Controversial and unavoidable, it shapes our society and our lives - but what really is capitalism? Does it mean greed is good? Are inequality and poverty its inevitable consequences? Can economic growth continue forever or are constant cycles of boom and bust a foregone conclusion? Indeed is capitalism in a fatal crisis - and what, if any, are the alternatives? From capitalism's history, core theories and key institutions to its current-day political power and social impact, this book explains everything you need to understand the world's dominant economic system.