegating us to ...more
This book left me gasping for air more than once. Varoufakis looks at postwar European history through the lens of global monetary policy, from Bretton Woods to the ongoing reverberations of the euro crisis. And a powerful lens it is to help us understand the turbulence we are witnessing today. Through Varoufakis’ version of the facts the European project appears as a total fraud. Worse, macro-economic machiavelism and institutional insouciance have created a Frankensteinian monster that has now ...more
Malcolm Pellettier
The titular quote is from Thucydides, and refers to the Athenians mistreatment of the defeated Malians. Essentially, the Athenians pig-headedly demanded a pound of flesh from their defeated enemy. (ring any bells??)

this is well-nigh vital reading for understanding the colossal cluster-fck currently raping Europe. Yanis doesn't mince words, either, warning that the Greek Golden Dawn (unrepentant Nazis/fascists) are the tip of the iceberg, and that continental fascism is precisely what's
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Regardless of what Dr. Varoufakis thinks about his books he is an academic and this is an academic book about the Euro and the role of currency in modern economies and our modern sovereignty expectations. I enjoyed it but I have an interest in and I have done a lot of reading on modern economics and currencies. I read Dr Varoufakis's blog religiously and I consider him a modern economic and political leader worthy of taking very seriously. If you watch some of his discussions on YouTube you will ...more
Tadas Talaikis
Oct 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: economics

Severely flawed. The main argument is - fascists don't give money. Well, but we'all know the reality. First, the only meaningful debt is when it finances some value generating projects, but the corruption. Second, if you want to live well, don't borrow in the first place.

I remember when some Greece government bitch (I'm not sorry for that) came to Lithuania to argue for their trouble. When we told her that our people\'s pensions are 3x lower than theirs, she said - "but cocktails at your bars ar
The 2 biggest flaws to this book are it's time jumping, and it's lack of responsibility. It made it hard to follow at times since not being a European I didn't recognize all the names. Also, with the whining and the time jumping, I never managed to figure out the point to the book. It wasn't a true history, it got on a tangent about Nazi growth but just touched on it as a warning but didn't expand so the reader understood the issues fully. Again, not a European and NA's like to claim anyone who' ...more
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading ‘And The Weak Suffer What They Must?’ in November 2016 and rapidly gave up as I was depressed about Trump. In the intervening two years I’ve developed coping mechanisms for Brexit and Trump-related despair, so it was time to give Varoufakis another chance. He is relentlessly critical of the EU in general and the euro in particular, in a fashion that to me clearly shows the fallacies of Brexit. Varoufakis begins by explaining how the EU and Eurozone were constituted, based on th ...more
Sep 24, 2018 added it
Shelves: economics
The best reason for reading about economics is the way it makes you realize how little you understand about the global shifts of power and how they play out. I'm reminded of when I first read Joseph Stiglitz, a man who also has some comments about how the Eurozone was created to protect the interests of financial elites, but also stresses that throwing out the project would be a disaster. If you, like most people, don't know much about the Nixon Shock, or like most Americans, hear phrases like " ...more
Peter Mcloughlin
Describes how America had a hand in Europe's current crises and how those boomerang on America. It explains how since Nixon took America off the gold standard Neoliberalism in the US along with a penchant for Austerity economics has culminated in the ongoing crisis in politics and economics both in Europe and America. Varoufakis explains how the response of Europe and EU in this dance has benefited finance at the expense of ordinary Europeans and Americans. This gives a view from Europe of a hal ...more
Jul 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly critical of current (2011-2015) eurozone status quo, haphazard in narrative (i.e. couldn't all these notes got incorporated into main text and footnotes? couldn't repetitions be avoided?) and rather anecdotal vs. factual (except for the historical background), but still an enjoyable, worthwhile and interesting read.

