Eat the Rich

PJ O’Rourke’s Eat the Rich is a fantastic example of academic writing. My sister needed it for her college-level macroeconomics class, and I picked it up for fun. Eat the Rich, if you’ll pardon the pun, is delectable to read. Not only that, it’s lots of fun to read. “Academic reading” and “fun” don’t usually come together in a sentence unless separated by “not”. But it reads like a dictation of a comedy routine/[Activity] for Dummies book.

“I had one fundamental question about economics: Why do some places prosper and thrive while others just suck? It’s not a matter of brains. No part of the earth (with the possible exception of Brentwood) is dumber than Beverly Hills, and the residents are wading in gravy. In Russia, meanwhile, where chess is a spectator sport, they’re boiling stones for soup. Nor can education be the reason. Fourth graders in the American school system know what a condom is but aren’t sure about 9 x 7. Natural resources aren’t the answer. Africa has diamonds, gold, uranium, you name it. Scandinavia has little and is frozen besides. Maybe culture is the key, but wealthy regions such as the local mall are famous for lacking it.”

  • Chapter 1 Love, Death, and Money



One thought on “Eat the Rich

  1. (Kaitlyn) This book sounds like a good book to read as a commentary of our own daily lives. I wonder how the implications of this book would relate to the state of economics in theatre. The quote you mentioned examines the question, with examples, about why some countries prosper while others fail. I’m curious, if we read the book, if anything it mentions could relate to why some theatres prosper economically and others don’t. Also it would be interesting to look at the relation (this is not exactly related to the book but it could be a starting point) of just how much economic success determines or relates to a theatre’s artistic success.


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