From Slaves to Super-Yachts: A 2,000-Year History
By John Kampfner
The definitive history of the wealthy over more than two millennia.
From the Orwell Prize shortlisted author of Freedom for Sale, The Rich is the fascinating history of how economic elites from ancient Egypt to the present day have gained and spent their money.
Starting with the Romans and Ancient Egypt and culminating with the oligarchies of modern Russia and China, it compares and contrasts the rich and powerful down the ages and around the world. What unites them? Have the same instincts of entrepreneurship, ambition, vanity, greed and philanthropy applied throughout?
As contemporary politicians, economists and the public wrestle with the inequities of our time - the parallel world inhabited by the ultra-wealthy at a time of broader hardship - it is salutary to look to history for explanations. This book synthesises thousands of years of human behaviour and asks the question: is the development of the globalised super-rich over the past twenty years anything new?
John Kampfner is one of the UK's most respected and iconoclastic authors, broadcasters and commentators, and has been a well-known public voice on politics, international affairs and civil liberties for the past two decades. From 2005 to 2008 he was Editor of the New Statesman, and he contributes regularly to the Guardian, Independent, Financial Times and other newspapers. His previous books include Freedom for Sale and the bestselling Blair's Wars. He lives in London.
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- Publication date:
02 Oct 2014
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Praise for John Kampfner: One of Britain's most distinguished political writers — Mail on Sunday
The Rich is an absorbing read . . . there is plenty of rich material — The Times
The Rich is witty, extremely readable and home to all sorts of enjoyably crazy figures — Observer
Fascinating — Tatler
More readable than Piketty . . . original and enjoyable — Martin Vander Weyer, Literary Review
A vivid account — Chris Blackhurst, Independent
The Rich bursts with fascinating details about the lives of a colourful cast of ultra-wealthy characters . . . a sweeping narrative that traces a lineage from the majesty of earlier ages to the oligarchs and tycoons of the present day — Financial Times
A panoramic and solidly researched new book . . . Good books leave you knowing more than you did to start with, and feeling less complacent about what you believed. On both of those counts, The Rich does the business — Weekend Australian