Although the Yanis Varoufakis’ book helped me to fill in gaps in my comprehension of Eurozone monetary system developments and provided an alternative view on how German surplu
Armineh Nouri
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The first draft of the book was penned before Varoufakis began his short-lived career as the Finance Minister of Greece. Therefore he has chosen to keep his experiences in 2015 out of this account of the Eurozone crisis, which helps provide a bigger picture within the historical context of post-WWII global politics. As a bonus, he has included excerpts from his "Modest Proposal" as an Appendix, which outline his proposed solution to the seemingly irreconcilable guidelines of the ECB as dictated ...more
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
A look at the implications of good intentions, bad intentions and totally misguided intentions, for post World War II Europe -  and a particularly salient read in this current climate. This is a well researched book, lots of information mostly clearly written. It did get particular wordy in places, and not completely linear in history... so didn't really work as pre bedtime reading for me, worthy of more concentration! But it is an eye opening book as to just how messy the politics of politics a ...more
Mark Hebden
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, history
Although written before Brexit it is impossible to read this book without adding the post-Brexit filter to the text. Colours have been firmly tied to one of two masts, they being leave or remain - leavers will find much in this book they agree with and remainers will suffer inconvenient reminders of the flaws in the EU monetary system. However, this is more than throwing darts randomly at the EU board, these barbs are delivered with Phil Taylor like accuracy at the ludicrous fundamentals built i ...more
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"When people begin anticipating inflation, it doesn't do you any good anymore, because any benefit of inflation comes from the fact that you do better than you thought you were going to do." ~ Paul Volcker

How was it that while the United States went from 12% to 5% unemployment whilst Europe stayed steady at 12% unemployment? Yanis tries to answer that in this book. For a marxist he uses all tools at his disposal and doesn't allow his ideology to get in the way of a rigorous yet exciting assessme
A Reader
Jul 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
They say that men with huge egos need constant praise. It is not going to happen with Yanis Varoufakis and his book ‘And the Weak Suffer What They Must?’, I am afraid.

Sadly, there are no revelations about his disastrous five months as Greece’s finance minister, just a few anecdotes here and there. It is rather a history of the international monetary system that starts with the Nixon Shock of 1971 and the end of the gold standard system of monetary policy for international exchange of gold deposi
Tariq Mahmood
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: europe, economy, history
The book has been a revelation for me. I was a staunch supporter for Remain campaign but Yanis has explained EU in a manner which has blown quite a few holes in my delusional scented 'Remain' garden. The main reason is the juxtaposition of EU with US, and the fact that there is no political control of Euro with the politicians, rather all the control lies with technocrats, effectively making Europe run like a huge corporation. Which makes sense explaining the treatment meted out to the PIGS (Por ...more
Coral Davies
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Europe's celebrated banking union lives in name only, while in reality and in practice its banking disunion is as toxic as ever. Ultimate proof of this came in my last weeks in office as Greece's finance minister, when the ECB closed down the Greek banks even though, in its capacity as the banking union's sole supervisor, it considered them to be solvent. What sort of banking union allows the closure of banks it considers solvent in order to pressurise a member state government to accept more f ...more
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
ربما كل من يدعو إلى وحدة عربية-أو شيء من هذا القبيل- على نمط الاتحاد الأوروبي الاطلاع على هذا الكتاب لمعرفة الى أي حد هو اتحاد ديموقراطي فعلا، وإلى أي مدى تتحكم نخبة بيروقطراطية في بروكسل/برلين/فرانكفورت بمصير شعوبه. وارتباطه بالهيمنة الأمريكية من خلال النظام المالي والاقتصادي الذي أنشأته بعد الحرب (بريتون وودز) حتى نهايته عام ١٩٧١، ومن ثمة علاقته برأس المال "المُؤومل"financialized من السبعينات وحتى الأزمة المالية في ٢٠٠٨،منذ نشأته في الخمسينات في صورته المبسطة ككارتل تجاري. وأخيراً معرفة التشوه ...more
Philip Girvan
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
A compelling account of the global financial system.

