In the end, Frank lets his mask of objectivity slip. One always has the feeling that he disapproves of such rampant inequality, even if pretending not to mind helps him to get interviews with billionaires. — Read the complete FT review
In this riveting book, Wall Street Journal reporter Robert Frank explores the lives and lifestyles of a new breed of millionaires and billionaires - many of them self-made and from blue-collar backgrounds - and how this new gilded age is affecting wider society. Profiles of ‘instapreneurs’, dot-com billionaires, and eccentrics from the lower and upper reaches of Richistan take us into the rarified world of people like Ed Bazinet, who became a multi-millionaire by selling miniature ceramic villages, and Tim Blixseth, who earned billions by trading remote stretches of timberland. The influence wielded by the newly wealthy goes far beyond their earning power, and Frank also explores the lifestyles developing around them (butler schools and a new type of service employee, self-help groups for people worth $10 million or more) as well as where their money is going (the commodification of the art world, the rise of ‘market-driven’ philanthropy). As wealth creation becomes more and more globalised, Richistan looks behind the glitz to find the real story of new money and its impact on the world.