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Extended Audio Sample Brazillionaires: Wealth, Power, Decadence, and Hope in an American Country, by Alex Cuadros Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alex Cuadros Narrator: Alex Cuadros Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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For readers of Michael Lewis comes an engrossing tale of a country’s spectacular rise and fall, intertwined with the story of Brazil’s wealthiest citizen, Eike Batista—a universal story of hubris and tragedy that uncovers the deeper meaning of this era of billionaires.

When Bloomberg News invited the young American journalist Alex Cuadros to report on Brazil’s emerging class of billionaires at the height of the historic Brazilian boom, he was poised to cover two of the biggest business stories of our time: how the giants of the developing world were triumphantly taking their place at the center of global capitalism, and how wealth inequality was changing societies everywhere. The billionaires of Brazil and their massive fortunes resided at the very top of their country’s economic pyramid, and whether they quietly accumulated exceptional power or extravagantly displayed their decadence, they formed a potent microcosm of the world’s richest .001 percent.

Eike Batista, a flamboyant and charismatic evangelist for the country’s new gospel of wealth, epitomized much of this rarefied sphere: In 2012, Batista ranked as the eighth-richest person in the world, was famous for his marriage to a beauty queen, and was a fixture in the Brazilian press. His constantly repeated ambition was to become the world’s richest man and to bring Brazil along with him to the top.

But by 2015, Batista was bankrupt, his son Thor had been indicted for manslaughter, and Brazil—its president facing impeachment, its provinces combating an epidemic, and its business and political class torn apart by scandal—had become a cautionary tale of a country run aground by its elites.

Over the four years Cuadros was on the billionaire beat, he reported on media moguls and televangelists, energy barons and shadowy figures from the years of military dictatorship, soy barons who lived on the outskirts of the Amazon, and new-economy billionaires spinning money from speculation. He learned just how deeply they all reached into Brazilian life. They held sway over the economy, government, media, and stewardship of the environment; they determined the spiritual fates and populated the imaginations of their countrymen. Cuadros’s zealous reporting takes us from penthouses to courtrooms, from favelas to extravagant art fairs, from scenes of unimaginable wealth to desperate, massive street protests. Within a business narrative that deftly explains and dramatizes the volatility of the global economy, Cuadros offers us literary journalism with a grand sweep.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Deftly weaves lurid soap opera with high finance and outrageous political skullduggery…[A] compelling, thoroughly researched account.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “In this excellent book he has managed to use billionaires to illuminate the lives of both rich and poor Brazilians and all those in between.”

    Economist (London)

  • “A clear-eyed and often funny travelogue through the operatic lives of the country’s ultra-wealthy and their baneful relationship with the state…Cuadros’ blend of memoir, exposé, and historical narrative provides a wonderful vehicle to explain how this state of affairs was reached.”

    Financial Times (London)

  • “The rise and fall of Batista is dramatically rendered in Brazillionaires, Alex Cuadros’ enjoyable, deeply reported account of Brazil’s outsize collection of tycoons.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Cuadros proves to have a gift for elegant and straightforward explanations of some of the most befuddling aspects of the country’s politics and economics…He’s just the right mix of knowledgeable insider and arch, critical outsider.”

    Globe and Mail (Canada)

  • “Well-rounded and researched portraits of the staggering chasm between rich and poor in Brazil.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Alex Cuadros is an able narrator of his own audiobook about Brazilian billionaires and the corruption and sweetheart deals that have made them who they are. Cuadros sounds truly interested in the poverty-wracked country’s wealthiest men (and yes, they are men), and his interest is infectious. There are few flourishes in Cuadros’s performance—no vocal imitations and no melodrama. It’s just a solid rendition…Will be worth listening to for a long time to come.”

    AudioFile

  • New York Times Editor’s Choice
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