This chapter is somewhat diffuse, discussing the previous data, introducing more standard economic concepts, probably setting up the basics for the rest of the book. He notes that capital to income ratio β, or capital's share of the national income α have not shown stability , only short or medium term trends so far. Detailed table of contents is available here. A concrete part is discussion of Marx, already described by Matt Bruenig http://mattbruenig.com/2014/03/14/piketty-on-marx/ . It is taking longer to read as I go on. With ten more chapters to go, it may take a month or so to read the rest and understand some bits of it.