Power, Inc. by David Rothkopf
The Epic Rivalry Between Big Business and Government- —and the Reckoning That Lies Ahead

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Synopsis

The world’s largest company, Wal-Mart Stores, has revenues higher than the GDP of all but twenty-five of the world’s countries. Its employees outnumber the populations of almost a hundred nations. The world’s largest asset manager, a secretive New York company called Black Rock, controls assets greater than the national reserves of any country on the planet. A private philanthropy, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, spends as much worldwide on health care as the World Health Organization.  

The rise of private power may be the most important and least understood trend of our time. David Rothkopf provides a fresh, timely look at how we have reached a point where thousands of companies have greater power than all but a handful of states. Beginning with the story of an inquisitive Swedish goat wandering off from his master and inadvertently triggering the birth of the oldest company still in existence, Power, Inc. follows the rise and fall of kings and empires, the making of great fortunes, and the chaos of bloody revolutions. A fast-paced tale in which champions of liberty are revealed to be paid pamphleteers of moneyed interests and greedy scoundrels trigger changes that lift billions from deprivation, Power, Inc. traces the bruising jockeying for influence right up to today’s financial crises, growing inequality, broken international system, and battles over the proper role of government and markets.

Rothkopf argues that these recent developments, coupled with the rise of powers like China and India, may not lead to the triumph of American capitalism that was celebrated just a few years ago. Instead, he considers an unexpected scenario, a contest among competing capitalisms offering different visions for how the world should work, a global ideological struggle in which European and Asian models may have advantages. An important look at the power struggle that is defining our times, Power, Inc. also offers critical insights into how to navigate the tumultuous years ahead.

 

About David Rothkopf

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David Rothkopf is the internationally acclaimed author of Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making and Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power. He is the president and chief executive of Garten Rothkopf, an international advisory firm, and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and CEO and Editor-at-Large of the FP Group, publishers of Foreign Policy Magazine.
 
Published February 28, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 449 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Power, Inc.

Kirkus Reviews

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In Rothkopf's view, the world has shifted from a “battle between capitalism and Communism to something even more complex: a battle between differing forms of capitalism in which the distinction between each is in the relative role and responsibilities of public and private sectors.” The extremes ...

Jan 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry...

Publishers Weekly

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Books on world elites tend to focus on the superwealthy, but political scholar Rothkopf (Running the World ) has written a serious and eminently readable evaluation of the superpowerful.

Jan 07 2008 | Read Full Review of Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry...

Publishers Weekly

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Working from misleading comparisons of corporate sales and workforces to national GDP and populations, Rothkopf overhypes the degree to which corporations have supplanted the “post-sovereign” state.

Nov 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry...

Huffington Post

One sentence, in particular, sums up this criticism: "At the same time that professional American athletes were using steroids to pump themselves up to cartoonish dimensions, American business-people were blazing new trails in excess and using their unprecedented wealth to gain new license to beh...

Mar 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry...

The Roanoke Times

He portrays a gradual but inexorable growth in corporate assets and political power over the centuries, versus a declining counterbalance of government influence, especially among the smaller and weaker national entities that he calls “semi-states.” In contrast, the powerful mega-companies are du...

Mar 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry...

Business Week

Stora Kopparberg, the business established in 1288 to mine for copper in the hills above Falun, still exists, making it the “oldest continuously operating corporation in the world.” Except now it specializes in paper products instead of copper, has offices in 35 countries, and boasts “annual sale...

Mar 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry...

New America Foundation / Slate

Stora Kopparberg, the business established in 1288 to mine for copper in the hills above Falun, still exists, making it the “oldest continuously operating corporation in the world.” Except now it specializes in paper products instead of copper, has offices in 35 countries, and boasts “annual sale...

Mar 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry...

Rothkopf examines the conflict between private and public power (big business and go

Dec 06 2012 | Read Full Review of Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry...

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