Fortune s Children

Author: Arthur T. Vanderbilt
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780688103866
Release Date: 1991-02-20
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Vanderbilt: the very name signifies wealth. The family patriarch, "the Commodore," built up a fortune that made him the world's richest man by 1877. Yet, less than fifty years after the Commodore's death, one of his direct descendants died penniless, and no Vanderbilt was counted among the world's richest people. Fortune's Children tells the dramatic story of all the amazingly colorful spenders who dissipated such a vast inheritance.

Fortune s Children

Author: Arthur T. Vanderbilt
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN: 0062224069
Release Date: 2012-12-26
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Vanderbilt: the very name signifies wealth. The family patriarch, "the Commodore," built up a fortune that made him the world's richest man by 1877. Yet, less than fifty years after the Commodore's death, one of his direct descendants died penniless, and no Vanderbilt was counted among the world's richest people. Fortune's Children tells the dramatic story of all the amazingly colorful spenders who dissipated such a vast inheritance.

The Last Castle

Author: Denise Kiernan
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781476794068
Release Date: 2017-09-26
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A New York Times bestseller with an "engaging narrative and array of detail” (The Wall Street Journal), the “intimate and sweeping” (Raleigh News & Observer) untold, true story behind the Biltmore Estate—the largest, grandest private residence in North America, which has seen more than 120 years of history pass by its front door. The story of Biltmore spans World Wars, the Jazz Age, the Depression, and generations of the famous Vanderbilt family, and features a captivating cast of real-life characters including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. Orphaned at a young age, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser claimed lineage from one of New York’s best known families. She grew up in Newport and Paris, and her engagement and marriage to George Vanderbilt was one of the most watched events of Gilded Age society. But none of this prepared her to be mistress of Biltmore House. Before their marriage, the wealthy and bookish Vanderbilt had dedicated his life to creating a spectacular European-style estate on 125,000 acres of North Carolina wilderness. He summoned the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to tame the grounds, collaborated with celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to build a 175,000-square-foot chateau, filled it with priceless art and antiques, and erected a charming village beyond the gates. Newlywed Edith was now mistress of an estate nearly three times the size of Washington, DC and benefactress of the village and surrounding rural area. When fortunes shifted and changing times threatened her family, her home, and her community, it was up to Edith to save Biltmore—and secure the future of the region and her husband’s legacy. This is the fascinating, “soaring and gorgeous” (Karen Abbott) story of how the largest house in America flourished, faltered, and ultimately endured to this day.

When the Astors Owned New York

Author: Justin Kaplan
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101218819
Release Date: 2006-06-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

In this marvelous anecdotal history, Justin Kaplan––Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Mark Twain––vividly brings to life a glittering, bygone age. Endowed with the largest private fortunes of their day, cousins John Jacob Astor IV and William Waldorf Astor vied for primacy in New York society, producing the grandest hotels ever seen in a marriage of ostentation and efficiency that transformed American social behavior. Kaplan exposes it all in exquisite detail, taking readers from the 1890s to the Roaring Twenties in a combination of biography, history, architectural appreciation, and pure reading pleasure

Queen of the Golden Age

Author: Cornelius Vanderbilt
Publisher:
ISBN: STANFORD:36105041341962
Release Date: 1956
Genre:

Biography of the author's mother, reconstructing the opulent era she dominated, and the historic Vanderbilt feud.

Lady on the Hill

Author: Howard E. Covington
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Incorporated
ISBN: 0471758183
Release Date: 2006-03-10
Genre: Travel

Lady on the Hill tells the inspiring story of the thirty-five-year effort to restore this fading beauty to her former glory--all without a penny of government funding or outside foundation grants. Central to this true-life tale of rebirth against the odds is George Vanderbilt's grandson William A. V. Cecil, a well-mannered, highly educated man who, when caught up in an idea, becomes a whirling dervish, generating enough energy and enthusiasm to motivate everyone around him. And, according to author Howard Covington Jr., Cecil gets a week's worth of ideas before he's done with his Monday morning shave. In the late 1950s, attorneys, financial managers, and tax accountants were united in advising Cecil and his brother, George, to sell off the estate's 12,000 acres in order to create a suburban subdivision. Cecil quietly ignored this advice and came up with a better idea: over the next four decades, he would turn this down-at-the-heels mansion that was a drain on the family business into the most successful, privately preserved historic site in the United States, perhaps even the world. Cecil succeeded beyond even his wildest dreams. Not only did he raise the money needed to begin and continue a painstaking, decades-long restoration of the house itself, but he also achieved a goal that even his grandfather had found elusive. He made Biltmore Estate a self-sustaining, working enterprise that included a vibrant tourist destination, a working winery and vineyard, and a farming operation; employed hundreds of people; and attracted hundreds of millions of dollars to the local economy every year. Lady on the Hill tells a lively tale of eccentric, upper-crust characters, seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and one man's determination, innovation, loyalty, and stubborn persistence to succeed against the odds. It also provides a brilliant, if unorthodox, model for anyone involved with the preservation and restoration of a historic home.

