73 books like The Golden Passport

By Kristin Surak,

Here are 73 books that The Golden Passport fans have personally recommended if you like The Golden Passport. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Billion Dollar Whale

Kimberly Kay Hoang Author Of Spiderweb Capitalism: How Global Elites Exploit Frontier Markets

From my list on global financial elites.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, and I am interested in global capitalism, financial elites, and all aspects of how people broker capital deals. I am a scholar of anti-heroes who studies all of the ways that people play in the gray. My first book, Dealing in Desire, is an ethnography where I embedded myself in several different hostess bars to study the relationship between sex work and financial deal-making. I grew up in California but have lived most of my adult life in Ho Chi Minh City, Houston, Boston, and Chicago. 

Kimberly's book list on global financial elites

Kimberly Kay Hoang Why did Kimberly love this book?

I loved this book because it is such an incredible example of brave journalism that exposes one of the biggest global financial scandals in history. The book outlines an intricate web of corruption involving a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. It draws connections between Malaysia, Singapore, the Middle East, and the United States of America.

I love how they tell the story of an awkward schoolboy who finds a way to make it in with some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities and some of the most reputable financial institutions, like Goldman Sachs. The book also shows who the “fall people” are, who bear all of the criminal risks while the mastermind, Jho Low, has not been caught. 

By Tom Wright, Bradley Hope,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Billion Dollar Whale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 2009, with the dust yet to settle on the financial crisis, a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude was being set into motion. It began in Malaysia and would spread around the world, touching some of the world's leading financial firms, A-list Hollywood celebrities, supermodels, Las Vegas casinos and nightclubs, and even the art world. Now known as the 1MDB affair, the scandal would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system.

Federal agents who helped unravel Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme say the 1MDB affair will become the textbook case of financial fraud in the…


Book cover of Capital without Borders: Wealth Managers and the One Percent

Kimberly Kay Hoang Author Of Spiderweb Capitalism: How Global Elites Exploit Frontier Markets

From my list on global financial elites.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, and I am interested in global capitalism, financial elites, and all aspects of how people broker capital deals. I am a scholar of anti-heroes who studies all of the ways that people play in the gray. My first book, Dealing in Desire, is an ethnography where I embedded myself in several different hostess bars to study the relationship between sex work and financial deal-making. I grew up in California but have lived most of my adult life in Ho Chi Minh City, Houston, Boston, and Chicago. 

Kimberly's book list on global financial elites

Kimberly Kay Hoang Why did Kimberly love this book?

I love this book because it is one of those rare books written by a woman who trained to become a wealth manager in order to tell a story about how the ultra-rich keep getting richer despite taxes on income, capital gains, property, and inheritance. In her groundbreaking investigations, she follows the money of the ultra-wealthy through some of the most popular offshore tax havens. She also interviews wealth managers to shed light on how they help their clients dodge taxes and creditors and hide money from their families. I am in awe of the author's achievement. 

By Brooke Harrington,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Capital without Borders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A timely account of how the 1% holds on to their wealth...Ought to keep wealth managers awake at night."
-Wall Street Journal

"Harrington advises governments seeking to address inequality to focus not only on the rich but also on the professionals who help them game the system."
-Richard Cooper, Foreign Affairs

"An insight unlike any other into how wealth management works."
-Felix Martin, New Statesman

"One of those rare books where you just have to stand back in awe and wonder at the author's achievement...Harrington offers profound insights into the world of the professional people who dedicate their lives to…


Book cover of Red Roulette: An Insider's Story of Wealth, Power, Corruption, and Vengeance in Today's China

Kimberly Kay Hoang Author Of Spiderweb Capitalism: How Global Elites Exploit Frontier Markets

From my list on global financial elites.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, and I am interested in global capitalism, financial elites, and all aspects of how people broker capital deals. I am a scholar of anti-heroes who studies all of the ways that people play in the gray. My first book, Dealing in Desire, is an ethnography where I embedded myself in several different hostess bars to study the relationship between sex work and financial deal-making. I grew up in California but have lived most of my adult life in Ho Chi Minh City, Houston, Boston, and Chicago. 

Kimberly's book list on global financial elites

Kimberly Kay Hoang Why did Kimberly love this book?

I found this book to be a raw act of bravery. Desmond Shum describes his and his ex-wife Whitney Duan’s economic ascendancy in China as they climbed to become part of a billionaire class. Shum describes all of the ways they had to play in the gray in order to successfully execute massive real estate and airport projects. On a personal level, he takes you inside his life as an elite, purchasing expensive homes, vehicles, and art. But just as quickly as they rose, his wife vanished as part of the party’s use of extralegal kidnappings to facilitate investigations into corruption.

This book is one man’s act of bravery in risking everything to tell his story while also implicating himself in corrupt activity. He shows us that charges of corruption must be understood through a political lens with the objective of consolidating power and preserving the legitimacy of the Communist…

By Desmond Shum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Red Roulette as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Billionaire Wilderness: The Ultra-Wealthy and the Remaking of the American West

Kimberly Kay Hoang Author Of Spiderweb Capitalism: How Global Elites Exploit Frontier Markets

From my list on global financial elites.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, and I am interested in global capitalism, financial elites, and all aspects of how people broker capital deals. I am a scholar of anti-heroes who studies all of the ways that people play in the gray. My first book, Dealing in Desire, is an ethnography where I embedded myself in several different hostess bars to study the relationship between sex work and financial deal-making. I grew up in California but have lived most of my adult life in Ho Chi Minh City, Houston, Boston, and Chicago. 

Kimberly's book list on global financial elites

Kimberly Kay Hoang Why did Kimberly love this book?

I loved this book because it takes you inside the exclusive world of the ultra-wealthy within the United States and shows how the richest are exploiting the natural environment in Teton County, Wyoming, to solve personal existential crises.

The author managed to get incredible access to prominent tech CEOs, Wall Street financiers, and other ultra-high-net-worth individuals who have moved to a place where they can profit from their environmental philanthropy while also contributing to ever-widening economic inequality by privatizing public goods. I thought this book provided a fair yet fascinating insight into the contradictions of philanthropy, which allow the rich to donate in ways that absolve themselves from the guilt of the inequality that they contribute to. 

By Justin Farrell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Billionaire Wilderness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A revealing look at the intersection of wealth, philanthropy, and conservation

Billionaire Wilderness takes you inside the exclusive world of the ultra-wealthy, showing how today's richest people are using the natural environment to solve the existential dilemmas they face. Justin Farrell spent five years in Teton County, Wyoming, the richest county in the United States, and a community where income inequality is the worst in the nation. He conducted hundreds of in-depth interviews, gaining unprecedented access to tech CEOs, Wall Street financiers, and other prominent figures in business and politics. He also talked with the rural poor who live among…


Book cover of Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There

Loretta Graziano Breuning Author Of Status Games: Why We Play and How to Stop

From my list on status anxiety.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up around a lot of suffering over status. I didn’t want to suffer, so I kept trying to understand why everyone plays a game that they insist they don’t want to play. I found my answer when I studied evolutionary psychology. This answer really hit home when I watched David Attenborough’s wildlife documentaries. I saw the social rivalry among our mammalian ancestors, and it motivated me to research the biology behind it. I took early retirement from a career as a Professor of Management and started writing books about the brain chemistry we share with earlier mammals. I’m so glad I found my power over my inner mammal!

Loretta's book list on status anxiety

Loretta Graziano Breuning Why did Loretta love this book?

Bourgeois Bohemians sneer at expensive cars, but they spend much more renovating their bathrooms. They are eager to make a statement against consumerism, but they are also eager to let you know how successful they are. I grew up around this thinking, so I love to hear the forbidden thoughts expressed publicly.

Brooks explains the inner conflict of bobos. They feel guilty about their success, so they call attention to their solidarity with the common man. They want to keep achieving, but don’t want to appear that way.

Brooks misses the deeper engine of this inner conflict: all mammals seek status in their herd or pack or troop because it promotes “reproductive success.” Natural selection built a brain that rewards you with serotonin when you raise your status.

