Wealth Secrets of the One Percent
A Modern Manual to Getting Marvelously, Obscenely Rich
by Sam Wilkin
Little, Brown and Company
430 pages, Illustrated
Book Review by Kam Williams
“Let us assume, dear reader, that you are interested in... obtaining a vast fortune... a fortune of yachts and personal helicopters, of diamond-encrusted light fixtures, of stately homes and private islands, of your name emblazoned upon landmark buildings and a charitable foundation... a fortune in the billions.
If such a fortune were your goal, how might you set about obtaining it? That is the question this book seeks to answer... by researching the relatively small number of people throughout history who have become staggeringly wealthy and the methods that they have used to do so...
These narratives of success will demonstrate why it makes sense both to celebrate... and condemn... the wealth accumulated over the past decade by a fortunate few. And, more importantly, how you can join them.”
-- Excerpted from the Introduction (Pages 1-5)
Donald Trump continues to maintain a comfortable lead in the Republican presidential nomination sweepstakes, regardless of what outrageous comments he makes. And, unlike Mitt Romney who tried to play down his wealth, “The Donald” is a narcissist who loves to flaunt the fact that he's a billionaire.
How do you explain Trump's popularity? Perhaps America is entering another hedonistic cycle similar to the one back in the Eighties when the country embraced the credo “Greed is good!” as espoused by the character Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street.
If you'd like to be among the big winners this time around, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Wealth Secrets of the One Percent: A Modern Manual to Getting Marvelously, Obscenely Rich. The book was written by economist Sam Wilkin who studied the habits of highly effective tycoons from antiquity to the present.
His comprehensive opus examines the affluent of many an era, including the Roman Empire, the robber barons of the 19th Century, the Forbes 400 Lists of the 20th Century, and the “too big to fail” bankers condemned as corrupt by the 21st Century's Occupy Wall Street
movement..Before you start salivating at the prospect of accumulating wealth beyond your wildest dreams, you might want to consider the fact that the path to the top has often been paved with unscrupulous behavior.
For example, the filthy rich Romans maintained their competitive advantage over the masses by keeping most of their subjects illiterate and/or enslaved. As the book works its way to the present, we also learn about the compromised ethics of this or that icon: Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, and so forth.
Thus, the secrets revealed in the final chapter come as no surprise after repeatedly reading about advantage achieved via bribery, monopolies and other deals with the devil. Prosperity indicted as a reward reserved for the ruthless.
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