What The Rich Don’t Tell The Poor
Minimum price
Suggested price

What The Rich Don’t Tell The Poor

Conversations with Guatemalan Oligarchs

About the Book

How does oligarchic power work in practice?

In this fascinating and original study of Guatemala’s economic elite or ‘oligarchy,’ Roman Krznaric explores the inner workings of the country’s wealthy business sector and how they have maintained power and privilege in the face of change. Based on extensive personal interviews, What The Rich Don’t Tell The Poor reveals the oligarchs speaking candidly in their own words on issues ranging from political violence and civil war to race and inequality. The result is a pathbreaking work of political and sociological analysis that offers unique insights into the global phenomenon of oligarchic power.

What The Rich Don’t Tell The Poor was written in 2006 and is now published for the first time in its original version. As Krznaric writes in a new 2022 preface to the book, although much has changed in Guatemala in the intervening years, the oligarchy remains a formidable and largely unchallenged economic and political force.

Praise for Roman Krznaric’s previous books

A fascinating rattlebag of intelligent, stimulating essays

Financial Times

Krznaric’s seamless and magical prose delights on every page

Professor Tim Jackson

Krznaric writes with passion and lucidity

Wall Street Journal

A unique combination of teaching, storytelling and practical action

Professor Brené Brown

  • Share this book

  • Categories

    • History
    • Antiracism
    • Creative Non-Fiction
    • Culture
    • Equality
    • Finance
    • Inclusion
    • Investment
    • Memoir
    • Politics
    • Regional
    • Social Equity
    • Social Justice
  • Feedback

    Contact the Author(s)

About the Author

Roman Krznaric
Roman Krznaric

Roman Krznaric is a public philosopher and former political scientist who writes about the power of ideas to change society. His bestselling books such as The Good Ancestor and Empathy have been published in more than twenty languages. Roman studied at the universities of Oxford, London and Essex, where he wrote his PhD on the Guatemalan oligarchy, and taught politics and Latin American Studies at the universities of Cambridge, Essex and City University, London. He is currently a Research Fellow of the Long Now Foundation and a member of the Club of Rome.


Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • 1. Introduction: Conversations with the Oligarchs
  • 2. What You Should Know Before You Meet Them
  • 3. How to Be an Oligarch
  • 4. How They Remember the Civil War
  • 5. Why They Are Obsessed with the Land
  • 6. How They Get Their Own Way in Politics
  • 7. Why They Are Scared and Want to Live Alone
  • 8. Why it is Getting Harder to Control the Economy
  • 9. How to Create New Conversations
  • References
  • Appendix A: List of Interviewees
  • Appendix B: Timeline of Guatemalan History
  • Appendix C: Oligarchic Families in the Twentieth Century
  • Acronyms
  • Acknowledgements
  • About the Author

The Leanpub 60 Day 100% Happiness Guarantee

Within 60 days of purchase you can get a 100% refund on any Leanpub purchase, in two clicks.

Now, this is technically risky for us, since you'll have the book or course files either way. But we're so confident in our products and services, and in our authors and readers, that we're happy to offer a full money back guarantee for everything we sell.

You can only find out how good something is by trying it, and because of our 100% money back guarantee there's literally no risk to do so!

So, there's no reason not to click the Add to Cart button, is there?

See full terms...

80% Royalties. Earn $16 on a $20 book.

We pay 80% royalties. That's not a typo: you earn $16 on a $20 sale. If we sell 5000 non-refunded copies of your book or course for $20, you'll earn $80,000.

(Yes, some authors have already earned much more than that on Leanpub.)

In fact, authors have earnedover $13 millionwriting, publishing and selling on Leanpub.

Learn more about writing on Leanpub

Free Updates. DRM Free.

If you buy a Leanpub book, you get free updates for as long as the author updates the book! Many authors use Leanpub to publish their books in-progress, while they are writing them. All readers get free updates, regardless of when they bought the book or how much they paid (including free).

Most Leanpub books are available in PDF (for computers) and EPUB (for phones, tablets and Kindle). The formats that a book includes are shown at the top right corner of this page.

Finally, Leanpub books don't have any DRM copy-protection nonsense, so you can easily read them on any supported device.

Learn more about Leanpub's ebook formats and where to read them

Write and Publish on Leanpub

You can use Leanpub to easily write, publish and sell in-progress and completed ebooks and online courses!

Leanpub is a powerful platform for serious authors, combining a simple, elegant writing and publishing workflow with a store focused on selling in-progress ebooks.

Leanpub is a magical typewriter for authors: just write in plain text, and to publish your ebook, just click a button. (Or, if you are producing your ebook your own way, you can even upload your own PDF and/or EPUB files and then publish with one click!) It really is that easy.

Learn more about writing on Leanpub