By David Brooks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bobos in Paradise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It used to be pretty easy to distinguish between the bourgeois world of capitalism and the bohemian counterculture. The bourgeois worked for corporations, wore grey, and went to church. The bohemians were the artists and intellectuals. Bohemians championed the values of the radical 1960's; bourgeois were the enterprising yuppies of the 1980's. Now the 'bo's' are all mixed up and it is impossible to tell an expresso sipping artist from a cappuccino-gulping banker. In attitudes toward sex, morality, leisure time and work, it is hard to separate the renegade from the company man. The new establishment has combined the countercultural…


Book cover of The Space Between Us

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Author Of Independence

From my list on the many mysteries of India.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer and a professor, I love sharing knowledge of my birth country (India) and the experiences of Indian immigrants in America. My first book, Arranged Marriage, is about the transformed lives of immigrant women and won an American Book Award. Mistress of Spices is about a spice-shop owner who knows magic, was a national bestseller, and became a film. One Amazing Thing is a multicultural novel about nine people trapped by an earthquake, was a Citywide Read in over 25 US cities. Recently, fascinated by the richness of Indian history, I have delved into it in novels like The Last Queen, set in the 1800s, and Independence, set in the 1940s. 

Chitra's book list on the many mysteries of India

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Why did Chitra love this book?

Set in the present-day cosmopolitan city of Mumbai, India, the novel follows the lives of two women: Serabai Dubash, a middle-class widow, and her maidservant, Bhima. The pair experience similar situations in their lives: abuse, the death or absence of a husband, and the longing for a better future. They both have pregnant daughters, a fact that becomes significant as the novel progresses.

This book shows us the difficulties faced by women in Indian society but also their courage. Ultimately it is an upbeat book with great spirit. The plot twist at the end, and the resolution, blew me away. 

By Thrity Umrigar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Space Between Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this beautifully crafted novel about the interlinked lives of two women, Thrity Umrigar explores the complex relationships between the classes in India, rarely addressed in contemporary fiction.

'Bhima is real. She worked in the house I grew up in, year after year, a shadow flitting around our middle-class home, her thin brown hands cleaning furniture she was not allowed to sit on, cooking food she was not allowed to share at the family dining table, dusting the stereo that mainly played American rock and roll, music that was alien and unfamiliar to her, that only reminded her of her…


Book cover of Madresfield

James Peill Author Of The English Country House: New Format

From my list on country houses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved visiting country houses ever since I was a child. There is something unique about the combination of art, architecture, and people. Over my lifetime, I have been privileged to visit all sorts of houses and castles. I used to work at Christie’s and during that time I visited many country houses, some of which were completely private. It was a natural progression when I moved to Goodwood and became the curator of the art collection, enjoying the house as part of my daily life. The view from my office looks out through the columns of the portico, across the park, with the sea glinting in the distance. What could be better?  

James' book list on country houses

James Peill Why did James love this book?

This book takes the reader on a journey back into the mists of time. I was fascinated by how one house can hold so many secrets, that the author, Jane Mulvagh, unravels as she tells her tale. Madresfield was the inspiration for Evelyn Waugh’s famous fictional house Brideshead, although the real story is much more complex and interesting. Inspired by this book, I included Madresfield as one of the ten houses in my own book. 

By Jane Mulvagh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Madresfield as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Madresfield Court is an arrestingly romantic stately home in the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire. It has been continuously owned and lived in by the same family, the Lygons, back to the time of the Domesday Book, and, unusually, remains in the family's hands to this day. Inside, it is a very private, unmistakably English, manor house; a lived-in family home where the bejewelled sits next to the threadbare. The house and the family were the real inspiration for Brideshead Revisited: Evelyn Waugh was a regular visitor, and based his story of the doomed Marchmain family on the Lygons.
Never before…


Book cover of People Like Us

Michael Gross Author Of Rogues' Gallery: The Secret Story of the Lust, Lies, Greed, and Betrayals That Made the Metropolitan Museum of Art

From my list on American High Society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started my career writing about rock music. Rock stars dated models, and I soon started writing about them, too, which led me to cover the fashion world, where I was often seated near the rich and famous at runway shows in London, Paris, Milan, and New York, and began to study them. Thus began years of reading and writing about Society, first for The New York Times and New York magazine, and later in a series of books on the worlds of the rich and the famous. The latest, Flight of the WASP: The Rise, Fall, and Future of America's Original Ruling Class, will be published this fall.  

Michael's book list on American High Society

Michael Gross Why did Michael love this book?

