Book Review: THE RICH: From Slaves to Super Yachts, A 2000 Year Old History

October 15, 2018


"The Rich bursts with fascinating details about the lives of a colorful cast of ultra-wealthy characters . . . a sweeping narrative that traces a lineage from the majesty of earlier ages to the oligarchs and tycoons of the present-day" - Financial Times

Author: John Kempefner

Genre: Biography

Year of Release: 2015

Pages: 480

Related Books: Think & grow rich, How Rich  People Think


John Kempefner is former CEO of Creative Industries Federation(organization for all UK arts, creative industries, and cultural education)

The Rich is a rare collection of the most prosperous people mankind ever saw. In its 2000 years of existence, every era produced its own jewel. From Akenaten to Mark Zukerberg, every personality has some defining traits that made them different, superiorly different.
Kempner's book travels across centuries, country and cultures. The reader observes the extravaganza  & gold obsession of Mansa Musa, emperor of Mali. His famous trip to Hajj, where the path of his chariot was covered with gold. Then we see German industrial magnet, Alfred Krupp employing more than fifty thousand people under him. 
One of the interesting chapters is the comparison of Akhenaten and Louis XIV. Both used 'Sun' as the metaphor of their rule. As gold resembles the sun, so the person with the highest quantity was a natural ruler. 
The range of figures described culminate in more recognizable & more modern characters such as silicon valley geeks, bankers, etc.
The biographies described such as Musa, Crassius of Rome, Alfred Krupp, Louis XIV, oil industry players, bankers, technological giants I can conclude that these people who reached the pinnacle of their era because their work, authority rather say complete life influenced maximum people.
For example, Alfred Krupp designed the life of his workers, cradle to grave, kind upbringing they will have, kind of jobs they will get, their carrier growth, retirement. Making them dependent on his system.

I made this diagram to make readers more clear. Consider green square as rich or influential people. The red oval is the system created by them, the majority of the world lives here, struggles here, and dies here. The green people create fear in minds of red people from their education system, job structures, and so on that outside this red oval, life is very tough and it is almost impossible to survive. The black square is our real-world enjoyed by a few selected people and most people remain unaware of it.


  1. Your blog/review of this book emphasis that rulling people who always less in number creat terror on mass. And one must understand that such system is inherited from past number of santuaries. Your idea and thought is praiseworthy.


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