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Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich

Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich [Kindle Edition]

Chrystia Freeland
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"The issue of rising inequality poses a threat to all economic systems but none more so than those anchored in the free market and democracy. Those who agree with this statement will not be able to put Chrystia Freeland's book down once they have picked it up. For those who disagree, "Plutocrats" should be required reading." --The Right Honourable Paul Martin

Product Description

Forget the 1% - it's time to get to grips with the 0.1% ...

There has always been some gap between rich and poor, but it has never been wider - and now the rich are getting wealthier at such breakneck speed that the middle classes are being squeezed out. While the wealthiest 10% of Americans, for example, receive half the nation's income, the real money flows even higher up, in the top 0.1%. As a transglobal class of highly successful professionals, these self-made oligarchs often have more in common with one another than with their own countrymen. But how is this happening, and who are the people making it happen?

Chrystia Freeland, acclaimed business journalist and Global Editor-at-Large of Reuters, has unprecedented access to the richest and most successful people on the planet, from Davos to Dubai, and dissects their lives with intelligence, empathy and objectivity. Pacily written and powerfully researched, Plutocrats could not provide a more timely insight into the current state of Capitalism and its most wealthy players.

'A superb piece of reportage ... a tremendous illumination' (New Statesman on Freeland's previous title, Sale of the Century)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1130 KB
  • Print Length: 328 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1594204098
  • Publisher: Penguin (25 Oct. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #39,414 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read about the uber richies 16 Jun. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an interesting book, it has a contents, index and the chapters are well laid out, about the right length for the established pace and the narrative manages to be interesting throughout.

The introductions does a good summation of the book itself and you will be able to tell from reading it whether or not you want to proceed through the book itself, despite this being the point of an introduction not every book and certainly not every book of this kind can manage that. Freeland clarifies that she wishes to provide an account which is not simply a kind of magazine piece on the lives of the rich and famous but which also takes into account the wider implications for politics, economy, society and the world of there existing a plutocracy or plutonomy.

The basis for there being a plutonomy, are memos circulated within the world's key finanical institutions the that effect, the conclusion is that the economy or social structure is neither pyramid, nor diamond shaped but has become like an hourglass with the uber rich at one end and the rest of the population catered for at the base. So growth markets are those tailoring to either end, roughly stated yachts for one and pound stores the other.

I am not sure that, while decrying the negative consequences of the plutocrats and the plutonomy that Freeland makes much in the way of suggestions for restructuring the economy or society, her explanation as to how the status quo came into existence is fine, the outlining of the negative consequences likewise but beyond a sort of appeal to the ethics of responsibility elitism there's not much.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Balanced and fascinating 15 July 2013
Contrary to the views of some reviewers below this is not an extended Hello article on the super-rich. It is a serious and well considered study of the emergence of today's plutocrats, on their impact on society, and on their possible future impact on society. Having been a first rank financial journalist for many years, with a vast range of senior financial sector contacts, Freeland is ideally placed to pull this complex and controversial subject together.

As one would expect, the book is clearly written, and generally a pleasure to read, although there are half a dozen absurd errors which the editor should have caught (Cameron did not go to Westminster; a knight is not a Peer; a lagoon is not an island etc etc). These minor irritants don't detract from the satisfaction of reading a very convincing account of a world of which most of us will only have fragmentary knowledge.

Some of the reviews suggest that the book is simply a puff for the Plutocrats, but this probably reflects the reviewers' preconceptions rather than what was in the book they read. Freeland's great success, in my view, is to have resisted journalistic capture and to have produced a balanced yet critical assessment of this intriguing and rather frightening phenomenon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By bomble TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Chrystia Freeland takes us on a detailed tour of the world (in fact global village) of the super-high-net worth individuals that are growing in wealth and power in today's economy. She evidently knows the Davos set rather well and her access to their world allows insights that others would be hard pressed to discover. On the flip side, knowing this elusive and massively influential group of people - the unelected powers behind much of the `democratic' decision making process - she also seems to lack some more fundamental perspective that might come of not being so closely entangled in their lives.

She states that we live in unprecedented times of growth when compared to previous times of wide disparity between rich and poor; she states that much of the wealth of the newly-minted plutocrats comes from their salaries rather than their properties and yet I don't believe she once mentioned the simple mathematics of exponential (percentage) growth and how it can widen the rich-poor divide. She also falls into the classic pitfall of assigning too much agency to the results. Yes there are some super-rich individuals and they did leave many of their peers behind. But this doesn't necessarily mean that they did `something right'. Most entrepreneurial ventures will fail (statistically speaking) and those that fail don't often get asked what they did wrong simply because they don't feature on the journalistic radar. In fact, if you did ask them, those that failed will cite external difficulties - those that succeeded will cite their cunning and guile, grit and determination or whatever `special sauce' they believe they possess. Of course I'm not suggesting it's all luck.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly non-partisan? 13 May 2013
By Ioannis Glinavos VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Don't get me wrong, this is good book about wealth inequality. Freeland (who knows what she is talking about) presents an account of the top of the plutocracy that seems to dominate modern day financialised capitalism. The aim of the book is to show the origins, workings and dangers of this global super-elite. The book achieves this aim and it is written in an informative, yet accessible style. What is a little weird is the marketing around the book and the attempt to avoid it being depicted as partisan. What does partisan mean in this context? Is there an automatic assumption that if you are writing about inequality of wealth you are a lefty, and if so, who cares? Does the message of the Spirit Level fail because of the left-leaning perception of its authors? Perhaps it is the very attempt to present a non-partisan, even handed account of everything that allows the plutocracy that rules us to get away with it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting although a little long winded in palces
This book writes of the very wealthy (the super-rich). There is a good balance of statistics and the more personal sides of the super-rich. Read more
Published 11 months ago by NRCM
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
The whole issue of rising wealth of a handful is tackled ere with fair context- the wider historical post war economy which has brought us to this position isn't addressed quite so... Read more
Published 13 months ago by avid british reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Must try harder
I bought this because of the favourable reviews. As I worked through the first third or so, I gradually knocked stars off my rating, until I came to the bit about a plutocrat and... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Korhomme
4.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing, albeit sickening, study of the world's wealthiest men
The subject of this timely analysis by former FT deputy editor Chrystia Freeland is a new, unimaginably wealthy transglobal elite of mainly self-made men who've carved out utterly... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Andrew Sutherland
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed
Ok, so this does seem like the product of a glossy magazine writing an extended article, but its written in a fun yet informative way and it does grasp your interest even if this... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Kris
3.0 out of 5 stars The more things change etc.
It's like the Sunday Time Rich List had a lovechild with Hello magazine - a look at the lives and lifestyles of the super rich, but without much of a moral point taken.
Published 20 months ago by George Rodger
4.0 out of 5 stars Not "Rags to riches"
This is a well written, easy to read social narrative on the life styles of the super-rich. It is clearly evident that it is well researched and presents a series of portraits of... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the socialist minded
Really a very good read.

Chrystia Freeland has offered up an easy read on a subject that is mostly covered and coloured by 'outsiders'. Read more
Published 22 months ago by M. R. Leotaud
4.0 out of 5 stars Social history of the super rich
This social commentary on the super-rich zips along and is well written and researched and Freedland maintains her dispassion even though warming to some of her subjects. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
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