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Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism
From the days of the Mayflower and the Virginia Company, America has been a place for people to dream, invent, build, tinker, and bet the farm in pursuit of a better life. Americana takes us on a four-hundred-year journey of this spirit of innovation and ambition through a series of Next Big Things -- the inventions, techniques, and industries that drove American history forward: from the telegraph, the railroad, guns, radio, and banking to flight, suburbia, and sneakers, culminating with the Internet and mobile technology at the turn of the twenty-first century. The result is a thrilling alternative history of modern America that reframes events, trends, and people we thought we knew through the prism of the value that, for better or for worse, this nation holds dearest: capitalism.
The Shock Doctrine
In this groundbreaking alternative history of the most dominant ideology of our time, Milton Friedman's free-market economic revolution, Naomi Klein challenges the popular myth of this movement's peaceful global victory. From Chile in 1973 to Iraq today, Klein shows how Friedman and his followers have repeatedly harnessed terrible shocks and violence to implement their radical policies. As John Gray wrote in The Guardian, "There are very few books that really help us understand the present. The Shock Doctrine is one of those books."
Kleptopia: How Dirty Money Is Conquering the World
In this shocking, meticulously reported work of narrative nonfiction, an award-winning investigative journalist exposes “capitalism’s monster” - global kleptocracy - and reveals how it is corrupting the world around us.They are everywhere, the thieves and their people. Masters of secrecy. Until now we have detected their presence only by what they leave behind. A body in a burned-out Audi. Workers riddled with bullets in the Kazakh Desert. A rigged election in Zimbabwe. A British banker silenced and humiliated for trying to expose the truth about the City of London.They have amassed more money than most countries. But what they are really stealing is power.In this real-life thriller packed with jaw-dropping revelations, award-winning investigative journalist Tom Burgis weaves together four stories that reveal a terrifying global web of corruption: the troublemaker from Basingstoke who stumbles on the secrets of a Swiss bank, the ex-Soviet billionaire constructing a private empire, the righteous Canadian lawyer with a mysterious client, and the Brooklyn crook protected by the CIA.Glimpses of this shadowy world have emerged over the years. In Kleptopia, Burgis connects the dots. He follows the dirty money that is flooding the global economy, emboldening dictators, and poisoning democracies. From the Kremlin to Beijing, Harare to Riyadh, Paris to the White House, the trail shows something even more sinister: the thieves are uniting. And the human cost will be great.
The Gambler: How Penniless Dropout Kirk Kerkorian Became the Greatest Deal Maker in Capitalist History
Rempel, William C.
The rags-to-riches story of one of America’s wealthiest and least-known financial giants, self-made billionaire Kirk Kerkorian - the daring aviator, movie mogul, risk-taker, and business tycoon who transformed Las Vegas and Hollywood to become one of the leading financiers in American business.Kerkorian combined the courage of a World War II pilot, the fortitude of a scrappy boxer, the cunning of an inscrutable poker player and an unmatched genius for making deals. He never put his name on a building, but when he died he owned almost every major hotel and casino in Las Vegas. He envisioned and fostered a new industry - the leisure business. Three times he built the biggest resort hotel in the world. Three times he bought and sold the fabled MGM Studios, forever changing the way Hollywood does business.His early life began as far as possible from a place on the Forbes List of Billionaires when he and his Armenian immigrant family lost their farm to foreclosure. He was four. They arrived in Los Angeles penniless and moved often, staying one step ahead of more evictions. Young Kirk learned English on the streets of L.A., made pennies hawking newspapers and dropped out after eighth grade. How he went on to become one of the richest and most generous men in America - his net worth as much as $20 billion - is a story largely unknown to the world. That’s because what Kerkorian valued most was his privacy. His very private life turned to tabloid fodder late in life when a former professional tennis player falsely claimed that the eighty-five-year-old billionaire fathered her child.In this engrossing biography, investigative reporter William C. Rempel digs deep into Kerkorian’s long-guarded history to introduce a man of contradictions - a poorly educated genius for deal-making, an extraordinarily shy man who made the boldest of business ventures, a careful and calculating investor who was willing to bet everything on a single roll of the dice.Unlike others of his status and importance, Kerkorian made few public appearances and strenuously avoided personal publicity. His friends and associates, however, were some of the biggest names in business, entertainment, and sports - among them Howard Hughes, Ted Turner, Steve Wynn, Michael Milken, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley, Mike Tyson, and Andre Agassi.When he died in 2015 two years shy of the century mark, Kerkorian had outlived many of his closest friends and associates. Now, Rempel meticulously pieces together revealing fragments of Kerkorian’s life, collected from diverse sources—war records, business archives, court documents, news clippings and the recollections and recorded memories of longtime pals and relatives. In The Gambler, Rempel illuminates this unknown, self-made man and his inspiring legacy as never before.
The Bettencourt Affair: The World's Richest Woman and the Scandal That Rocked Paris
Heiress to the nearly forty-billion-dollar L’Oréal fortune, Liliane Bettencourt was the world’s richest woman and the fourteenth wealthiest person. But her gilded life took a dark yet fascinating turn in the past decade. At ninety-four, she was embroiled in what has been called the Bettencourt Affair, a scandal that dominated the headlines in France. Why? It’s a tangled web of hidden secrets, divided loyalties, frayed relationships, and fractured families, set in the most romantic city - and involving the most glamorous industry - in the world.The Bettencourt Affair started as a family drama but quickly became a massive scandal, uncovering L’Oréal’s shadowy corporate history and buried World War II secrets. From the Right Bank mansions to the Left Bank artist havens; and from the Bettencourts’ servant quarters to the office of President Nicolas Sarkozy; all of Paris was shaken by the blockbuster case, the shocking reversals, and the surprising final victim.It all began when Liliane met François-Marie Banier, an artist and photographer who was, in his youth, the toast of Paris and a protégé of Salvador Dalí. Over the next two decades, Banier was given hundreds of millions of dollars in gifts, cash, and insurance policies by Liliane. What, exactly, was their relationship? It wasn’t clear, least of all to Liliane’s daughter and only child, Françoise, who became suspicious of Banier’s motives and filed a lawsuit against him. But Banier has a far different story to tell...The Bettencourt Affair is part courtroom drama; part upstairs-downstairs tale; and part characterdriven story of a complex, fascinating family and the intruder who nearly tore it apart.