The Making of a Bestseller

Author: Arthur T. Vanderbilt
Publisher: McFarland
ISBN: 0786406631
Release Date: 1999-01-01
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines

Writer F. Scott Fitzgerald's career itself is a metaphor for the vagaries of book publishing. If Fitzgerald would have had his way, we would today refer to The Great Gatsby as either Gold-Hatted Gatsby, Trimalchio in West Egg, or The High-Bouncing Lover. A few years before Gatsby, Fitzgerald had become a literary sensation at the age of 23; Helen Hooven Santmyer, a contemporary of Fitzgerald's, would not have a successful novel published until she was 88 and living in a nursing home. In this book, the author explores that mysterious place in publishing where art and commerce can either clash, mesh, or both. Along the way, a wide range of authors--from the literary greats to today's commercial superstars--editors, agents and publishers share their thoughts, insights and experiences: What inspires writers? (John Steinbeck, for example, wrote every novel as if it were his last, as if death were imminent.) Why are some books successful and appreciated, while others fall into oblivion? The answers are often elusive, never absolute, but the stories and anecdotes are always fascinating.

Commodore

Author: Edward J. Renehan, Jr.
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780465010301
Release Date: 2009-04-14
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Armed with a trove of previously unreleased archives, Edward J. Renehan Jr. offers a compelling portrait of Cornelius Vanderbilt, who built large shipping and rail enterprises into cornerstones of the American economy, and amassed one of the greatest fortunes the world has ever known. This is the definitive biography of a man whose influence on American business was unsurpassed in his day—or any other.

The First Tycoon

Author: T.J. Stiles
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307271552
Release Date: 2009-04-21
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

NATIONAL BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD In this groundbreaking biography, T.J. Stiles tells the dramatic story of Cornelius “Commodore” Vanderbilt, the combative man and American icon who, through his genius and force of will, did more than perhaps any other individual to create modern capitalism. Meticulously researched and elegantly written, The First Tycoon describes an improbable life, from Vanderbilt’s humble birth during the presidency of George Washington to his death as one of the richest men in American history. In between we see how the Commodore helped to launch the transportation revolution, propel the Gold Rush, reshape Manhattan, and invent the modern corporation. Epic in its scope and success, the life of Vanderbilt is also the story of the rise of America itself. From the Trade Paperback edition.

House of Outrageous Fortune

Author: Michael Gross
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781451666205
Release Date: 2015-03-10
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The author of 740 Park presents a portrait of the nouveau-riche area of Central Park's southwest rim and how its high-profile, international residents are redefining the meaning of affluence in today's world.

Family Fortunes

Author: Bill Bonner
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781118239872
Release Date: 2012-06-21
Genre: Business & Economics

Selected as one of Motley Fool’s “5 Great Books You Should Read” Advice on managing your wealth from bestselling author Bill Bonner From trusted New York Times bestselling author Bill Bonner comes a radical new way to look at family money and a practical, actionable guide to getting and maintaining multigenerational wealth. Family Fortunes: How to Build Family Wealth and Hold on to It for 100 Years is packed with useful information, interwoven with Bonner's stories about his own family's wealth philosophy and practices. A comprehensive guide that shows how families can successfully preserve their estates by ignoring most of what people think they know about "the rich" and, instead, training and motivating all family members to work together toward a very uncommon goal. This book is a must-read for all individual investors—even those who do not plan to leave money to their children—because it challenges many of the most ubiquitous principles and rules of investing. You might expect a book on family wealth to be extremely conservative in its outlook. Instead, the Bonners announce what is practically a revolutionary manifesto. They explain: Why family money should NOT be invested in "safe, conservative" investments Why charitable giving is usually a waste of money, or worse Why it is NOT a good idea to let children go their own way Why you can't trust wealth "professionals" and why you should never entrust your money to money managers Why giving your children as much education as possible is NOT a good idea Why Warren Buffett and the rest of the rich people asking for higher tax rates are wrong to take "the pledge" Why Wall Street is a graveyard for capital, why most celebrity CEOs are a threat to the businesses they run, why modern capitalism is a failure, and more You will come away with a very different idea as to what family wealth is all about. It is not stodgy. Not boring. Not moss-backed and reactionary. On the contrary, it is the most dynamic, forward-looking capital in the world. The essential guide to passing wealth from one generation to the next, Family Fortunes is filled with concrete, practical advice you can put to use right away.

