This book has 2 recommendations
Tyler Cowen (Author / )
Who are the Indian nouveau riche and what do they want? James Crabtree’s The Billionaire Raj will prove the defining work on these questions. It is a must-read for anyone interested in wealth, inequality, India, or the evolution of capitalism.
Nicolas Colin (Entrepreneur, Co-Founder and Director / The Family)
The Billionaire Raj is a book by Singapore-based Financial Times alumnus James Crabtree. It depicts the radical change that India is currently going through, with the rise of extreme inequalities and the capture of the political system by wealthy families. What’s striking in James’s riveting painting of modern India is the optimism with which he describes the current state of things: not necessarily the end of the story, but rather a passing phase before the Indian economy becomes more sustainable and inclusive. (Thanks John Thornhill for the introduction!)
A colorful and revealing portrait of the rise of India’s new billionaire class in a radically unequal society
India is the world’s largest democracy, with more than one billion people and an economy expanding faster than China’s. But the rewards of this growth have been far from evenly shared, and the country’s top 1% now own nearly 60% of its wealth. In megacities like Mumbai, where half the population live in slums, the extraordinary riches of India’s new dynasties echo the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers of America's Gilded Age, funneling profits from huge conglomerates into lifestyles of conspicuous consumption.
James Crabtree’s The Billionaire Raj takes readers on a personal journey to meet these reclusive billionaires, fugitive tycoons, and shadowy political power brokers. From the sky terrace of the world’s most expensive home to impoverished villages and mass political rallies, Crabtree dramatizes the battle between crony capitalists and economic reformers, revealing a tense struggle between equality and privilege playing out against a combustible backdrop of aspiration, class, and caste.
The Billionaire Raj is a vivid account of a divided society on the cusp of transformation—and a struggle that will shape not just India’s future, but the world’s.