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Download Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else Audiobook

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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (502 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chrystia Freeland Narrator: Allyson Ryan Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2012 ISBN: 9781452680422
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There has always been some gap between rich and poor in this country, but in the last few decades what it means to be rich has changed dramatically. Alarmingly, the greatest income gap is not between the 1 percent and the 99 percent, but within the wealthiest 1 percent of our nation—as the merely wealthy are left behind by the rapidly expanding fortunes of the new global super-rich. Forget the 1 percent; Plutocrats proves that it is the wealthiest 0.1 percent who are outpacing the rest of us at break-neck speed.What's changed is more than numbers. Today, most colossal fortunes are new, not inherited—amassed by perceptive businessmen who see themselves as deserving victors in a cut-throat international competition. As a transglobal class of successful professionals, today's self-made oligarchs often feel they have more in common with one another than with their countrymen back home. Bringing together the economics and psychology of these new super-rich, Plutocrats puts us inside a league very much of its own, with its own rules.The closest mirror to our own time is the late nineteenth century Gilded Age—the era of powerful 'robber barons' like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. Then as now, emerging markets and innovative technologies collided to produce unprecedented wealth for more people than ever in human history. Yet those at the very top benefited far more than others—and from this pinnacle they exercised immense and unchecked power in their countries. Today's closest analogue to these robber barons can be found in the turbulent economies of India, Brazil, and China, all home to ferocious market competition and political turmoil. But wealth, corruption, and populism are no longer constrained by national borders, so this new Gilded Age is already transforming the economics of the West as well. Plutocrats demonstrates how  social upheavals generated by the first Gilded Age may pale in comparison to what is in store for us, as the wealth of the entire globalized world is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands.Cracking open the tight-knit world of the new global super-rich is Chrystia Freeland, an acclaimed business journalist who has spent nearly two decades reporting on the new transglobal elite. She parses an internal Citigroup memo that urges clients to design portfolios around the international "Plutonomy" and not the national "rest"; follows Russian, Mexican, and Indian oligarchs during the privatization boom as they manipulate the levers of power to commandeer their local economies; breaks down the gender divide between the vast female-managed 'middle class' and the world's one thousand billionaires; shows how, by controlling both the economic and political institutions of their nation, the richest members of China's National People's Congress have amassed more wealth than every branch of American government combined—the president, his cabinet, the justices of the Supreme Court, and both houses of Congress.Though the results can be shocking, Freeland dissects the lives of the world's wealthiest individuals with empathy, intelligence, and deep insight. Intelligently written, powerfully researched, and propelled by fascinating original interviews with the plutocrats themselves, Plutocrats is a tour-de-force of social and economic history, and the definitive examination of inequality in our time. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Sobering, if we can grasp the implications. Library Journal
  • “Rising inequality is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Chrystia Freeland’s Plutocrats provides us with a glimpse of the lives of America’s elites and a disquieting look at the society that produces them. This well-written and lively account is a good primer for anyone who wants to understand one extreme of America today.”

    Joseph Stiglitz, author of The Price of Inequality

  • “Mix crisp economics, ripe history, and two pinches of salty gossip, and you have the flavor of Chrystia Freeland’s entertaining book. From the opulent Bradley Martin ball of 1897 to its modern echoes in Sun Valley and Davos, Plutocratschronicles the habits of the workaholic overclass—its taste for British public schools, its immodest philanthropy, its fundamental rootlessness. Even as she describes this gilded tribe, Freeland advances a paradoxical warning. Open societies may allow super-achievers to pile up extraordinary riches—and to feel that they have more or less deserved them. But the more these meritocrats succeed, the more likely they are to entrench their own offspring at the top of the heap, negating the very meritocracy that afforded them their chances. Already in the United States, graduating from college is more closely linked to having wealthy parents than to grades in high school. When class matters more than going to class, Freeland’s message must be treated with the utmost seriousness.”

    Sebastian Mallaby, author of More Money than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite

  • “Our world increasingly revolves around global elites who not only have an oversized effect on our politics but also set the trends and furnish us with the dominant discourse. In this delightful book, Chrystia Freeland tells the story of how we got here and what distinguishes our elites from those of previous epochs. Most importantly, she explains why the elites’ dominance, even when it appears benign, is a challenge to our institutions and gives us clues about how we can overcome it.”

