THE RICH AND THE SUPER-RICH by Ferdinand Lundberg

THE RICH AND THE SUPER-RICH

KIRKUS REVIEW

Mr. Lundberg wrote America's Sixty Families back in 1936, an archetypal expose at the time, and this is a truly inflationary continuation-extension thereof, some 750 pages. In a sprawling, pugnacious. Procrustean fashion, Mr. Lundberg contends that the concentration of great wealth still resides in a few hands which accordingly, and reciprocally, control the social, economic and political power of the country. To a degree, no argument. But Mr. Lundberg is not only a sloppy writer, he is also misleading: he will, for instance, use a more convenient 1957 teacher's salary figure ($3000) or a 1960 election statistic to make a point which may no longer have any currency. Entrammeled in a style which too has seen better days, there are many socio-political statements one cannot take on faith: on the one hand he will claim that our intellectual elite is vastly underpaid, on the other argue that they are dollar greedy and no longer available to handle ""problem"" areas. The first part is an examination of Fortune's 35 multimillion dollar names (which he refers to as 34) and the later Time assemblage of new millionaires (he claims as older ones). He examines at length the holdings of the real super-rich then and now; shows that via corporations, private clubs, etc. they form the national elite; inveighs against our system of taxation--a ""swindle""--which it is not although it is loaded in favor of the loaded. . . against the foundations. . . the corporation executives. . . the political arena where ""money is the big grease"". . . the Rockefeller empire. . . the lack of creativity and constructiveness of the rich (they're not motivated) etc. etc. His sources are formidable and this is footnoted, from government publications to academic studies to the media whether The Nation or the Wall Street Journal. The publishers will promote it strongly and although the book capitalizes on the inherent interest of the subject, one questions whether the ""sheltered reader"" will want to be enlightened so disputatiously while the more informed will be right up there at the ropes.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1968
Publisher: Lyle Stuart