The book was published in 2007 by the journalist Joe Studwell and is a review of Southeast Asia’s dominant families. At the time, 13 of the world’s 50 richest families were from Southeast Asia – disproportionately many in relation to the region’s overall economy. The main thesis is that the Southeast Asian godfathers (Southeast Asian oligarchs) exploit political inefficiencies and operate in comfortable domestic markets that are free from global competition. In this way, they have built up great fortunes.
A summary / brief of the book can be read here.