When I was a boy, I dreamed of writing pop fiction. As a young writer in the 1980s, I was riveted by the novels of Dominick Dunne, a former film and TV producer who’d started covering Society as a journalist for Vanity Fair, but also wrote novels where he told the sort of stories that couldn’t get past fact-checkers and libel lawyers. This one is the most trenchant and revealing book ever written about the “Nouvelle Society” of the Reagan years. It’s as delicious as dinner used to be at Le Cirque.

By Dominick Dunne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked People Like Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Before they had Too Much Money, the inhabitants of Dominick Dunne’s glitzy, gossipy New York Times bestselling novels were People Like Us.

The way journalist Gus Bailey tells it, old money is always preferred, but occasionally new money sneaks in–even where it is most unwelcome. After moving from Cincinnati, Elias and Ruby Renthal strike it even richer in New York, turning their millions into billions. It would be impolite for high society to refuse them now. Not to mention disadvantageous. As long as the market is strong, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about–except for those nasty secrets from the past.…


Book cover of When We Lost Our Heads

Molly O'Keefe Author Of The Sunshine Girls

From my list on historical fiction NOT set during World War II.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved historical novels since my mom first read Anne of Green Gables to me as a kid. They are the novels I reach for first and love the most. The creative glimpse into other times and lives is, to me, the most exciting reading experience. I hope you enjoy these books as much as I do. My latest book – The Sunshine Girls is a dual narrative timeline, set in the current day and the 1960s-1980s. 

Molly's book list on historical fiction NOT set during World War II

Molly O'Keefe Why did Molly love this book?

Heather O’Neill is one of my favorite authors. She lives in the nuanced and gritty places in relationships. She also sets her novels in really exciting and different time periods. I could pick any of her books, but her latest is so delicious. When We Lost our Heads is set during the turn of the 19th century in Montreal. It’s about two women from different economic realities and families – who forge a very unlikely, volatile, destructive, and important relationship. It is funny and dark and the time and setting are vital and exciting. 

By Heather O'Neill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When We Lost Our Heads as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Every decent friendship comes with a drop of hatred. But that hatred is like honey in the tea. It makes it addictive.”

Charismatic Marie Antoine is the daughter of the richest man in 19th century Montreal. She has everything she wants, except for a best friend—until clever, scheming Sadie Arnett moves to the neighborhood. Immediately united by their passion and intensity, Marie and Sadie attract and repel each other in ways that thrill them both. Their games soon become tinged with risk, even violence. Forced to separate by the adults around them, they spend years engaged in acts of alternating…


Book cover of Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America

William Watson Author Of Twelve Steps for White America: For a United States of America

From my list on explaining a divided United States of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

My own collusion with white supremacy and anti-Blackness is a lifelong journey I mitigate for my soul’s redemption. I am a Mississippi-born redneck, alcoholic, psychotherapist, San Francisco Bay Area queer, higher education administrator with a Critical Race Theory doctorate. I first learned democracy by watching my Mississippi parents risk their lives and mine in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Three-Fifths Magazine recently published “My First English: The Vernacular of the KKK.” My book, “Twelve Steps for White America” won the BookFest 1st Place Gold Medal for “Society and Social Sciences: Race Culture Class and Religion.” I work to live in a USA where race no longer predicts outcomes. 

William's book list on explaining a divided United States of America

William Watson Why did William love this book?

Heather Richardson is one of our best historians. I love her brilliance, and I love that she knows the material well enough to explain it simply to the novice.

I read her previous book, and this next one didn't disappoint. If I could only read one book on how the USA has come to this, Democracy Awakening would be it. I recommend it for anyone who would finally like to try democracy in a USA where race no longer predicts outcomes!

By Heather Cox Richardson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Democracy Awakening as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

** #4 New York Times bestseller **

In Democracy Awakening, American historian Heather Cox Richardson examines how, over the decades, an elite minority have made war on American ideals. By weaponising language and promoting false history, they are leading Americans into authoritarianism and creating a disaffected population.

Many books tell us what has happened over the last five years. In Democracy Awakening, Richardson wrangles America's meandering and confusing news feed into a coherent story to explain how America got to this perilous point, what we should pay attention to, and what the future of democracy holds.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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