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Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making
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Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  325 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Each of them is one in a million.They number six thousand on planet of six billion. They run our government, our largest corporations, the powerhouses of international finance, the media, world religions, and, from the shadows, the world's most dangerous criminal and terrorist organizations. They are the global superclass, and they are shaping the history of our time.
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 18th 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published January 1st 2008)
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Richard Derus
Jun 05, 2013 Richard Derus rated it liked it
Pearl Ruled

Rating: 3.25* of five (p189)

The Publisher Says: Each of them is one in a million. They number six thousand on a planet of six billion. They run our governments, our largest corporations, the powerhouses of international finance, the media, world religions, and, from the shadows, the world's most dangerous criminal and terrorist organizations. They are the global superclass, and they are shaping the history of our time.

Today's superclass has achieved unprecedented levels of wealth and
Jan 16, 2013 Pooja rated it liked it
Some parts read like US Weekly Does Davos-- which is fun and fine by me, by the way.
Jun 28, 2010 E rated it it was amazing
In-depth exploration of the global elite

Conspiracy theories thrive on mystery, and no group is more mysterious than the planet’s richest, most powerful people. Former U.S. Undersecretary of State David Rothkopf attempts to shed light on these shadowy figures using his experience with – and his detailed research into – their feeding habits and environments. Rothkopf deftly intersperses firsthand knowledge with hard data in describing the clout, backgrounds and goals of the people he identifies t
Terry Earley
Apr 04, 2012 Terry Earley rated it liked it
Although he almost lost me a couple of times in the early chapters where he describes the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous", I am glad I persisted, because I have had this nagging question in my mind since the near fatal, world economic meltdown in 2009. That question was renewed in the summer and fall of 2011 when the Republican majority in the US House of Representatives caused the first US Treasury bond rating reduction ever by refusing to extend the US debt ceiling (as they did routinely f ...more
David Roycroft
Feb 12, 2009 David Roycroft rated it really liked it
There's nothing new about the way elites network. What is new is who these elites are and the growing impact of the decisions they make. The author demonstrates that with gloabilzation financial and corporate elites have become more powerful and more important than national or government elites. He argues that international organizations like the United Nations and the World Bank, most of which were organized after World War II and are unevenly weighted in favor of the allied nations that won th ...more
Ryan Chapman
Feb 27, 2008 Ryan Chapman rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Chockablock with great statistics and wit. Rothkopf strenuously avoids any notion of conspiracy talk, and debunks them wherever they arrive. Since I'm pretty finance-illiterate and have the tiny business acumen to match, this was truly illuminating. Sure, he doesn't develop his point much beyond what he says in the first couple chapters. That's okay. The rest of the book is more or less a lot of great historical and anecdotal data. (Including things like the average income for a Goldman Sachs em ...more
Jan 15, 2015 Nils rated it really liked it
Like getting a free ride on a raconteur billionaire's private jet on the way to Davos. Rothkopf isn't shy about discussing the problems with the emergence of an unaccountable class of the superempowered (and their deviant analogs), but the narrative is almost entirely constructed from testimonials by members of that same class who Rothkopf has met or interviewed in his capacity as the publisher of FOREIGN POLICY and a principal in a consulting firm that caters to those same sorts of people. Inde ...more
Smiley McGrouchpants
David Rothkopf's work (along with Janine L. Weden's) provides a real "open door" to the reigns-holders of the Modern Era, as free from political cant as one could hope for (while not immune from noting how that cant itself can drive things). As always, knowing your political players is as essential as knowing your municipalities, state capitals, and major exports; only laziness of one form or another — including "throw your hands up" exasperation — exempts you from fully completing the task at h ...more
May 01, 2016 Jim rated it liked it
Rothberg writes about the 6,000 who comprise the global elite--in government, in finance, in the media, in the military, and in religion-and crime. We can understand that they have achieved incredibly great wealth- and are rapidly increasing it- and that they have vast power on a global level. But Rothberg does not look very deeply into the problem and is certainly not very critical of the elite. As he is someone who worked for Kissinger Associates, I feel he is a wannabe member of the Supercla ...more
Andrea James
May 27, 2015 Andrea James rated it it was ok
Shelves: general
For such a long book, I'm not sure there was any more depth than a magazine article albeit written by someone who goes to Davos and is part of of the upper echelons of academia.

It has fun titbits about how much some people earn, how much people spend on planes and yachts, most of which I already knew, so even those bits did not really provide the light entertainment that it otherwise would have done.

Had it not been the audio version of book, I don't think I would have finished it. In fact, I onl
Adam Snider
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael D
May 20, 2013 Michael D rated it really liked it
'Super' books not only entertain and provide information, they provide a paradigm-changing experience. Although laborious (in places) as the Old Testament geneologies,'Superclass' did this for me. More than before i realize, that here in the U.S. (and maybe elsewhere,) free peoples need not only be wary of overly-big government but ALSO big business with its inordinate influence on legislative outcomes and politics through lobbyists, campaign contributions, and the 'swivel-door policy' occuring ...more
May 11, 2008 Gail rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
"Each of them is one in a million. They number six thousand on a planet of six billion. They run our governments, our largest corporations, the powerhouses of international finance, the media, world religions, and, from the shadows, the world’s most dangerous criminal and terrorist organizations. They are the global superclass, and they are shaping the history of our time. Today’s superclass has achieved unprecedented levels of wealth and power. They have globalized more rapidly than any other g ...more
Oct 19, 2011 KC rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, politics
A solid primer on a often misunderstood group of power brokers. The author's perspective is that of someone who has spent considerable time on the periphery of the Superclass and has gained access to many of its members over the years. This is a sober and balanced overview that will disappoint readers looking for an anti-elite polemic or a slavish defense of privilege and power.

