Publishing 6th July, 2018
HarperCollins India presents
The Billionaire Raj
A colourful 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 per cent now own nearly 60 per cent of its wealth. In megacities like Mumbai, where half the population lives in slums, the extraordinary riches of India’s new dynasties echo the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers of yesteryears, funnelling profits from huge conglomerates into lifestyles of conspicuous consumption.
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.
“Having covered India for five years as a foreign correspondent, I’m hugely excited to be publishing my first book on the country. I have immense affection for India, and I hope readers will see The Billionaire Raj for what it is: a contribution from a friend to the debate about the country’s future.” – James Crabtree
“The Billionaire Raj is one of the most honest, insightful and readable accounts of the India that we live in to be published in recent years. It’s been receiving rave advance notices, and is being published simultaneously in the UK, the USA and India. We are absolutely thrilled to publish it in India where it should have tremendous resonance.”— Udayan Mitra, Publisher – Literary, HarperCollins India
The book has been receiving accolades from thought leaders, some endorsements are given below –
‘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
‘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
‘James Crabtree is one of the most thoughtful international journalists I have had the privilege to know. When he speaks, I listen; when he writes, I read.’ – Anand Mahindra
‘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 colourful anecdotes with serious analysis, Crabtree’s urgent book gives us far more than just vicarious thrills about India’s new Gilded Age.’ — Ruchir Sharma
‘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
‘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
‘A lucid, detailed and at times epic account of the new India … A must-read for all those interested in the political and economic destiny of the subcontinent.’ – Robert D. Kaplan
‘A wonderful book! It artfully weaves together lively stories of India’s billionaires while retaining a balanced perspective on 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 matter – the problem of India’s state capacity and the need to reform the institutions of governance.’ – Gurcharan Das
‘In this eye-opening rumination on wealth, power, and those who seek both … Crabtree brings a reporter’s precision and flair to his story … An inside look into the corridors of power, this is an invaluable commentary on Indian democracy and the forces that threaten it.’ – Publishers Weekly, starred review
About the author
James Crabtree spent five years in India as Mumbai bureau chief for the Financial Times. He is now an associate professor in practice at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. He has written for Wired, Foreign Policy, and The Economist, among other publications.
Non-fiction | Hardback | 799/-
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