The Soul of a House

Author: Arthur T. Vanderbilt
Publisher: US Naval Institute Press
ISBN: 1787102254
Release Date: 2017-04
Genre:

Antiques aren't for everyone but Arthur Vanderbilt's enthusiasm in The Soul of a House makes it seem like they absolutely should be. A nineteenth century clipper on a rough sea, a Chinese vase, a knickknacks box, a Hepplewhite, who knows what can be found in an old money American country house when it goes up for sale, curtains and all. But that is only the start: what about the thrill of the auction when an item fetches triple the purchase price? What about that rare piece that you get home only to discover it is worth millions? For Arthur Vanderbilt, antiques are alive with history, alive with that part of a family now gone, the arm of a chair worn smooth because that is where the dog rested its head every night.The Soul of a House is a fascinating read for those with any interest in the world of antiques as a hobby or a business.

The Richest Woman in America

Author: Janet Wallach
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 9780385531986
Release Date: 2012-09-25
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A captivating biography of America's first female tycoon, Hetty Green, the iconoclast who forged one of the greatest fortunes of her time. No woman in the Gilded Age made as much money as Hetty Green. At the time of her death in 1916, she was worth at least 100 million dollars, equal to more than 2 billion dollars today. A strong believer in women being financially independent, she offered valuable lessons for the present times. Abandoned at birth by her neurotic mother, scorned by her misogynist father, Hetty set out as a child to prove her value. Following the simple rules of her wealthy Quaker father, she successfully invested her money and along the way proved to herself that she was wealthy and therefore worthy. Never losing faith in America's potential, she ignored the herd mentality and took advantage of financial panics and crises. When everyone else was selling, she bought railroads, real estate, and government bonds. And when everyone was buying and borrowing, she put her money into cash and earned safe returns on her dollars. Men mocked her and women scoffed at her frugal ways, but she turned her back and piled up her earnings, amassing a fortune that supported businesses, churches, municipalities, and even the city of New York itself. She relished a challenge. When her aunt died and did not leave Hetty the fortune she expected, she plunged into a groundbreaking lawsuit that still resonates in law schools and courts. When her husband defied her and sank her money on his own risky interests, she threw him out and, marching down to Wall Street, quickly made up the loss. Her independence, outspokenness, and disdain for the upper crust earned her a reputation for harshness that endured for decades. Newspapers kept her in the headlines, linking her name with witches and miscreants. Yet those who knew her admired her warmth, her wisdom, and her wit. Set during a period of financial crisis strikingly similar to our current one, acclaimed author Janet Wallach's engrossing exploration of a fascinating life revives a rarely-mentioned queen of American finance.

The Phantom of Fifth Avenue

Author: Meryl Gordon
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
ISBN: 9781455512645
Release Date: 2014-05-27
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Born in 1906, Huguette Clark grew up in her family's 121-room Beaux Arts mansion in New York and was one of the leading celebrities of her day. Her father William Andrews Clark, was a copper magnate, the second richest man in America, and not above bribing his way into the Senate. Huguette attended the coronation of King George V. And at twenty-two with a personal fortune of $50 million to her name, she married a Princeton man and childhood friend William MacDonald Gower. Two-years later the couple divorced. After a series of failed romances, Huguette began to withdraw from society--first living with her mother in a kind of Grey Gardens isolation then as a modern-day Miss Havisham, spending her days in a vast apartment overlooking Central Park, eating crackers and watching The Flintstones with only servants for company. All her money and all her real estate could not protect her in her later life from being manipulated by shady hangers-on and hospitals that were only too happy to admit (and bill) a healthy woman. But what happened to Huguette that turned a vivacious, young socialite into a recluse? And what was her life like inside that gilded, copper cage?

Empty Mansions

Author: Bill Dedman
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345534538
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A cousin of Huguette Clark and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist trace the life of the reclusive American heiress against a backdrop of the now-infamous W. A. Clark family and include coverage of the internet sensation and elder-abuse investigation that occurred at the end of her life.