Sino and Gideon are sitting pretty. A generation ago, they would have been condemned to a life of menial labour in their native China and South Africa. Today, both are embedded in a global conglomerate, on the fast-track to management greatness. The problem is, the more they think about what's on offer, the more they want to go home, even if life in their own emerging cultures can still be nasty, brutish and short and the state the biggest criminal of all. For their American boss, Sam, this attitude is a problem. He needs a steady stream of ambitious, malleable graduates to staff his operations around the world, otherwise he won't be able to keep the profits coming in. Sam's other problems are mounting, too. Chinese competitors are squeezing his businesses and regulators are breathing down his neck. Even his old European stepmother, who used to turn a blind eye as long as the profits kept rolling in, is starting to lose faith in his ability to hold things together. The Glass Tower is a wry and ruthless portrait of a weakened western elite struggling to remain relevant as the emerging world powers forward into the future.