Synopses & Reviews
Using previously unreleased archives, Edward J. Renehan Jr. narrates the compelling life of Cornelius Vanderbilt: willful progenitor of modern American business. Vanderbilt made his initial fortune building ferry and cargo routes for sailing vessels. Then he moved 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, Vanderbilt left a fortune that, in today's dollars, would dwarf that of even Bill Gates. Off Wall Street, Vanderbilt was a hard-drinking egotist and whoremonger devoid of manners or charity. He disinherited most of his numerous children and received an editorial rebuke from Mark Twain for his lack of public giving. Commodore sheds startling new light on many aspects of Vanderbilt's business and private life including, most notably, the revelation that advanced stage syphilis marred his last years. This is the definitive biography of a man whose influence on American life and commerce towers over all who followed him.
The first modern biography of an American financial giant.
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 dayor any other.
About the Author
Edward J. Renehan Jr.'s books include Dark Genius of Wall Street, The Kennedys at War, The Lions Pride, The Secret Six, and John Burroughs: An American Naturalist. He has given talks and lectures throughout the Northeast and has appeared on the History Channel, C-SPAN, PBSs American Experience, and numerous other broadcasts. He lives in Rhode Island.