The Billionaire Raj

Pages: 384
Subject: Current Affairs, Economics, History
Imprint: Oneworld

The Billionaire Raj

A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age

James Crabtree

A timely account of the emerging superpower that is India and the rise and rise of the Bollygarchs
9781786073808 (5 Jul 2018)
RRP £18.99
9781786075598 (2 May 2019)
RRP £9.99

The Book


A Financial Times Book of the Year and an Amazon Top 100 Book of the Year

India’s explosive rise has driven inequality to new extremes, with millions trapped in slums as billionaires spend lavishly and dodge taxes. Controversial prime minister Narendra Modi promised ‘to break the grip’ of the Bollygarchs, but many tycoons continue to thrive amidst the scandals, exerting huge influence over business and politics.

But who are these titans of politics and industry shaping India through this period of breakneck change? And what kind of superpower are they creating?

A vivid portrait of a deeply divided nation, The Billionaire Raj makes clear that India’s destiny – prosperous democratic giant or corrupt authoritarian regime – is something that should concern us all.

Additional Information

Subject Current Affairs, Economics, History
Pages 384
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

James Crabtree spent five years in India as Mumbai bureau chief for the Financial Times. He is now an associate professor of 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. @jamescrabtree


‘Compelling…vivid…Crabtree has given us the most comprehensive and eminently readable tour of economic India.'

- Meghnad Desai, Financial Times

‘An excellent survey of India's economic and political transformation… Crabtree's Indian story is a cautionary tale of globalization's excesses and the consequences for one of the world's most unequal societies.'

- Washington Post

‘A vivid comparison to America's late 19th-century Gilded Age drives this account of 21st-century India, with a teeming, colourful cast of the super-rich, the ultra-poor, the politically ambitious and the irredeemably corrupt.'

- Financial Times, Books of the Year 2018

‘Timely reading…Crabtree's eye for detail…gives some nice close ups…With so many tasty details, it is the right sort of snack to fill a hole as we watch and wait.'

- The Times

‘The analysis really sings when Mr Crabtree finds new ways to capture the collision of profits, politics and public opinion. His account of India's cut-throat network-TV industry, through the eyes of a star presenter, is thrilling.'

- The Economist

‘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

‘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, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics

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