Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Seven notable robber barons from film & fiction

"They used to be called robber barons. Now we call them one percenters," writes novelist Alan Glynn at The Daily Beast. "They’re the preposterously rich, and they got that way by casually crushing the hopes and dreams of the little guy. For each one of them, there are 99 of us, but that doesn’t matter—because they have all the moolah and they control everything."

Glynn tagged seven of the more infamous one percenters in film and fiction.

One entry on his list:
[One] great Victorian one percenter is Augustus Melmotte, the financial speculator in Anthony Trollope’s novel The Way We Live Now (1875). Melmotte seduces London high society with his promise of a new railway system running from Salt Lake City to the Gulf of Mexico, but the project never materializes and the financier is revealed as a fraud. Today, comparisons are sometimes drawn between Trollope’s Melmotte and Bernie Madoff.
Read about the other one percenters on the list.

The Way We Live Now is on John Mullan's list of ten of the best scenes on London Underground.

--Marshal Zeringue