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John Kampfner is one of the UK's most respected and iconoclastic authors, broadcasters and commentators, and has been a well-known public voice on politics, international affairs and civil liberties for the past two decades. From 2005 to 2008 he was Editor of the New Statesman, and he contributes regularly to the Guardian, Independent, Financial Times and other newspapers. His previous books include Freedom for Sale and the bestselling Blair's Wars. He lives in London.
From the Orwell Prize shortlisted author of Freedom for Sale, The Rich is the fascinating history of how economic elites from ancient Egypt to the present day have gained and spent their money. Starting with the Romans and Ancient Egypt and culminating with the oligarchies of modern Russia and China, it compares and contrasts the rich and powerful down the ages and around the world. What unites them? Have the same instincts of entrepreneurship, ambition, vanity, greed and philanthropy applied throughout? As contemporary politicians, economists and the public wrestle with the inequities of our time - the parallel world inhabited by the ultra-wealthy at a time of broader hardship - it is salutary to look to history for explanations. This book synthesises thousands of years of human behaviour and asks the question: is the development of the globalised super-rich over the past twenty years anything new?