An embarrassment of riches
Three new books take various looks at just how the rich are different from the rest of us.
The Coat Route: Craft, Luxury and Obsession on the Trail of a $50,000 Coat (Spiegel & Grau) by Meg Lukens Noonan follows the making of a bespoke overcoat from its material sources (Peru, Italy, France, England) to its tailor in Australia and its owner in Canada.
Crazy Rich: Power, Scandal, and Tragedy Inside the Johnson & Johnson Dynasty (St. Martin's Press) by Jerry Oppenheimer dishes the dirt on several generations of heirs to the Band-Aid and baby powder fortune, cataloging drug abuse, sexual aberrations, family feuds and suicides in the "most dysfunctional family in the Fortune 500."
How Much Is Enough? Money and the Good Life (Other Press) by Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky takes a scholarly look at modern economics, focusing on how new and strange (in terms of history) the emphasis on amassing wealth is, and calling for an ethical approach to economics.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor