An investigative journalist uncovers the murky, scandalous world of Brazil's billionaires
Alex Cuadros is a freelance journalist and writer based in New York. He spent six years living in S.o Paulo and has written for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post and Bloomberg, where he was a dedicated 'billionaires reporter'. This is his first book.
There is no way to understand Brazil, the world's fifth largest country, without understanding how a handful of billionaires shape the country's politics, media and economy. With his profound insights and deep reporting, Alex Cuadros is an indispensable voice in telling this story of excess, corruption and a society torn between hope and turmoil. -- Glenn Greenwald * Intercept * A wild, richly reported tale about Brazil's recent economic rise and fall, and some of the biggest, most colorful characters in business in Brazil who now have a global reach -- Andrew Ross Sorkin * The New York Times * In this excellent book (Cuadros) has managed to use billionaires to illuminate the lives of both rich and poor Brazilians, and all those in between. * Economist * Brazil's shocking rise and even more shocking fall is one of the biggest stories of our young century. Alex Cuadros tells it through the stories of its billionaires - whose genius, hubris and (in some cases) utter folly come through in vivid, human detail throughout this book. -- Brian Winter, author of The Accidental President of Brazil Brazillionaires is an essential guide to understanding modern Brazil, its ups and downs, its flaws and lasting allure. But what makes it exceptional is how Cuadros uses insights into how a particular set of exceptionally wealth individuals in a particular historical context made money to ask a broader question: why? What drives them? How are they different from the rest of us - or are they? This turns this unique feat of reportage into something even more fascinating: an exploration of wealth, what fuels our desire for it, and how it transforms us. -- Juliana Barbassa, author of Dancing with the Devil in the City of God Alex Cuadros has written a splendidly original book. Brazillionaires gets into the heart and soul of present-day Brazil through the fascinatingly operatic lives of its billionaires, while also explaining the country's unresolved battles in overcoming poverty, corruption, racism, and a great deal more. Written with verve, as well as a merciless eye for the truth, Brazillionaires is as engaging as it is timely. -- Jon Lee Anderson, author of Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life The lunatic, insular world of Brazil's ultra-rich is opened up for scrutiny in Brazillionaires. Alex Cuadros's skillful reportage and vivid prose illuminate the ideology of the some of the richest people anywhere, providing a meditation on the meaning of wealth and inequality not only in Brazil but in the United States and around the world. -- Kim Phillips-Fein, author of Invisible Hands: The Businessmen's Crusade against the New Deal Brazillionaires should be required reading for anyone seeking to understand Brazil's one per cent - the billionaires who wield so much influence in Latin America's richest country. Cuadros, a diligent and gifted reporter, does not shy away from asking tough questions as he digs deep into the country's economic and social history to chronicle how these outback entrepreneurs got rich in the first place, and how they continue to support the culture of corruption that has led to Brazil's most recent implosion. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop. -- Isabel Vincent, author of Gilded Lily: Lily Safra, The Making of One of the World's Wealthiest Widows Not only does Brazillionaires provide a perceptive and entertaining look into the rarified world of Brazil's super wealthy elite, it also opens a window of insight into an utterly bewitching land of stark contrasts and colossal dimensions. From the grit of the Amazon rainforest to the lilting laughter of cocktail parties in the penthouse condos of Sao Paulo, Alex Cuadros brings all his journalistic and storytelling talents to bear in this important and highly readable book. -- Scott Wallace, author of The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribes An incisive and entertaining romp through the follies of Brazilian wealth, power and hubris. * Bloomberg View *