    Daron Acemoglu, coauthor of Why Nations Fail

  • “The world’s wealthy elite are more wealthy, more knit together, more separate from their fellow citizens and probably more powerful than ever before. This very important book describes their lives and more important how their lives affect all of ours. It should be read by anyone concerned with how their world is being shaped and how it will evolve.”

    Lawrence Summers, former US Treasury Secretary

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Moneta | 2/16/2014

    " The subject of the book was interesting but I had a hard time really getting into the book. I felt it was slightly disjointed. I did think that the author did a good job of remaining mostly impartial. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roger Briggs | 2/4/2014

    " Why it was important we elected a President and not a CEO...among other things...fascinating read... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicolemauerman | 2/2/2014

    " The two star rating isn't due bad writing, it's just that this book is so incoherent. The author has some things to say, but it reads just as random thoughts about, by the rich not an actually book about how they got there and what they currently think about us. I heard great things about this book on NPR so maybe I was really disappointed since I had such high expectations. t "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin Lichosyt | 1/31/2014

    " Reasonably detailed account of the worlds super rich in the wider geopolitical context- trying to answer some serious questions in an attempt to devise some sustainable mode... No nonsense and often inspiring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 PrimalLogic | 1/29/2014

    " Great book. At first I thought it would be pure utter nonsensical bashing of the rich, but I was pleasantly surprised. She basically put things as they are. Although sometimes her writing tone makes it seem like she has contempt towards the rich. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 1/28/2014

    " Bias aside, I thought it was an informative read. A lot of anecdotes and history. Overall enjoyable "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andromeda Yelton | 1/26/2014

    " I kept trying to get into this book, really I did. But it couldn't decide which of two, three competing books it wanted to be, and I only was interested in some of them, so, meh. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Allison | 1/20/2014

    " I couldn't stomach continuing to read about the variety of rich people, what they like, what they think, where they're from, and how they live, and stopped about half way through. I didn't feel like Freeland was getting to a central point, and I found that she was more interested in pounding away at facts about the wealthy than discussing "everyone else," what the divide truly means to that majority, and what can be done about it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josh | 1/12/2014

    " This book is worth a read I found myself thinking, re assessing and researching all signs the author did her job in the writing of this book do I agree with all she had to say etc? No but that is beside the point. A timely book I highly recommend reading asap "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine Drzewiecki | 12/6/2013

    " Less salacious than I thought it would be, which is good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Roberta Weiner | 12/1/2013

    " Lots of good anecdotes but tough to praise as a complete work. I admire the effort and it's worth a look. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 10/12/2013

    " A refreshing look at income inequality, the rise of capitalism, rent-seeking from the perspective of the 1%. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 9/22/2013

    " A lot of great information here, but not a page-turner by any means. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samuel Smith | 8/22/2013

    " Great book. Worth reading twice "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 7/17/2013

    " Unnerving. Income inequity remains an issue around the world. Read Sense and Sensibilty by Jane Austen, Mr. Dashwood's treatment of his women relatives when his father dies for a quick insight into the 1% and the 99%. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Xulferdica | 7/4/2013

    " Illuminating and very relevant to modern day economics. Highly recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 7/3/2013

    " My review seems to have migrated to reviews of my review. I probably entered it at the wrong place. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dash Williams | 3/25/2013

    " This book was long and not particularly compelling. It would have worked better as a 50 page pamphlet. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rolando | 1/8/2013

    " Very interesting overview of the global Ultra Rich. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Mayes | 11/27/2012

    " Very telling and very timely. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda Rose | 11/22/2012

    " The bits where the super rich look like creepy nuts in their own words were my favourite bits and why it gets a 4 despite one could always quibble about the political economy of some other bits. "

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About the Author

Chrystia Freeland is the digital editor at Thomson Reuters, following years of service at the Financial Times both in New York and London. She was the deputy editor of Canada’s Globe and Mail and has reported for the Financial Times, the Economist, and the Washington Post. Freeland is also the author of Sale of a Century: The Inside Story of the Second Russian Revolution. She lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Allyson Ryan is a voice actress who can be heard in commercials, promos, animation, and audiobooks. She received an AudioFile Earphones Award for her narration of Kaya McLaren’s On the Divinity of Second Chances. She also has extensive experience on stage and television and has appeared as “Mom” in several television commercials. Advertising Age nominated her for a Bobby Award in the best actress category for her work as the Duracell mom.