Billionaires: The Lives of the Rich and Powerful

Amazon has touched everybody in the civilized world. We are all guilty of driving this juggernaut to what it is today. We want everything to be delivered as of yesterday. We made Jeff Bezos a multi-billionaire on the backs of warehouse slave labor. Darryl Cunningham’s Billionaires: The Lives of the Rich and Powerful exams Jeff Bezos, Rupert Murdoch, and the Koch Brothers’ greedy rise to the top capitalism and corruption. I have my concerns with Darryl selling his book on Amazon. It sort of defeats the purpose. Other companies are copying the Amazon model at some level in their work environments. More and more people are bringing home less money with models such as this. Warehouse work is booming and so are bad working conditions. Our insatiable demand for shiny new things is a continuous wheel that will drive up the wealth of other companies to Amazon. Darryl Cunningham’s Billionaires: The Lives of the Rich and Powerful depicts a very grim reality of capitalism going off the rails.

“This excerpt begins with the journalist James Bloodworth finding a bottle of urine among the shelves of an Amazon warehouse he worked at. Workers often didn’t take breaks because they feared punishment if they missed production targets. Amazon has vehemently denied that such a thing could happen in their warehouses, yet it did, and much worse continues to happen in the authoritarian conditions they have created. 

This is a crucial time for the multi-trillion dollar company as votes are currently being counted in an election to determine whether warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama will form a union. If the workers are successful, it will be a tiny but significant victory by working people against the billionaire class who otherwise run everything.”

Darryl Cunningham is the cartoonist of five non-fiction books, including Billionaires: The Lives of the Rich and Powerful, which profiles Jeff Bezos, Rupert Murdoch, and the Koch Brothers in a “witty and brutal critique of capitalism and corruption” (Publishers Weekly). His comics explore subjects as diverse as mental health, science, economics, and politics. Cunningham has given talks at the London School of Economics and the City of Arts and Lights, Valencia. In 2015 he was one of 30 world-renowned photographers, painters, sculptors, writers, filmmakers and musicians who were invited to contribute to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Art of Saving a Life project, to promote vaccination in the developing world. In 2018 he was awarded an Honorary Degree of Master of Arts from Leeds Arts University. Cunningham lives in the United Kingdom.