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Mastering the Universe
The Obscene Wealth of the Ruling Class, What They Do with Their Money, and Why You Should Hate Them Even More

Economist Rob Larson combines wit, righteous anger, and clear-eyed analysis as he dissects the lifestyle, moral bankruptcy, and stupidly large sums of money hoarded by the disgustingly wealthy.

The fact that we live in one of the most unequal societies in the history of the world is becoming common knowledge. And while lists of “richest people in x country” may be easy to come by, how much do we really know about the billionaires who sit atop our global economic system? Who are they, really? How did they accumulate their ill-gotten gains? And what kind of depravities do they use to maintain their positions?

Turning their own weapons of class-war against them—from the fawning profiles found in the Mansion section of the Wall Street Journal to the national income data buried in white papers meant solely for investors and technocrats—Larson crunches the numbers so you don’t have to.

But he doesn’t stop there, because appreciating the sheer scale of the global wealth gap doesn’t even touch on all the ways the ruling class are making us miserable, breaking our society to pieces, and destroying the planet in their pursuit of ever-increasing power and profit. As we behold whole continents on fire, pandemics thrashing public health systems to smithereens, and declining lifespans for the vast majority, Larson argues that the only way forward is to yank on the emergency break and give capitalism the boot.

Reviews
  • "A field guide to the zany world of the wealthy. Mastering the Universe is like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous for readers who want to eat them"
    —Malcolm Harris, author Palo Alto

    “‘God gave me my money,’ John D. Rockefeller sometimes claimed. For our new Gilded Age, Rob Larson offers an engaging analysis of the billionaire class and where their wealth and power really comes from.”

    —Bhaskar Sunkara, President of The Nation and founding editor Jacobin


    “Not only does Rob Larson skillfully lay out all the facts about our rich—how much money they have, what they do with it, the lies they hire people to tell us, their abuse of nature—he also stokes a refreshing contempt for these vile, often ridiculous people. Energizing!”
    —Doug Henwood, economic journalist and broadcaster

    “Rob Larson's work is not only solidly grounded but also lucid and accessible, a most valuable contribution to public understanding and vitally needed action."
    —Noam Chomsky

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