In this riveting book, Wall Street Journal reporter Robert Frank explores the lives and lifestyles of a new breed of millionaires and billionaires - many of them self-made and from blue-collar backgrounds - and how this new gilded age is affecting wider society. Profiles of 'instapreneurs', dot-com billionaires, and eccentrics from the lower and upper reaches of Richistan take us into the rarified world of people like Ed Bazinet, who became a multi-millionaire by selling miniature ceramic villages, and Tim Blixseth, who earned billions by trading remote stretches of timberland. The influence wielded by the newly wealthy goes far beyond their earning power, and Frank also explores the lifestyles developing around them (butler schools and a new type of service employee, self-help groups for people worth $10 million or more) as well as where their money is going (the commodification of the art world, the rise of 'market-driven' philanthropy). As wealth creation becomes more and more globalised, Richistan looks behind the glitz to find the real story of new money and its impact on the world.
Robert Frank is a senior special writer for the Wall Street Journal. In 2003 he launched a new area for the paper, focusing on wealth and the lives of the new rich.