India is the world’s largest democracy, with more than one billion people and an economy expanding faster than China’s. But the rewards of this growth have been far from evenly shared, and the country’s top one percent now own nearly sixty percent of its wealth.
In a new book, The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age, James Crabtree delivers a vivid account of India’s economic transformation and challenges. Weaving personal interviews from the world’s most expensive home together with those from villages and mass political rallies, Crabtree examines India’s crony capitalism and lack of state capacity in what Publisher’s Weekly has called “an invaluable commentary on Indian democracy and the forces that threaten it.” Crabtree joined Joanna Slater in conversation, and Carnegie’s George Perkovich introduced the discussion. A reception followed, and copies of the book were available for purchase.
James Crabtree is an associate professor in practice at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, as well as a senior fellow at the School's Center on Asia and Globalization. Between 2011 and 2016, Crabtree led the Financial Times’ coverage of Indian business as Mumbai bureau chief.
George Perkovich is the Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini chair and vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, overseeing the Technology and International Affairs Program, the Nuclear Policy Program, and the South Asia Program.
Joanna Slater is the incoming India bureau chief for the Washington Post. Prior to joining the Post, she was an award-winning foreign correspondent for the Toronto Globe and Mail.