The Natural History of the Rich by Richard Conniff
A Field Guide

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A tantalizing, droll study of the idiosyncratic existence of the very rich, through the unexpected lens of the naturalist.

Journalist Richard Conniff probes the age-old question "Are the rich different from you and me?" and finds that they are indeed a completely different animal. He observes with great humor and finesse this socially unique species, revealing their strategies for ensuring dominance and submission, their flourishes of display behavior, the intricate dynamics of their pecking order, as well as their unorthodox mating practices. Through comparisons to other equally exotic animals, Conniff uncovers surprising commonalities.

• How did Bill Gates achieve his single greatest act of social dominance by being nice? • How does the flattery of the rich resemble the grooming behavior of baboons? • What made the British aristocracy the single most successful animal dominance hierarchy in the history of the planet? • How does Old Money's disdain for the nouveaux riches resemble the pig-grunting of mountain gorillas?

This marvelously entertaining field guide captures in vivid detail the behaviors and habitats of the world's most captivating yet elusive animal.

About Richard Conniff

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Richard Coniff, a Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the National Magazine Award, writes for Smithsonian and National Geographic and is a frequent commentator on NPR's All Things Considered and a guest columnist for the New York Times. His books include The Natural History of the Rich, Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time, and The Species Seekers. He lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut.
Published October 17, 2003 by W. W. Norton & Company. 353 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Benevolent pro bono show-offs are much like simian bonobo show-offs, but the human alphas outdo their animal cousins when it comes to hoarding in a world where “more” always beats “enough, already.” The author surpasses Veblen in his analysis of the habits of the seriously affluent in matters of ...

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The Guardian

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The Natural History of the Rich: A Field Guide by Richard Conniff 320pp, Heinemann, £16.99.

May 16 2003 | Read Full Review of The Natural History of the Ri...

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