In Billionaires: The Lives of the Rich and Powerful, Darryl Cunningham offers an illuminating analysis of the origins and ideological evolutions of four key players in the American private sector—Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and oil and gas tycoons Charles and David Koch. What emerges is a vital critique of American capitalism and the power these individuals have to assert a corrupting influence on policy-making, political campaigns, and society writ large.
Cunningham focuses on a central question: Can the world afford to have a tiny global elite squander resources and hold unprecedented political influence over the rest of us? The answer is detailed through hearty research, common sense reasoning, and astute comedic timing. Billionaires reveals how the fetishized free market operates in direct opposition with the health of our planet and needs of the most vulnerable—how Murdoch’s media mergers facilitated his war-mongering, how Amazon’s litigiousness and predatory acquisitions made them “The Everything Store,” and how the Kochs’ father’s refineries literally fueled Nazi Germany.
In criticizing the uncontrolled reach of power by Rupert Murdoch (in fueling the far right), the Koch Brothers (in advocating for climate change denial), and Jeff Bezos (in creating unsafe working conditions), Cunningham speaks truth to power. Billionaires ends by suggesting alternatives for a safer and more just society.
"If you want to know why the world is such a mess, Darryl Cunningham provides a gripping and necessary briefing. His graphic novel Billionaires is some of the best comics journalism I’ve ever read. Cunningham manages to distill a tremendous amount of essential facts about some of the most dangerous and destructive people on earth, information made indelible by his low-key, acerbic cartooning. The drawings are remarkable, varied, and always on point."—Jeet Heer, National Affairs Correspondent at The Nation
“It can take other authors whole books to say what Darryl can say in a single illustration.”—Jon Ronson, The Psychopath Test
“Tremendously well researched . . . I’m always in awe of the amount of information that Darryl manages to pack in to every one of his comic books.”—Robin Ince, BBC’s The Infinite Monkey Cage
"Cunningham’s comics journalism skills are unassailable. He has a gift for making the grotesque and unpalatable weirdly pleasurable. I was appalled and riveted and even amused throughout. Get this book, but for god’s sake get it from an independent bookstore. No One-Clicking, please."—Robert Kirby, The Comics Journal
"A witty but brutal critique of capitalism and corruption."—Publishers Weekly