Reasons why I could have rated this book higher: Terrific access to the subjects, thoughtful attempts to place the cur
Andrew French
Jun 28, 2016 Andrew French rated it really liked it
I call them Reality Makers. Author David Rothkopf calls them, the Superclass. They are the Power Elite. The people who really and truly run the world. From political figures to CEOs of multinational conglomerates; they are the billionaires and millionaires who wield power and influence over global finance, resources, and governments. At the top, everyone knows everyone else; creating a tight knit global community without borders.

Having rubbed shoulders with these very people, David Rothkopf writ
The super rich and how they network.
Globalization of the elite.
Globalization of the companies.
Balancing the elite and the non-elite.
Davos and the elite meetings.
Jan 15, 2014 Pat rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: friends
Written by an elite about the superclass is a primer for the not-elite on the rich and powerful; how they arrive at this level and what they do when they get there. I recommend this book for anyone interested in the global powers in a world where the international corporations no longer are fettered by national boundaries.
Aug 27, 2008 Dawn rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-nonfiction
I could barely read this book without vomiting all over it because the author is such a shameless fanboy of the so-called "superclass" that he and his wife nosh with at Darvos every year.

If you are really interested in reading about how 6000 or so way-too-rich psychopaths are gobbling up the planet's resources (like the amazing increase in demand for private Gulfstream jets!) all described in breathless admiration by fanboy, while the rest of us are doing things like biking to work, then waste y
Dave Guia
Nov 18, 2013 Dave Guia rated it really liked it
Should we be encouraged? Should we be surprised? Should we have expected anything else? Yes and No.
The Superclass does have its footprint all over everything that is our day-to-day life. Who will be in this small universe of elite power group in 20 years? If only more women could be in it now...and certainly, hopefully in two decades time. Maybe then the grab for greed will slip more into a grab for the greater good of all...
Feb 17, 2010 Thomas rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in how the world runs outside of governments.
A descriminating look at who is really running the world. Probably many whom you would expect, but the question really is how can any one person influence these people? Mister Rothkopf breaks down what their lives are like in general and what influences their thinking, but it is discouraging how many of them are much more interested in getting the next percentage from the masses than bringing about a better world. I give it an A-.
May 04, 2013 Anna rated it liked it
Who needs "conspiracy" theories? The truth is good enough. This guy is an apologist for the global elite. He acknowledges that the real power is in the hands of a very few people....but hey, don't worry, be happy. Globalism hasn't helped most of the world, but hey who cares. The global elite are cleaning up. If he keeps writing books like this I'm sure he won't have any trouble getting them published.
Sep 10, 2009 Wolfgang rated it it was amazing
If you are interested in Anthropology, this is a great book that describes how the tribes of the very wealthy intersect with each other in ways never done before. Making strange mixes such as Angelina Jolie or Bono developing relationship with Prime Minister Merkel of Germany.

What interest me about this class group is not their money much less their fame; but their mindset that anything is possible.
Vince Carter
Nov 22, 2008 Vince Carter rated it liked it
In an age when national identities are losing the significance they once had in business, science and culture, the links of leaders in every area through education and social interaction create relationships that impact us all. How those links have formed is the focus of this interesting, up close glimpse.
Oct 09, 2008 Mark rated it it was amazing
It started out a little slow, but in the end this was a fascinating book! I was a sociology major and it really resonated with me. If I do end up voting for Obama this book would have been a major factor in that decision.
Sep 29, 2008 Michael rated it liked it
A look at the 6000 people who run the world-- though at times it is dry, there are some remarkable anecdotes and facts, and you will look at the news and the world with new skepticism.
Brendan  McAuliffe
" The most powerful mind altering drug in existance is oil " ( this guy knows what he's talking about ) Hard to read ( literally, the print was too close together )
Aug 27, 2008 Judith rated it liked it
I learned the names of the rich and how life is in the superclass. And they gather together to try to help the world some for recognition and some for real.
Niran Pravithana
Rothkopf เขียนเกียวกับเครือขายชนชันระดับโลก 6,000 คนทีมีอิทธิพลตอคน 6,000,000,000 คนทัวโลก
Mar 30, 2010 Mary added it simply reinforces the notion that the wealthy live in another world & have undue influence internationally.
Dec 30, 2008 Jesse marked it as to-read
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David Rothkopf is the internationally acclaimed author of Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They are Making (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, March 2008), now available in over two dozen editions worldwide, and Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power (PublicAffairs, 2005), hailed by The New York Times as "the definitive his ...more
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