Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich
The recent explosion of wealth has created a new breed of multimillionaires. Richistan takes readers inside a rarified world to see how blue-collar-workers-turned-billionaires are earning, spending, and living. From "Butler School," where domestics are specially trained to serve the newly wealthy, to self-help groups for coping with the strains of $10 million incomes, you'...more
I have been looking for a book that would update things I read in the 70s; books that emerge from the C. Wright Mills school of political economic sociology. For example, Mills' Power Elite, Domhoff's higher circles and Lundberg's Rich and Super Rich. This book would seem to fit into this collection.
If Frank is correct, he also updates my thinking. I was/am still working under the influence o ...more
Ok, I didn't really enjoy the feeling bad part, but I enjoyed thinking "Hey...my life is pretty awesome. I have two cats and neither of them wears a gold and diamond collar." I say that because one of them, Rocco, tends to lose his collar several times a year, usually just after ...more
This book, a very quick and light read, provides some good long (almost voyeuristic) looks into the wealthy, how they got there, and what they are thinking. Mr. Frank reports on "wealth" for the Wall Street Journal. He apparently knows his beat very well, though I wond ...more
We take national pride in the rags-to-riches story, the mom-and-pop store that makes it big. We say things like “only in America” and call the United States a “land of opportunity.” We value the better mousetrap and laud its inventor with gobs of money.
But those are more the marks of success than of wealth. What really fascinates us is the money. We drive by McMansions and wonder what the owners do for a living, how much money they make, and how they spend ...more
This book is fairly well covered, it seems to me, by other Goodreads reviews.
I’d only note that it had, in my reading, much in common with an imagined television program on the same subject: a similar mix of vivid anecdote (though the vividness here is usually denoted by the number of trailing zeroes rather than visual impact); condensed vignettes of financial rise (or more uncommonly, of fall); short sympathetic interviews juxtaposed with, if not exactly taking place in, glamorous settings (th ...more
Summary from Random House:
The rich have always been different from you and me, but this revealing and funny journey through “Richistan” entertainingly shows that they are more different than ever. Richistanis have 400-foot-yachts, 30,000-square-foot homes, house staffs of more than 100, and their own “arborists.” They’re also different from Old Money, and have torn dow ...more
Well, that warning is probably going over board. (If you went overboard, would you want a basic 12 foot ski-boat? Or a 100 foot yacht? If you'd "settle" for the 100-footer, you're no decent member of Richistan. Richistanis are going for the 400+ yachts, no less.)
Go ahead and read and dream about the 'what if's. And note that one way to get into the lives of the fabulously wealthy if you're not actually rich yourself i ...more
But just the term "American ...more
Meet yesterday's dot-com millionaires, creepy investment bankers and of course the hereditarily loaded. Languish in their enclaves, eavesdrop on their posturing and bickering, and observe their material fetishes. But make sure you flip present tense to past, for many of these mighty have by now fallen. Or at least one hopes.
Shelley tells of a a ...more
inch narrower in its width than typical hardcovers. The editor,
like a desperate, talentless high school student, changed the margins a bit in
order to extend the content into a more respectable book-appropriate
length. The size manipulations notwithstanding, Robert Frank’s
Richistan is another decent non-fiction book illuminating another
fascinating American subculture.
Don’t confuse it with
Absurdistan, which also could have been the ...more
Anyways, it's a book about the "new rich", as in, people who have made their fortunes within the last, I don't know, 20 years. It talks about their yachts, and their h ...more
1) Lower Rich:1 million in assets (7.5 million households)
2) Middle Rich: 10 million- 100 million (2 million households)
3) Upper Rich: 100 million -1 billion (in the thousands)
A good time to read this, as undoubtedly these numbers have been drastically effecte ...more
"Richistan" observes that America has been generating wealth and wealthy people at an amazing rate over the past 20 years and that this prodigious growth in both the numbers of the wealthy as well as the scale of their wealth has led to their becoming "a whole other country." It seems kind of funny to be reading it in the wake of the 2008 stock crash and the likely destruction of a large part of that wealth (a number of names in the book are recogniz ...more
The book examines a new country - Richistani - populated by the new rich. There are three classes in Richist ...more
... also some im ...more
Towards its end it got a bit uninteresting because I am not much interested in certain details but all in all, it was a good read.
As I said in my first update: I am fascinated by all this wealth but I am very happy I don't have to be in their shoes. In a way, it's madness. They get rich through all the new technologies and the globalisation and amass literally hundreds of millions. They become great philantrophiests and yet, they still play the stupid game that is cal ...more
The title, of course, is a play on Rich and istan, which seems to be the suffix for every newly minted Middle-Eastern/post-Soviet nation that keeps confounding American geographers, school children, and even temporary White House occupants.
While this ...more
I do think I fall in line with the idea that I don't begrudge "Richistanis" their wealth and good fortune. Frank did an excellent job of showing how driven many of the members of the new wealthy class are, but some of them just got lucky ...more
The most interesting thing that I took from this is that most of America's super-rich did not make the bulk of their fortune from inheritance. Sure, there are many of those people around -- and have been for years and years -- but since the 80's, there have been a large number of people tha ...more
Reading reviews of this book, readers seem to think that riches should supply wisdom beyond what most of us have. "Suddenly rich", indicates that ...more
I was just fascinated with this book in general. I especially loved the chapters on the Butler training industry and yachts. It was just interesting and thought-provoking to read about the extremely wealthy. It made me think about how or ...more