Varoufakis details the emergence of the Bretton Woods system, its shortcomings, and the Nixon administration's fateful decision to end it. He also details the growth of the industrial cartel that becomes the European Union, and makes explicit how differently the EU functions from a federal union like the USA.

Varoufakis is a solid historian and a enjoyable storyteller. I certainly came away from the book with a better understanding of the EU's s
Vikas Erraballi
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Likeable. Don't get why he has so many haters. Must sound different in person.
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this reminded me quite a bit of my experience of reading A Brief History of Time.

The first bit is mostly about history, and that I really enjoyed. Varoufakis' command of European history is impressive, and the way he weaves events together to present his economic argument is done with great skill. Throughout this he never hides his immediate left-wing bias with phrases like "Brussels based technocrats", and so reminds the reader that his history may need some fact-checking.

Varoufakis the
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended for anyone wishing to understand global developments since the 2008 market crash. I read this book after a prolonged, targeted binge of reading to help me better what had understand what had happened in the 2016 US Presidential Election. I thought this book was "after" that project, but after reading it, I discovered it was the culmination. Varoufakis outlines the depths of the crisis and the generally inadequate tools brought to bear, which needlessly prolonged the crisis and ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like most people, I suspect, I spent a lot of the time when he's talking about hardcore economics wishing I was cleverer, but the critique of the EU was interesting and helpful. Like a lot of us Europhiles in the UK, he's critical of it (more critical, with more reason) but he's not about to give up on it as a project and an ideal to strive for.
Arash Kamangir
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
درد کشیدم با خوندن این کتاب، از بلاهت آدمیزاد مدرن.
Pedro L. Fragoso
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My take is that it is an extraordinary book (“extraordinary”, as in: extraordinarily good). It is a serious, profound, solidly based, well-articulated reflection on one of the most fundamental issues, probably the most fundamental issue, of an increasingly messed-up European Union and what avenues can be still explored to salvage the “monetary union” project.

That of all the people that throughout the years have served on the Central Bank and as Finance Ministers of all the governments of all the
Ruta Buciunaite
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
"It's not too late. We still have everything to lose" - I guess if Varoufakis hadn't chosen the path of an economist, he would definitely have made a brilliant theater or cinema director, cause there's a lot of drama in here. Perhaps more than the intricacy of the subject requires.. but the charisma has to shine through!

For me, as someone who hasn't got a strong financial, political & macro-economical background, this was at times a tough nut to crack, but nevertheless served as a very clear
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was definitely alot more dense than Global Minotaur. I read entire pages I could not for the life of me understand because I did terrible in my economics required 101 classes. But what I could understand was mind blowing. The EU monetary system pretty much owned by Germany refused to bail out countries Greece and Ireland because they have a no bailout clause in the Euro standard, but because the people who were owed money were hedge fund German banks and other lifeless bloodsucking money ma ...more
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A curious history of the EU and Eurozone culminating in the ongoing (10 years!) global banking crisis. Told almost exclusively through the lens of international finance and central banks, repeatedly emphasizing the structural imbalances always destined to make the Euro fail as long as there is a technocratic cartel lacking democratic political control over the value of money between surplus and deficit states. Plenty of digs at particular individuals and institutions from the 70s through those V ...more
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Let me begin with a confession: I am a Professor of Economics who has never really trained as an economist. While I may have a PhD in Economics, I do not believe I have ever attended more than a few lectures on economics! But let's take things one at a time.

I was born in Athens back in the mists of 1961. Greece was, at the time, struggling to shed the post-civil war veil of totalitar
“As Tony Benn, the British Labour politician, once suggested, we should constantly ask those who govern us five questions: What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” 5 likes
“Leonard Schapiro, writing on Stalinism, warned us that “the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade. But to produce a uniform pattern of public utterances in which the first trace of unorthodox thought reveals itself as a jarring dissonance.” 5 likes
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