The Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

Book - 2007
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"The tale of Cornelius Vanderbilt's life and the vast fortune he amassed is one of the cornerstones that defines the American Dream." "Born on Staten Island in 1794, Vanderbilt made his initial fortune building ferry and cargo routes for sailing vessels, but he moved quickly into steamboats and railroads. With the New York Central, Vanderbilt established the nation's first major integrated rail system, linking New York with Boston, Montreal, Chicago, and St. Louis. At the same time, he played a key role in establishing New York as the financial center of the United States. When he died in 1877, he left a $105 million fortune that, in today's dollars, would dwarf even that of Bill Gates." "Away from Wall Street, Vanderbilt was a hard-drinking egotist and whoremonger who berated and disinherited most of his many children and received an editorial rebuke from Mark Twain for his lack of public charity. His countless affairs included one with Tennessee Claflin - sister of the noted free-love advocate Victoria Woodhull. To placate Claflin, Vanderbilt set up both sisters in business as America's first female stockbrokers. He also financed their radical newspaper Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly (in which Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto made its first American appearance)." "Using previously unreleased archives, Commodore sheds startling new light on many aspects of Vanderbilt's business and private life including, most notably, the revelation that the mogul's later years were marred by advanced syphilis. This is the definitive biography of a man whose influence on American life and commerce towers over all who followed him"--Book jacket.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2007
ISBN: 0465002552 (alk. paper)
9780465002559 (alk. paper)
Branch Call Number: B VANDERBILT
Characteristics: xx, 364 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 25 cm

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