The rich are not like us. Great wealth brings both power and immunity, a pairing that opens a yawning moral abyss at the feet of the world’s billionaires.
Carlos Slim is one of eight people whose combined wealth equals that of the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. A businessman who dominates telecoms and global real estate, and a major shareholder of the New York Times, Slim exerts a degree of power in Mexico unmatched by any politician.
The biography of Carlos Slim, one of the richest people of all time, is a case study in the ethical and psychological effects of extraordinary wealth. Not just the tale of the first man from a developing country ever to reach the top of the Forbes list of billionaires, it presents a living embodiment of the financial mentality of our time, a man who mistrusts politicians and believes the market to be the answer to everything—even corruption. In short, Slim’s story is that of Latin America’s last half century and indeed the wider world.
After years of thorough investigation, Diego Osorno has produced an extraordinary portrait detailing the effects of great wealth. His time with Slim forces Osorno to pose an age-old question: What does it profit a man if he gains the world and loses his own soul?
“One of the world’s best reporters tells the story of Carlos Slim, Mexico’s richest person, and the first from a developing country to make it to the top of the Forbes list. Osorno tells a remarkable tale of how the child of Lebanese immigrants slowly put together an empire that stretches from airlines to telecoms and health care.”
“Piercing the veil of secrecy surrounding one of world’s richest and most private businessmen was never going to be straightforward. In the end it took eight years, more than one hundred interviews, four hundred rejections, and oodles of patience to write the most comprehensive biography of Carlos Slim to date.”
“After years of investigative journalism with access to confidential files and more than a hundred interviews, Diego Osorno condenses all the details of life that made Carlos Slim the richest billionaire in the world … This book includes the truth about the political, social and historical influence of the entrepreneur with his direct testimony and anecdotes about his peculiar financial maneuvers.”
“Sophisticated in some things, simple in others, proactive in certain subjects and puerile elsewhere, cosmopolitan and also deeply provincial—a multifaceted portrait emerges from this unforgettable book. Throughout the book, Diego Osorno does not condemn nor glorify but he does expose … This book will lead to an essential discussion about how Mexico creates Slim-style billionaires, about inequality, about influence, about business ethics. And about the legacy of a man with a fortune of $77.1 billion.”