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Descrição da editora
'A beautifully drawn exposé of the men who burnt the planet. Each picture is worth far more than a thousand complex academic words.'—Danny Dorling
Who are the super-rich in our society, and how do they have such disproportionate political and cultural influence on our lives? How did they acquire their wealth, and what are their lives like?The super-rich are often portrayed as self-made, as if their wealth was created entirely by their own efforts. But is this true? In his latest book of graphic analysis, celebrated author Darryl Cunningham examines the evidence, featuring graphic biographies of media baron Rupert Murdoch, oil and gas tycoons Charles and David Koch, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Have these individuals enjoyed advantages, beyond their personal ability and attributes, that have aided their success? Cunningham makes comparisons with the ‘Gilded Age’ (1870s to 1900), the last period in America in which a few individuals gained colossal wealth. Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, JP Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt and others made fortunes, but also helped create the modern world of railroads, manufacturing, and finance. What essential elements have the modern equivalents brought us?
Despite the often reported disadvantages brought by the widening gulf between the poorest and the super rich, are such wealthy individuals necessary to finance technological progress? Would we be poorer without them?
Cunningham (The Age of Selfishness) cogently combines portraits of the lives and careers of Rupert Murdoch, the Koch Brothers, and Jeff Bezos into a graphic treatise that considers both the responsibility that wealth and power demands and the inevitability of such power corrupting absolutely. In chapters on Murdoch and the Koch Brothers, Cunningham portrays young men of privilege corrupted by a relentless desire to amass wealth and power at the expense of others, whether in Murdoch's collusion with conservative leaders and his brutal suppression of unions, or the Koch Brothers' efforts to bring fringe Libertarian philosophies into the Republican political mainstream. Cunningham then demonstrates how Bezos's comparably modest upbringing didn't prevent him from building an empire that exploits its employees. The minimalist color palette and pared-down visual style render this complex study on the machinations of billionaires consumable in a single sitting. Cunningham jumps from shot to shot through panels infused with irony and symbolism, such as the recurring motif of money emerging from industrial pipes, or giant hands and feet grabbing and crushing. The result is a witty but brutal critique of capitalism and corruption.