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The Associates: Four Capitalists Who Created California

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The Associates: Four Capitalists Who Created California Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

One hundred forty years ago, four men rose from their position as middle-class merchants in Sacramento, California, to become the force behind the transcontinental railroad. In the course of doing so, they became wealthy beyond any measure'"'"and to sustain their power, they lied, bribed, wheedled, and, when necessary, arranged for obstacles, both human and legal, to disappear. Their names were Collis Huntington, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins, and they were known as 'The Big Four' or 'The Associates.' Their drive for money'"'"nothing more, nothing less'"'"was epic. Their legacy is a university, public gardens, museums, mansions, banks, and libraries'"'"and to a large degree California itself, a state that even today owes its aura of 'can-do' and limitless possibilities to The Associates.

Review:

"Novelist and nonfiction author Rayner (The Devil's Wind) provides a first-rate look at the little-known story behind the creation of America's first continental railroad — the story of Collis Huntington, Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins and Leland Stanford, founder of the university that bears his name. The associates were unscrupulous, savvy profiteers, whose motives were driven solely by a lust for riches and whose success usually came at the expense of others. After usurping engineer Theodore Judah's campaign to connect the Atlantic with the Pacific, the foursome capitalized on anti-Chinese sentiment, hiring desperate Chinese to do hazardous work in inhumane conditions for substandard wages. They later sanctioned murder yet successfully painted themselves as philanthropists thanks to the journalists and historians in their pockets. Amid a story of greed and ruthlessness, Rayner offers a fascinating glimpse into the growth of the U.S., illustrating how these determined if ruthless men revolutionized transportation and greatly influenced the expansion of California. The author claims their business acumen 'defined the nature of the modern corporation,' and their legacies live on in a library, a university, art galleries and museums. Entertaining and well written, Rayner's book will appeal to readers interested in history as well as business." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

Rayner chronicles the story of four men, middle-class shopkeepers and aspiring politicians, who decided 140 years ago to undertake a huge gamble to create a railroad that would link the eastern and western coasts of the United States. Altruism was never a motive for Collis Huntington, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, or Mark Hopkins. The author goes behind the scenes to illuminate the epic efforts those four men undertook to amass vast amounts of personal wealth. The book combines the story of American urban expansion and the story of the overwhelming greed and ambition of the four men largely credited, to a large degree, with the creation of California. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

"A first-rate look at the little-known story behind the creation of America's first continental railroad. ... Entertaining and well written."'"Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

A true-life tale of ruthless ambition, staggering greed, and the making of a nation.

Synopsis:

One hundred forty years ago, four men rose from their position as middle-class merchants in Sacramento, California, to become the force behind the transcontinental railroad. In the course of doing so, they became wealthy beyond any measure--and to sustain their power, they lied, bribed, wheedled, and, when necessary, arranged for obstacles, both human and legal, to disappear. Their names were Collis Huntington, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins, and they were known as "The Big Four" or "The Associates." Their drive for money--nothing more, nothing less--was epic. Their legacy is a university, public gardens, museums, mansions, banks, and libraries--and to a large degree California itself, a state that even today owes its aura of "can-do" and limitless possibilities to .

Synopsis:

One Hundred And Forty Years Ago, four men rose from their position as middle-class merchants to become robber barons and, in the end, civilization-creating philanthropists. Their names were Collis Huntington, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins, and they were known as The Big Four, or The Associates. Their money-maker was the building of the transcontinental railroad, but what stands out in their story is how smarts, rapacity, and sheer luck characterized the dizzy growth of California. Buccaneers of the untrammeled capitalism of the Gilded Age, the four nevertheless left behind a legacy of philanthropy and cultural institutions that has made California the capital of the American West. Having written about confidence artists in his notable books The Blue Suit and Drake's Fortune, Richard Rayner has a knack for detecting the fraudulence that so often lurks behind business success. California Capitalists is a fresh, engrossing retelling of a quintessentially American story.

About the Author

Richard Rayner is the author of two works of nonfiction and five novels. His work appears in The New Yorker and other publications. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393059137
Author:
Rayner, Richard
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
Railroads
Subject:
History
Subject:
Business
Subject:
Industries - Transportation
Subject:
Railroads - History
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
California History.
Subject:
Capitalists and financiers -- United States.
Subject:
Corporate History
Subject:
Biography/Business
Copyright:
Edition Description:
W.W. Norton Hardcover
Series:
Enterprise
Publication Date:
20080131
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8 x 5 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » Business
Business » General
Business » History and Biographies
History and Social Science » Americana » California
Transportation » Railroads » General

The Associates: Four Capitalists Who Created California Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 224 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393059137 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Novelist and nonfiction author Rayner (The Devil's Wind) provides a first-rate look at the little-known story behind the creation of America's first continental railroad — the story of Collis Huntington, Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins and Leland Stanford, founder of the university that bears his name. The associates were unscrupulous, savvy profiteers, whose motives were driven solely by a lust for riches and whose success usually came at the expense of others. After usurping engineer Theodore Judah's campaign to connect the Atlantic with the Pacific, the foursome capitalized on anti-Chinese sentiment, hiring desperate Chinese to do hazardous work in inhumane conditions for substandard wages. They later sanctioned murder yet successfully painted themselves as philanthropists thanks to the journalists and historians in their pockets. Amid a story of greed and ruthlessness, Rayner offers a fascinating glimpse into the growth of the U.S., illustrating how these determined if ruthless men revolutionized transportation and greatly influenced the expansion of California. The author claims their business acumen 'defined the nature of the modern corporation,' and their legacies live on in a library, a university, art galleries and museums. Entertaining and well written, Rayner's book will appeal to readers interested in history as well as business." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , "A first-rate look at the little-known story behind the creation of America's first continental railroad. ... Entertaining and well written."'"Publishers Weekly
"Synopsis" by , A true-life tale of ruthless ambition, staggering greed, and the making of a nation.
"Synopsis" by , One hundred forty years ago, four men rose from their position as middle-class merchants in Sacramento, California, to become the force behind the transcontinental railroad. In the course of doing so, they became wealthy beyond any measure--and to sustain their power, they lied, bribed, wheedled, and, when necessary, arranged for obstacles, both human and legal, to disappear. Their names were Collis Huntington, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins, and they were known as "The Big Four" or "The Associates." Their drive for money--nothing more, nothing less--was epic. Their legacy is a university, public gardens, museums, mansions, banks, and libraries--and to a large degree California itself, a state that even today owes its aura of "can-do" and limitless possibilities to .
"Synopsis" by , One Hundred And Forty Years Ago, four men rose from their position as middle-class merchants to become robber barons and, in the end, civilization-creating philanthropists. Their names were Collis Huntington, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins, and they were known as The Big Four, or The Associates. Their money-maker was the building of the transcontinental railroad, but what stands out in their story is how smarts, rapacity, and sheer luck characterized the dizzy growth of California. Buccaneers of the untrammeled capitalism of the Gilded Age, the four nevertheless left behind a legacy of philanthropy and cultural institutions that has made California the capital of the American West. Having written about confidence artists in his notable books The Blue Suit and Drake's Fortune, Richard Rayner has a knack for detecting the fraudulence that so often lurks behind business success. California Capitalists is a fresh, engrossing retelling of a quintessentially American story.
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