White Shoe: How a New Breed of Wall Street Lawyers Changed Big Business and the American Century
The legal profession once operated on a smaller scale—folksy lawyers arguing for fairness and justice before a judge and jury. But by the year 1900, a new type of lawyer was born, one who understood business as well as the law. Working hand in glove with their clients, over the next two decades these New York City “white shoe” lawyers devised and implemented legal strategies that would drive the business world throughout the twentieth century. These lawyers were architects of the monopolistic new corporations so despised by many, and acted as guardians who helped the kings of industry fend off government overreaching. Yet they also quietly steered their robber baron clients away from a “public be damned” attitude toward more enlightened corporate behavior during a period of progressive, turbulent change in America.Author John Oller, himself a former Wall Street lawyer, gives us a richly-written glimpse of turn-of-the-century New York, from the grandeur of private mansions and elegant hotels and the city’s early skyscrapers and transportation systems, to the depths of its deplorable tenement housing conditions. Some of the biggest names of the era are featured, including business titans J. P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, lawyer-statesmen Elihu Root and Charles Evans Hughes, and presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson.Among the colorful, high-powered lawyers vividly portrayed, White Shoe focuses on three: Paul Cravath, who guided his client George Westinghouse in his war against Thomas Edison and launched a new model of law firm management—the “Cravath system”; Frank Stetson, the “attorney general” for financier J. P. Morgan who fiercely defended against government lawsuits to break up Morgan’s business empires; and William Nelson Cromwell, the lawyer “who taught the robber barons how to rob,” and was best known for his instrumental role in creating the Panama Canal.In White Shoe, the story of this small but influential band of Wall Street lawyers who created Big Business is fully told for the first time.
Deadline Artists - America's Greatest Newspaper Columnists
Now in its fifth hardcover printing, Deadline Artists celebrates the relevance of the newspaper column through the simple power of excellent writing. It is an inspiration for a new generation of writers-- whether their medium is print or digital--looking to learn from the best of their predecessors.Contributors include: Jimmy Breslin, Ernie Pyle, Dorothy Thompson, Thomas L. Friedman, David Brooks, Ernest Hemingway, Will Rogers, Langston Hughes, Woody Guthrie, Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, H.L. Mencken, Art Buchwald, William F. Buckley, Dave Barry, Anna Quindlen, George Will, and Pete Hamill.
Empire of Democracy: The Remaking of the West Since the Cold War
Half a century ago, at the height of the Cold War and amidst a world economic crisis, the Western democracies were forced to undergo a profound transformation. Against what some saw as a full-scale “crisis of democracy” - with race riots, anti-Vietnam marches and a wave of worker discontent sowing crisis from one nation to the next—a new political-economic order was devised and the postwar social contract was torn up and written anew.In this epic narrative of the events that have shaped our own times, Simon Reid-Henry shows how liberal democracy, and western history with it, was profoundly reimagined when the postwar Golden Age ended. As the institutions of liberal rule were reinvented, a new generation of politicians emerged: Thatcher, Reagan, Mitterrand, Kohl. The late twentieth century heyday they oversaw carried the Western democracies triumphantly to victory in the Cold War and into the economic boom of the 1990s. But equally it led them into the fiasco of Iraq, to the high drama of the financial crisis in 2007/8, and ultimately to the anti-liberal surge of our own times.The present crisis of liberalism is leading us toward as yet unscripted decades. The era we have all been living through is closing out, and democracy is turning on its axis once again. “Brilliantly, Reid-Henry calls for the salvation of democracy from the choices of its own leaders if it is to survive” (Samuel Moyn, Yale University).
The Deals That Made the World: Reckless Ambition, Backroom Negotiations, and the Hidden Truths of Business
An award-winning investigative journalist takes us inside the ten business deals that have transformed the modern worldWe tend to think of our world as controlled by forces we basically understand, primarily the politicians we elect. But in The Deals That Made the World, Jacques Peretti makes a provocative and quite different argument: much of the world around us - from the food we eat to the products we buy to the medications we take - is shaped by private negotiations and business deals few of us know about.The Deals That Made the World takes us inside the sphere of these powerful players, examining ten groundbreaking business deals that have transformed our modern economy. Peretti reveals how corporate executives engineered an entire diet industry built on failure; how PayPal conquered online payments (and the specific behavioral science that underpins its success); and how pharmaceutical executives concocted a plan to successfully market medications to healthy people.For twenty years, Peretti has interviewed the people behind the decisions that have altered our world, from the CEOs of multinational corporations to politicians, economists, and scientists. Drawing on his vast knowledge, Peretti reveals a host of fascinating and startling connections, from how Wall Street's actions on food commodities helped spark the Arab Spring to the link between the AIDS epidemic in 1980s San Francisco and the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008. Touching upon tech, finance, artificial intelligence, and the other levers of power in a postglobalization environment, Peretti offers a compelling way to understand the last hundred years - and a suggestion of what the next hundred might hold.An essential book for anyone seeking to understand the hidden forces that shape our modern economy, The Deals That Made the World is illuminating and surprising - and an immensely fun read.
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