The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India's New Gilded Age (Paperback)

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Description


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.

About the Author


James Crabtree is an associate professor of practice at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He was formerly the Mumbai bureau chief for the Financial Times.

Praise For…


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
Product Details
ISBN: 9781524760076
ISBN-10: 1524760072
Publisher: Tim Duggan Books
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2019
Pages: 416
Language: English

How to read more

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How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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