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Crown Publishing Group, Summer 2019

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    9781524760069 Hardback, $37 CAD 9781524760083 Electronic book text, EPUB 9780525635529 Downloadable audio file, $29.5 CAD
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    Distributor: Penguin Random House Availability: Available On Sale Date: Jul 02, 2019 Carton Quantity: 24
  • Catalogues

The Billionaire Raj
A Journey Through India's New Gilded Age
By (author): James Crabtree

ISBN:

9781524760076

Product Form:

Paperback

Form detail:

Trade
Paperback , Trade
English

Audience:

General/trade
Jul 02, 2019
$23.00 CAD
Active

Dimensions:

7.9in x 5.1 x 0.91 in | 0.65 lb

Page Count:

416 pages

Illustrations:

4 MAPS
Crown
Tim Duggan Books
HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia
A colorful portrait of India’s new billionaire class and its role in a radically unequal society. Now in paperback.

Ever since India’s insular socialist economy was reformed in 1991, the country has become one of the fastest growing in the world, recently surpassing China. But this growth has not been shared equally, and 1 percent of India’s population now owns 60 percent of its wealth. In megacities like Mumbai, where some 6 million people live on less than $2 a day, twelve-story private homes dot the skyline. Corporate dynasties such as the Ambani family and the Hinduja brothers echo the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers of yesterday, funneling the profits from enormous conglomerates into lifestyles of conspicuous consumption. They live in skyscrapers with hundreds of staff; they have electric bills equivalent to those of 700 homes combined; they leave totaled Aston Martins to rust in the streets.

James Crabtree’s The Billionaire Raj takes readers behind the scenes of India’s megacities, chronicling the lives of the new elite as well as the resentment and admiration they draw from the population at large. From penthouses and servants’ quarters to slums and political rallies, Crabtree dramatizes the clashes between profiteers and reformers, in which familiar issues of equality and privilege play out in a complex system of aspiration, class, and caste.

The Billionaire Raj is a deeply reported and vividly written account of a society on the brink of crisis.

CHARACTER DRIVEN: Crabtree paints compelling portraits of India’s colorful new ruling class, such as Mukesh Ambani, whose billion-dollar home is the most expensive private property aside from Buckingham Palace.

THE AGE OF ANGER: As in the US and UK, the Indian government is currently led by politicians who swept into power due to popular rage against the elites and crony capitalism. Like Trump, Prime Minister Modi has married populism with far-right ethno-nationalism in a way that has bitterly divided his country.

CROSSOVER APPEAL: Crabtree’s book will appeal equally to business readers eager for insights into the machinations of India’s largest firms and society-page readers who will be captivated by the larger-than-life personalities and excess of India’s “Bollygarchs.”

JAMES CRABTREE is a contributing editor at the Financial Times, where he was the Mumbai bureau chief, as well as a senior visiting fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He lives in Singapore with his wife and son.

Author Residence: Singapore

Short-listed for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year 2018

“A lively and valuable blend of the empirical and the anecdotal. . . .The best parts of Mr. Crabtree’s book, however, aren’t his observations on the civic state of India (although these are certainly valuable and wise). They are his reportage, in which he relates his encounters with several of the men who are emblematic of the billionaire raj.” —Tunku Varadarajan, Wall Street Journal

“Thrilling. . . . The Billionaire Raj does the great service of . . . showing how India’s political system and its firms are symbiotically connected, in an entertaining—and sometimes disturbing—fashion.” —The Economist

“A nuanced portrait. . . . chock-full of profoundly revealing vignettes from various corners of India’s endlessly diverse society and economy.” —Jonathan A. Knee, The New York Times

“An excellent survey of India’s economic and political transformation. . . .Crabtree’s Indian story is a cautionary tale of globalization’s excesses and the consequences for one of the world’s most unequal societies.” The Washington Post

“Crabtree’s vivid portrayal of the corruption of politics is very informative, and thought-provoking. . . .The most comprehensive and eminently readable tour of economic India.” —Meghnad Desai, Financial Times

“A stylish, sweeping survey of modern day India. . . . Crabtree is diligent in his research and brutally fair to his interviewees.” —Ann Pettifor, The Times Literary Supplement

“An enlightening and engaging story of wealth and poverty in India, but also a sad indictment of the power of inequity in subduing and overwhelming its areas of success." —Amartya Sen, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics

“James Crabtree has written a lucid, detailed, and at times epic account of the new India, opening our eyes to the economic and social transformation that has quietly occurred there in recent years, behind the facade of the headlines. A must read for all those interested in the political and economic destiny of the subcontinent.” —Robert D. Kaplan, author of The Return of Marco Polo’s World

“James Crabtree, once a hugely-admired star foreign correspondent, has transformed himself into a brilliant writer and analyst of the Indian super rich. This timely, fascinating and eye-opening book is also—a rarity for a book about money—wonderfully witty and beautifully written.” —William Dalrymple, author of The Last Mughal

“James Crabtree distinguished himself as the most insightful journalist writing for the Financial Times from India. It is not surprising therefore that he has now written a book that offers a splendid overview of the issues that have been raised concerning India’s spectacular growth since the reforms began in 1991. It is bound to become a classic.” —Jagdish Bhagwati, co-author of Why Growth Matters

"Billionaire-watching may seem like voyeuristic fun, but it also provides serious insights about where a nation is headed. James Crabtree does just that in The Billionaire Raj, as he traces the incredible rise of India’s new super-rich and everything they reveal about the state of India’s political economy. Mixing colorful anecdotes with serious analysis, Crabtree's urgent book gives us far more than just vicarious thrills about India’s new Gilded Age." Ruchir Sharma, author of The Rise And Fall Of Nations

“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.” —Tyler Cowen, author of The Complacent Class

“A fascinating look into the world of the Indian business elite—the ‘Bollygarchs’—and their political entanglements. James Crabtree deftly explores the changing balance between big money and democratic accountability, shedding considerable light on whether the country will sustain the miracle that is the Indian democracy or go the way of populism and authoritarianism, as so many others have.” Dani Rodrik, author of Straight Talk on Trade

"Crabtree's stylish writing and sharp insights bring to life the extremes of a country changing with bewildering rapidity, and one the world will find increasingly hard to ignore. The Billionaire Raj is an essential guide if you want to understand modern India, as you must." —Edward Luce, author of In Spite of the Gods

“A wonderful book! It artfully weaves together lively stories of India’s billionaires while retaining a balanced perspective on the the big picture of the rise of India. It is not easy to write contemporary history but Crabtree manages to get to the heart of the matterthe problem of India’s state capacity and the need to reform the institutions of governance.” Gurcharan Das, author of India Unbound

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