Billionaire Wilderness: The Ultra-Wealthy and the Remaking of the American West (Hardback)Justin Farrell (author)
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A revealing look at the intersection of wealth, philanthropy, and conservation
Billionaire Wilderness takes you inside the exclusive world of the ultra-wealthy, showing how today's richest people are using the natural environment to solve the existential dilemmas they face. Justin Farrell spent five years in Teton County, Wyoming, the richest county in the United States, and a community where income inequality is the worst in the nation. He conducted hundreds of in-depth interviews, gaining unprecedented access to tech CEOs, Wall Street financiers, oil magnates, and other prominent figures in business and politics. He also talked with the rural poor who live among the ultra-wealthy and often work for them. The result is a penetrating account of the far-reaching consequences of the massive accrual of wealth, and an eye-opening and sometimes troubling portrait of a changing American West where romanticizing rural poverty and conserving nature can be lucrative-socially as well as financially.
Weaving unforgettable storytelling with thought-provoking analysis, Billionaire Wilderness reveals how the ultra-wealthy are buying up the land and leveraging one of the most pristine ecosystems in the world to climb even higher on the socioeconomic ladder. The affluent of Teton County are people burdened by stigmas, guilt, and status anxiety-and they appropriate nature and rural people to create more virtuous and deserving versions of themselves. Incisive and compelling, Billionaire Wilderness reveals the hidden connections between wealth concentration and the environment, two of the most pressing and contentious issues of our time.
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Number of pages: 392
Dimensions: 235 x 155 mm
"I just ordered the book Billionaire Wilderness: The Ultra-Wealthy and the Remaking of the American West, on the strength of a recommendation by an architect friend who builds homes for the elite in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I'm only a chapter in, but I'm already fascinated by how conservation can become a way to salve guilt."---Rana Foroohar, Financial Times
"The real stories billionaires tell themselves to justify their wealth." * Medium *
"One of the most fascinating and important portraits of modern American life."---Dylan Schleicher, Porchlight
"One of Amazon's Best Books of 2020 in Business and Leadership"
"Eye-opening . . . a great read for anyone interested in the intersection of conservation and inequality in the West."---Jennifer Weeks, Society of Environmental Journalists
"This is the sort of book you didn't know you needed until after you pick it up."---Ryan Driskell Tate, Los Angeles Review of Books
"Clearly outlines the roots of the problems: policy, western mythologies, tax breaks, and selfishness."---Heather Hansman, Outside Magazine
"Excellent and inspiring."---Nathan Deuel, Los Angeles Times
"[Justin] Farrell (Yale Univ.) renders a picture of how the ultra wealthy live, protect their wealth, and handle the stigma associated with being unbelievably rich. . . . Highly recommended." * Choice *
"Farrell has done a massive amount of research in this absorbing study of the ultra-rich and their effect on the community."---Sandra Dallas, Denver Post
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